James 1:21-25 (KJV)
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Matthew 7:19-27 (KJV)
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
1 Samuel 15:22-23 (KJV)
22 And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
1 Corinthians 15:19 (KJV)
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
"The church is built upon this Rock, and so is every believer."
Some are banking on and building their lives upon Christ, in a way that If Christ does not live, they’re done for, they’ve lost everything, all their investments perish, they had no back up plan. They did not prepare a Plan B, they were fully persuaded, and unreservedly convinced of Christ, they dropped their nets and followed Him. They sold all that they had, and gave it to the poor, they let the dead bury the dead, put their hand to the plow and didn’t look back, they put their parents, siblings, children, spouse, even their own lives in second place to Christ. To live is Christ to Die is Gain, They sought first the kingdom of God and His righteousness! If Christ is not risen, they have nothing.
“the obedience of faith is our only way to Christ: for to them that obey him, and to them only, he becomes the Author of eternal salvation. Those build upon Christ, who having sincerely consented to him, as their Prince and Saviour, make it their constant care to conform to all the rules of his holy religion, and therein depend entirely upon him for assistance from God, and acceptance with him, and count every thing but loss and dung that they may win Christ, and be found in him. Building upon a rock requires care and pains: they that would make their calling and election sure, must give diligence. They are wise builders who begin to build so as they may be able to finish (Lu 14:30), and therefore lay a firm foundation.” –Matthew Henry
Meanwhile some are building their lives upon a less firmly convinced foundation. Just in case, you know. What if? So, they do put their trust in uncertain riches, they do serve their own bellies, they do pander to other allegiances and other interests, they fellowship and maintain close ties those that lead them to compromise, and they do whatever they can so as not to offend someone who doesn’t believe this Christ. After all, if it turns out at the very end that Christianity was not true, then it will have been pointless to have suffered so needlessly after all. They fill up the condemnation which was written of them…:
2 Timothy 3 (KJV)
3 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
There are those who are building their lives on Christ, here in this room today. I have seen it. And to those who are sitting here I will have you to know that you join a great army of saints who have gone on before you, who “all died in faith.. having seen afar off, and were persuaded, and embraced, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. They declared plainly that they were seeking a better country. an heavenly one: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” This is the hope that maketh not ashamed: “Christ in you the hope of Glory”
Then there are those who are building their life on the sand, whose hope is the work of their own hands, a million other little things, and whose hope is not Christ. Therefore their religion is vain, and they do not obey, they cannot. The idea is too absurd. The truth of it all does not work in them.
There are those who do the will of God.
There are those who do not do the will of God, with regards to Matthew 7.
"But none they less, they are busy doing, and…
The hypocrite's plea against the strictness of this law, offering other things in lieu of obedience," -MH
This is the difference:
They are both hearing The Word, they are both listening, they are both amening the same messages, they are both declaring Christ as Lord, emphatically, they are both singing His praise, and calling themselves by His name, and yes, how terrifying, they both may even be taken up with ministry, full of doings and activity in a general sense, like a Martha frantically busying herself with noble affairs, generally good things, even religious work with Christ in view, prophesying in His name, casting out devils, and doing many wonderful works, but when you put the litmus test of scripture to them, when you examine these two in light of the Word of God, when you view it all through the lenses of the life that has been laid out for the saint to walk in, there is a major discrepancy, there is a sudden and obvious difference between the two men that you couldn’t see before, it becomes apparent that only one is taken up with doing the will of God, only one is obeying God from a heart of gratitude…. While the other is only still doing what is right in his own eyes, for his own gain, and for all his amens, and religious duty, and scriptural affirmations, and busyness, he is still yet a rebel!
And when he comes to the judgement he will say "Lord, Lord.." and he will plead with the Lord to look upon his religious labors, look at his sacrifices for Christ, his righteous deeds, his ministry, his own machines he busied himself with making, all his many wonderful works, and the Lord will call him a worker of iniquity, for he is only an inventor of evil things, whose righteous deeds are as filthy rags in the sight of The Lord.
“To do Christ's sayings is conscientiously to abstain from the sins that he forbids, and to perform the duties that he requires.” –Matthew Henry
1 Samuel 15:22b (KJV)
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
After some time in the US Navy as a Sonar Technician aboard Submarines, Austin moved to Panama City to be near his ailing mother as she fought a losing battle with lung cancer. Her loss was one of several during a brief period where this young man was faced with his own weaknesses and hopelessness. During this period of great breaking, The Lord Jesus Christ transformed a prideful and perverse drunkard into a humble witness of the cross. Today by God's redeeming grace, Austin labors as a preacher, a missionary, and the pastor of Christ Evangel Christian Fellowship.