Allen Raynor Weblog: “Building on the Solid Rock” (Pt. 2)
(April 23, 2019)
The foolish, according to Jesus, do not build on the rock but rather on the sand. Matthew 7:26-27 says “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; and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
Lots of things have been poorly built, carelessly built, and foolishly built over time. Some have purposefully been built to appear to be something they are not. Movie props are meant to fool, deceive, or create a fantasy. They are easily built, erected, and taken down. They lack the structural integrity of real buildings; however if you look at them “strait-on” they can look like the real thing, especially with the help of camera angles and lighting. They serve a particular purpose and are then dismantled. They are not built to stand the test of time or have permanence. Yet, many lives are built in such a way that they are little more than movie props, facades, or fantasies.
The foolish, according to Jesus, are the ones who build their lives, their hopes, and their dreams on shifting sand and unstable earth ready to be washed away or blown over when storms come. They lack resistance, strength, and quality. They may even be beautiful but they lack the foundation that really gives support and strength. Storms comes when tragedy strikes, or things occur that cannot be easily explained such as death, illness, job loss, financial loss, home loss, etc. When many stand before God in final judgment it will then be realized they did not build their lives on Christ and His Words and He will say to them “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” Lots and lots of people will one day find themselves separated from God for all eternity in Hell who built their lives on something else other than Christ and His Words; the firm foundation.
There is an important distinction to be made here. In this parable, Jesus is pointing to His Words; specifically the sermon He has just preached. There is a call for action in response to His Words. I like the point that commentator Charles Price makes when he says “The wise man who built his house on the rock was the man who ‘hears these words of mine and puts them into practice’ (vs. 24). The foolish man who built his house on sand was the man who ‘hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice’ (vs. 26). The rock is obedience. The sand is disobedience.” (Charles Price; Matthew: The King and His Kingdom; FOTBS; 148)
Anyone who has the physical ability to hear can hear, but not all will obey. Hearing with only physical ears is not enough. Christ’s Words must be heard with spiritual ears and then acted upon accordingly. Not everyone who says “Lord, Lord” will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Not every church member will inherit eternal life. Church membership may be only part of the “prop” to fool and deceive. It is the people who actually believe Jesus’ Words, to the point of obedience, that will inherit eternal life. Those who do not believe will be condemned. In John 3:20-21 we read “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” The Words of Jesus represent our hope. We follow Jesus because we realize there is not salvation in any other. How appropriate are the words of the hymn writer John Rippon published in 1787 “How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord is laid for your faith in His excellent Word; what more could He say than to you He hath said; to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled.” The last stanza says “The soul that on Jesus who hath leaned for repose I will not, I will not desert to his foes; that soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake, I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!”
Dr. Allen Raynor, Pastor