For Lord’s Day July 8, 2012
Last Lord’s Day evening, we began the last “mini-series” through the first half (officially) of the Larger Catechism on what we are to believe concerning God. This last series covers the topic of Judgment Day. You were encouraged to “Be Left Standing” based on Christ’s words about the End in Luke 21:34-36.
We continue this Lord’s Day evening and the next with the LC and Scripture on Judgment Day. In preparation, I strongly encourage you listen to or watch this sermon by Missionary Paul Washer on the same matter. It’s a powerful, controversial message labeled “shocking” that was given to more than 5,000 youth at a conference, and has since been downloaded more than 180 thousand times: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=52906154239
I came upon this gripping sermon (which I believe is the most listened to on SermonAudio) Monday morning looking for a sermon for me to sit under. The sermon is based on the following text:
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 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. 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? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 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: 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. 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: 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. (Matthew 7:13-27)
One thing that really stood out to me in Pastor Washer’s sermon was a comment he made on verse 13. He said that we have neglected in the American church to notice that it is not only a narrow gate we enter, but a narrow path we follow in being Christians. That’s worth meditating on today as you live your life for Christ into this Lord’s Day’s worship.
To get the context of what led to this message based on what he witnessed at the conference prior to preaching, visit http://tinysa.com/pw/background for a 12-minute interview. It’s sad and striking.
People don’t want to hear messages like this much anymore. I hope and trust you do. I plan on watching this again with my family within the next few days. My girls were looking over my shoulder at times watching it, and were captivated, volunteering “That’s powerful”, and saying they want to watch the whole thing another time. It is good that the church pays as much heed to Judgment Day as the world might. After all, not all who say “Lord, Lord”, will enter heaven. And remember in the text with Luke above that Jesus was preaching to worshippers in the Temple, who wisely came back to hear more (vs. 38).