经文:马太福音 7:13-14 “你们要进窄门。因为引到灭亡，那门是宽的，路是大的，进去的人也多； 引到永生，那门是窄的，路是小的，找着的人也少。”
MatthewListen: Matthew 7: 13-14: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Jesus is so not politically correct! Today you would be crucified if you said that not every religion can bring you safely to heaven. The mantra of the world is that all religions are basically the same and that “all steeples lead to heaven.” This is a blatant lie that the devil loves to tell people.
Jesus said that the way to life is a small gate and a narrow road. He was even more specific than this in John 14, where he said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Peter boldly proclaimed in Acts that there is “no other name under heaven by which we can be saved.”
Yet, at the same time, you can say that the Christian faith is the most inclusive religion in the world. It is for every nation and tribe and language and people. The Bible says that God our Savior “wants all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” There is no bigotry in the Christian faith. There is no racism in the Christian faith. There is no cultural bias in the Christian faith.
At least, there shouldn’t be. I pray that none of these would find there way into my heart!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I will always boldly proclaim that there is salvation in no one else except you! At the same time, give me a heart and mind that is open to see every person I meet as someone that you want to be in heaven. Let me be all things to all people so that by all possibly means I might save some. Amen.
经文:马太福音 7:15-20 “你们要防备假先知。他们到你们这里来，外面披着羊皮，里面却是残暴的狼。 凭着他们的果子，就可以认出他们来。荆棘上岂能摘葡萄呢？蒺藜里岂能摘无花果呢？ 这样，凡好树都结好果子，惟独坏树结坏果子。 好树不能结坏果子；坏树不能结好果子。 凡不结好果子的树就砍下来，丢在火里。 所以，凭着他们的果子就可以认出他们来。
MatthewListen: Matthew 7: 15-20: “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
In an earlier verse, Jesus taught us not to judge others without first looking at ourselves. Here he tells us that there is a proper place for judging, when it comes to identifying and calling out those who are false prophets. A false prophet is simply someone who misrepresents God by teaching something that is false. He calls them wolves in sheep’s clothing. They may look pious and religious in every day, while at the same time speaking lies about what the Bible teaches. How will you recognize them? You can tell them by their fruit. In the case of a false prophet, their fruit will be their teaches. Do their teachings line up with God’s Word or not? If not, we stay away from them.
“A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.” As I read that verse, I thought to myself, “What kind of fruit does my neighbor see hanging on my tree?” Do acts of kindness adorn my life? Do I have an open heart for those who are lost and hurting? Do my words and actions make it clear that I belong to Jesus? I pray that people can see that I am a child of God by the things I say and do.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, send me your Holy Spirit and work in my heart and life so that I can bear the fruits of faith! I ask this not for myself, but only that you will be glorified by my life. Give me a heart for the lost and open my eyes to see the needs of those around me. I pray, too, that when I speak your Word, I do so faithfully and clearly. I ask this in your name. Amen.
经文:马太福音 7:21-23 “凡称呼我‘主啊，主啊’的人不能都进天国；惟独遵行我天父旨意的人才能进去。 当那日必有许多人对我说：‘主啊，主啊，我们不是奉你的名传道，奉你的名赶鬼，奉你的名行许多异能吗？’ 我就明明地告诉他们说：‘我从来不认识你们，你们这些作恶的人，离开我去吧！“
Matthew Listen: 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. 22 Many 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?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
What does it mean to do the will of our Father in heaven? Jesus said it plainly in John 6:40: “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” In the end, that’s all that matters. It doesn’t matter how many sermons you’ve preached. It doesn’t matter how often you attended church. It doesn’t matter if all of your parents and grandparents and even great-grandparents were Christians. All that matter is that you look to the Son and believe in him for eternal life.
Is service in God’s kingdom good? Of course. Jesus sent out the 12 and the 72. Serving the Lord by proclaiming his Word is something every Christian should do, not just the pastors and the missionaries. But service in the kingdom doesn’t get us to heaven. In fact, that cannot be the source of joy in our life, because if it is, that will also be the source of our disappointment. Jesus said this to the 72 when they came back from their mission journey. Luke 10:20: “However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for making me a minister of the gospel, for permitting me to preach your Word and shepherd your people. Only, keep me letting my ministry be my source of joy. Let my heart be focused, not on what I do, but on you alone. You are my joy and my strength forever! Amen.