Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

No Jesus – No Peace – Know Jesus – Know Peace

Matthew 7:21

“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.

RayMcDYesterday – we preached a sermon about death and dying. As I was preparing for this message – it became clear to me that I couldn’t cover all of the questions surrounding death and dying in one message. In the message and in a Facebook post – I asked folks to share with me their questions about death and dying. I have received a number already and I’m planning the series soon.

A number of people said I answered some of their questions yesterday in the sermon (listen to it here when it posts – the title will be Do Not Be Ignorant). The base Scripture was 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17. You can read the sermon notes here – but listening will help a lot because much of the message is not on the sermon notes. The notes will allow you to have all of the Scriptures I used in the message.

My desire Sunday was to teach about death and dying. I tried to give us encouragement and a piece of mind surrounding death and dying. A significant number of our members have faced death and dying in their immediate families and I knew it was a topic many would be interested to hear. I tried to name a number of the myths that many of us have heard over the years in the message. I tried to address them from Scripture and from my understanding of Scripture. If I didn’t cover your questions – please put them in the comments below or message me with them.

Today’s passage reminds us that not all who say Lord, Lord with their lips will enter heaven. Jesus reminds us that it is only those who do the will of the Father who will get to heaven. In other words – the words we speak can be hollow – it is our actions that count.

Here’s today’s passage in partial context. Matthew 7:21–27 – 21 “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!’ 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Passages like this remind me of one of my favorite sayings – Christianity boils down to attitude – the condition and position of one’s heart. Although actions count – the reason we do those actions also count. We cannot simply say we will follow Christ. We cannot simply act like we are following Christ. We must actually follow Him. We are saved by grace – of course – but the sign of actually being saved is a changed life – 2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

If we wish to have a peace about death and dying – we must be transformed after the likeness of our Lord and Savior – Jesus Christ. No Jesus – no peace – know Jesus – know peace. Romans 5:1 – Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

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August 13, 2018 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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