As you may well know, Jesus came with a completely different message than that which was being taught by the religious leaders of his time known as the Pharisees. Even today, there are legalistic religious leaders who believe like the Pharisees, that entrance into the kingdom of heaven is dependent on following a specific set of rules. Of course, Jesus taught that the path into his kingdom was far less cumbersome. Just like building a house, our spiritual eternity starts with a solid foundation. Jesus teaches that we are to begin with prayer.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 (NASB)
Our solid foundation begins with a request from God for our salvation. Regular communication with God is critical to our growth as Christians. The absolute best way for us to communicate with God is through loving service to others. Jesus taught that our love for others is a demonstration of our sincerity in our mission to follow his teaching.
“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 (NASB)
The rules the Pharisees and today’s legalistic religious leaders identify as a path to heaven, are portrayed by Jesus as part of the path to destruction. The true path to heaven is far less complicated.
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14 (NASB)
In the book of John Jesus describes precisely what work is needed to enter his kingdom.
“Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” John 6:29 (NASB)
In order to demonstrate this contrast between his teaching and the teaching of the Pharisees, Jesus painted a revealing word picture.
“You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?” Matthew 7:16 (NASB)
Your loving service to others will identify you as a true follower of Jesus. Those who are busy chasing legalistic rules and regulations will not have time to actually do the work of God.
If we follow the wrong teachers, our path to the kingdom of heaven will be built on a foundation that is easily washed away and destroyed. The only way into the kingdom of heaven is through Jesus Christ. When we stand firmly on that understanding, demonstrating our sincerity through loving service to others, our salvation is secure.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Matthew 7:24 (NASB)
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What Jesus Teaches About Building On Solid Ground
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