In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus is wrapping up what we commonly call the Sermon on the Mount. Please pay attention to the words of Christ: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
When Jesus first spoke these words, He was speaking during the first century A.D. in modern-day Palestine to an audience comprised mostly of Jews. However, we are still able to gain much from Christ’s words. We have a similarity with the people in the first century. Everyone has heard the words of Jesus. The Jews audibly heard him. We have heard or received Christ’s words through His divinely inspired Word, the Bible. Jesus provided the Jews with the same opportunity that He now provides for us. Everyone has the opportunity to do Christ’s words or not do them.
If you want to know what Christ’s words, or instructions, are, then you must study the rest of Jesus’s words in the Bible. I would imagine most of us are familiar with our Savior’s instructions. I realize that I am a blessed person. I have heard God’s word preached and taught frequently for seventeen years by many different people in a multitude of places. However, it does no good to hear God’s word if we do not do what He says.
Imagine you receive a phone call from an unknown number around noon. You decide to accept the call even though you think the call is from a telemarketer. As soon as you accept the call, the voice on the other end says: “Hello, my name is Matt, and I work for the FBI. You need to listen and make preparations because we have received information that your house is going to get broken into in about fifteen hours.” What would be your response? I doubt many of us would think: “Well, this burglary threat is not that big of a deal.” Instead, we would take actions that protected our house.
I am afraid many people think that hearing God’s word is enough to protect their spiritual possession, their souls. I am not solely talking about salvation. As Christians, we would readily agree some actions must be accomplished to receive God’s gift of salvation. However, after getting on the narrow road, we can lose sight of what we need to do. We know we need to obey God and be like Christ, but what does living the right way look like?
Most importantly, we must take responsibility for our souls. Some people can help us get to heaven. However, the only person responsible for you getting to heaven is you. We must realize we cannot please God or reach heaven because of who our parents, grandparents, preacher, or elders are. Everyone decides for themselves whether they will build on the rock or the sand. Now, what can we do to build on the rock? I want to share one simple point.
We must study God’s word for ourselves. Many smart, good people have eternally jeopardized their souls because they took other people’s word for how they should please God. If we look at what God told us in His word on how to please Him, we can know by His words and our actions whether we are building on the rock. 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”
Do not try to shape the Bible to fit your life. Shape your life around the Bible. Do not just be a hearer; instead, be a doer, too. If we build our lives on the rock (the Bible) then we can weather any storm life throws at us.