On the mount

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    Chapter 7 is the final chapter in Christ’s sermon on the mount. Verses 1-6 deal with judgment. Many use verse one to say “you can’t judge me” anytime someone tells them they are wrong. However this verse in context is clearly not talking about that kind of judgment. If you will notice in verse 6 he says not to give that which is holy to “dogs”. The only way to know if someone is a dog is to judge them. Yet this judgment here is carrying out punishment. We must determine right from wrong not only in our own lives but in the lives of others as well. Yet it is not our place to carry out punishment for those wrong doings.

    Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 “And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. 6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

    Verse 7-14 remind us that God cares about us and answers our prayers. Sometimes it is not in the way we want...but rather it will be answered in the way we need it to be.

    7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 “Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 “Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12 “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

    The way to heaven is narrow and straight. Regardless of what people think, it will only be found by a few. Broad is the way to destruction and many will find it. The narrow way requires effort, seeking, and much difficulty...but is worth the effort.

    13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
    15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.

    We can know men by their fruits. How do they live? How do they treat others? How do they act when they think no one is looking?

    16 “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 “Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

    This set of verses is very plain...yet in direct contradiction to what most Christians believe. It takes more than just saying “lord lord” to enter heaven. It requires doing the will of God. Many will stand there in the day of judgement having done many good things in God’s name, but will be lost for eternity because they haven’t obeyed. Living good is important. Believing in Christ is important. Yet without obedience one will still be lost.

    21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
    24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” 28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”