Matthew chapter 7 is then end of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. The verses we are going to read are the very last words of the sermon. These are the words that Jesus left ringing in their ears. After teaching about an impressively wide array of divine truth, Jesus left them with two warnings and a promise.
What warnings do you think Jesus would choose to end his sermon? What were the most dangerous things that would threaten people? Would they be about politics? About disease? About character? What would Jesus want them to remember as they walked away from that mountain?
Both of Jesus’ warnings are about ignoring the Word of God. The first warning is about false prophets. He warns us to watch out for anyone who teaches anything that contradicts the Bible. He tells us that they will seem great (they wear sheep’s clothing), but their teachings can kill you (they are ravenous wolves). What people teach will bring either life or death; it will either bring us closer to God or take us away from him. God’s judgment awaits anyone without faith.
Jesus tells us to recognize false prophets by their fruit. Their fruit does not mean their piety or their good works or their popularity or their relevance—or even their miracles (if they have any). Their fruit is what they teach.
Jesus tells us not to listen to false prophets. Only God’s Word can save you. Anything else is powerless to save. The only place we can find the words of life are from God himself. You can’t get divine truth from a sinful mind (a bad tree cannot produce good fruit).
The second warning is about hearing God’s Word but then not doing what it says. This warning is about something just as dangerous as false prophets. It’s easy to recognize that the Bible is right. It’s even easy to agree with most of it. But only God’s power can change hearts and lives to do what God says.
Christians have the amazing ability to choose to obey God or to choose to ignore him. If we ignore God’s voice, we reject his wisdom and build our lives on our own (the sand). Then disaster is on its way. The storms of life will overwhelm us and, on our own, we won’t be able to withstand them.
But there is a promise! Right in the middle of Jesus’ warnings is the promise of strength and endurance in the middle of chaos and storm. God’s power surrounds and fills and protects his children. Following God’s voice keeps us close to him. Doing what he says strengthens our faith, our life, and our house.
The storms will come. The sinful world will beat against our house. But we will not fall, because our foundation is the eternal Word of God.
We read from the apostle Matthew’s eye-witness account of Jesus’ life, dictated word-for-word by the Holy Spirit, chapter 7.
Matthew 7:15–29 (EHV)
15“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. You do not gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles, do you? 17So then, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. 19Every tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20So then, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and drive out demons in your name and perform many miracles in your name?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’
24“Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on bedrock. 25The rain came down, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house. But it did not fall, because it was founded on bedrock. 26Everyone who hears these words of mine but does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—it was completely destroyed.”
28When Jesus finished speaking these words, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29because he taught them as one who had authority, and not like their experts in the law.
God bless you,
Worship at Trinity
This Sunday and Monday, we strengthen and encourage each other in faith! You can sign up for worship here: https://trinitymarinette.com/events/june-14-15-worship/ or you can respond to this email or call Pastor or call the church office to let us know which service you prefer.
It is wise to wait a bit if you are at risk or would just like to wait for the pandemic to fade. God willing, we will worship together when he ends this plague.
Here is this week’s bulletin: https://trinitymarinette.com/wp-content/uploads/sermons/2020/06/2020-06-07-Announcements-Trinity-Sunday.pdf
We’re Going to Sing! – The CDC has removed the recommendation not to sing in their Interim Guidance for Communities of Faith document. So we will sing God’s praises together this weekend! Hallelujah!!
Don’t Forget – Our next Voters’ Meeting is scheduled for Sunday at 11:00 a.m. in the sanctuary. We’ll observe social distancing and we’ll be very sensitive to the length of the meeting. You will be able to pick up the agenda and the reports in church or you can contact the office and we’ll send them to you!
Opt-In Email: You may have received an email to opt in for receiving texts from church. It’s from Jon Tesch. Please click “Sign me up.” You’ll be taken to a webpage where you can enter your cell phone number. Then you’ll receive a text at that number where you can respond “Yes.” That’s it! Thank you for your participation in God’s work.
If you would like to support the Lord’s work at Trinity, you may contribute at trinitymarinette.com/contribute or you can mail it to
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church
1501 Thomas St.
Marinette, WI 54143