Jun 10, 2018 | Lee Becknell

Time to choose how you will live.

Old country preacher’s son was turning 18 yrs. old and his father thought it was time for him to think about his future life. He came up with an experiment to see what his son would be. He went into his room and placed on his table four objects. 1. A Bible. 2. A silver dollar. 3. A bottle of whiskey. 4. An Adult magazine.

His plan was to hide in the closet when he came home from school to see what object he would pick up. If it’s the Bible, he going to be a preacher like me and what a blessing that would be! If he picks up the dollar, he going to be a businessman and that would be okay. But if he picks up the bottle, he going to be a no-good drunken bum and Lord, what a shame that would be. And worst of all if he picks up the magazine he’s going to be a womanizer!

The old man waited anxiously and finally he heard his son’s footsteps as he entered the house whistling as he headed to his room. The boy tossed his books on the bed and turned and saw the objects on his table, he walked over to inspect them. Finally, he picked up the Bible and placed it under his arm. He picked up the coin and dropped it into his pocket. He opened the bottle and took a big drink while he admired the magazines’ centerfold.

* Lord have mercy the old preacher whispered. He’s gonna be a politician!

Theme: To be a follower of Jesus means that we live our life in accordance to the words of Jesus Christ because we have put our faith in Him. It divides us from morally good people who think their lives honor God. Some people who will be disappointed when they finally stand before Jesus because He will say ‘I never knew you’. The metaphor of the building a house to describe a life is particularly powerful. Look at your life and see what kind of house you are building. Will it stand or fall?”

* Good illustration comes out of life and Jesus speaks from his understanding. Remember he grew up in the home of a carpenter and understood how a home should be constructed.

* He moves from illustration to explanation. To build is to live. Every thought, every action or every dream you have turns into your life structure.

* This morning I would like to share with you the following lessons.

  1. The Lost who believe their works will save them.

Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

* Beloved these verses sadden me because it implies there will be people who live their entire life thinking they are a child of God. They even do wonderful thing for God yet Jesus says that He never knew them.

* These verses tell me that someone here this morning maybe in the very situation we are reading about. What a waste and shame.

Acts 19:13-16, “Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” 16Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.”

  1. The Wise who hear and obey the words of Jesus.

Matthew 7:24-25, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”

* The first person is like a house that has been built on a rock. Its foundation is strong and secure and can withstand any assault.

* Jesus' invitation is an invitation to an encounter with God and a different way of living life. This life will provide not only strength in the present to withstand the various storms that come our way but also the final great storm that sees us through to an eternity with the Lord.

* Beloved, did you notice that the storm comes to both men? I love how the Lord uses storms in life to speak, work or challenge us. Now that is another sermon in itself.

1 Corinthians 3:11-15, “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.”

* The message is clear: discipleship occurs in the everyday practices of Jesus' followers.

  1. The foolish who hear the words of Jesus but do not live them.

Matthew 7:26-25, “But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

* There is a difference between the wise and the foolish. The wise seek knowledge, but the fool is the one who hates wisdom and instruction.

* Today, we are constantly hit in the face with the left’s agenda. ‘Relativism’, is the doctrine of the day. They say every path leads to God. No religion has the answers. We are all free to do what we want. There are no absolutes everything is relative.

* Most powerful tool for the left and our media today is Tolerance! Can’t ditch tolerance because tolerance allows me to do what I want.

* The sandy lot of relativism! The college kids says there are no absolutes everything is relative. Sounds like an absolute to me! You make it sound like I’m supposed to accept that as the true.

* That is absolutely foolishness.   It is destroying the very fabric of our country.

Matthew 7: 27, “The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Don’t pay too much for the whistle

Benjamin Franklin learned one of his first, and most important, personal finance lessons as a boy. When he was seven, he saw another boy blowing a whistle and was so charmed by its sound that he offered the boy all the money in his pockets for it. The boy eagerly agreed to the deal. Young Franklin was delighted with his new possession and blew the whistle happily all over the house. But his satisfaction was cut short when his brothers and sisters laughed at him when they found out how much he had paid for it. "The reflection gave me more chagrin," Franklin recalled, "than the whistle gave me pleasure."

But Franklin took an invaluable lesson away from his youthful mistake: when I was tempted to buy some unnecessary thing, I said to myself, Don't give too much for the whistle; and I saved my money. "As I grew up, came into the world, and observed the actions of men, I thought I met with many, very many, who gave too much for the whistle. "In short, I conceive that great part of the miseries of mankind are brought upon them by the false estimates they have made of the value of things, and by their giving too much for their whistles."

* Don’t waste your life on a whistle when you can have Jesus.

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