Relationship VS Religion
9/24/2017 -Pastor Keith Cromie
It is time to decide.
You have been there before. All the facts are on the table. All the knowledge you are going to gain is in your brain. Your experience has enough data points so that you can project with some certainty what the future will look like. You know there will be surprises down the road. It is time to decide.
· You buy the car.
· The engagement happens and a date is set
· You take the job or you don’t
· A thousand other decisions both big and small.
Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5-7), has been speaking with characteristic clarity and boldness. He has confronted the hypocrisy of religious performance. He has reminded us all of the brokenness in our hearts. He has clearly declared his intention to live perfectly so as to meet the standards of God’s law. He has pointed the way to repentance of sin, humility before God, and the path of living in relationship with our Heavenly Father.
It is time to decide.
Will we take the easy way of religion or will we make the harder decision to follow Jesus? Why are some ways easy and God’s way hard? What is at stake with this decision? Who is responsible for this decision? Tough questions deserve straight answers and Jesus gives us those answers.
Jesus commands us to enter the Kingdom of God on God’s terms. Then he provides three warnings to help us with our decision.
Matt. 7:13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
Matt. 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
Matt. 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness
It is Free