Build On The Rock
…the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.
– Matthew 7:25
Everyone is building their life on something and you can boil it down to two foundations. A foundation of truth or one of lies.
Another way of saying it is that we will either build our life on what God says about himself and us, or we build on what we want to say of him and ourselves. This is exactly what Jesus is getting at in Matthew 7:24-27. In this verse Jesus has just finished giving his sermon on the mount that began back in Matthew 5. His message is one that pushes past all the religious confusion in Jesus's day, and in ours too, and gets straight to the heart of the matter. Do we trust in him or not? Do we trust in a religious system and our own ability to fulfill some religious duty, or do we trust in him as our Lord and only hope of freedom from God’s wrath against our sinful nature?
Jesus wraps up his message with this illustration:
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. – Matthew 7:24–27
Jesus is here calling the people to make a choice. Are you going to follow me? Or will you continue to ignore me? Just before he gives this illustration of a house built on sand or on the rock, Jesus tells the people:
Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 7:21
This is Jesus giving the invitation at the end of his sermon. He is telling them that not everyone who simply knows about him, tries to follow all the rules just right, or tries to decide for themselves who God is, will be with him forever in heaven. It is those who will listen to him and receive him for who he truly his. It is those who will build their life on him alone!
Now, many people will use this illustration of two houses to try and share how God gets us through difficult times. It is true, God gives us the strength to persevere through trials, however, I think something different is on display here. The storm and rising water that comes against the house in this illustration, I believe, is God’s wrath against those who reject and rebel against him. That there will come a day, that those who have built their life upon Christ, will not be shaken by God's judgment. However, those who have built their life on themselves and their own opinions on who God is and ignore what God has said about himself will fall. And their fall will be great.
So what are the words that Jesus is saying must be heeded for a person to be built on the rock? I think it can be summed up with this.
God is holy and we have sinned against him by rejecting his way, his power, his glory, and his rule over us. We reject his good, loving, and kind lordship over us and in that made ourselves God’s enemy. Because of that, we are under his wrath and deserve death. However God desired to make a way for people to be saved. So in the greatest display of love and justice, Jesus, who is God in flesh, lived a sinless life and died in our place on the cross and then rose again from the dead to conquer our sin! He took the penalty of sin for those who will build their lives on him. For those that willfully repent from trying to live life on their own terms and commit to a life of following God’s way. For those who realize they could never earn God’s forgiveness and put their faith and trust only in Christ!
Those are the ones who are built on the rock because they are built on Christ. He will not let us fall into God’s wrath! However, those who just tip their hat to Jesus, or simply think God is too loving to punish any sinners, or think they have done enough good things that God will see they are a nice guy, or those who want to add a little Jesus to their lives to try keep them out of hell but not make him the center of their lives, you friend are building on sand and heading toward a great fall!
Be sure of your foundation, be sure it is upon Christ and him alone!