Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Matthew: Jesus As Israel's Messiah And His Kingdom
Part XII: Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Summons Unto His Righteousness
C. Christ's Motivation Unto God's Righteousness In Stating The Fearful Exclusiveness Of Salvation
(Matthew 7:13-23)
  1. Introduction
    1. Having illustrated the Biblically consistent righteousness of His subjects, Jesus summoned His hearers to His righteousness, including a vastly superior view of the exclusiveness of God's salvation through Christ.
    2. This exclusivity is fearfully great, and motivates us to heed Christ to escape damnation and be saved:
  2. Christ's Motivation Unto God's Righteousness In Stating The Fearful Exclusiveness Of Salvation.
    1. Jesus taught that God's salvation is fearfully exclusive as to its gateway, Matthew 7:13-14:
      1. Christ called His hearers to enter into eternal life by way of the narrow gate, Matthew 7:13. We know from other Scriptures that this way is by faith alone in Christ alone, John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9.
      2. The wide gate with a corresponding wide way of ecumenism or of a worldwide, errant religion leads to eternal destruction, and many enter into it unto eternal death in hell, Matthew 7:13b.
      3. However, narrow is the gate and the way of faith alone in Christ alone that leads to eternal life, and few there be who find it, Matthew 7:14.
    2. Jesus taught that God's salvation is also fearfully exclusive as to its true messengers, Matthew 7:15-20:
      1. Christ warned His hearers to beware of false prophets who come in sheep's clothing, giving the appearance of being godly while they are inwardly ferocious wolves who selfishly destroy, Matthew 7:15 NIV. A similar warning is given in 2 Corinthians 11:14-15 where the Apostle Paul revealed that as Satan transforms himself to look like an angel of light, so, too, do his human ministers transform themselves to give the appearance of God's human ministers of righteousness.
      2. Since this fact requires us to discern between false ministers and the true, Jesus explained that every minister will have his real characteristics exposed by his "fruit," by what he produces in his life and ministry, Matthew 7:16a, a reality Jesus further clarified in Matthew 7:16b-20 (as follows):
        1. Just as men do not gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles, so every good tree produces only good fruit and every bad tree produces only bad fruit, Matthew 7:16b-18.
        2. Then, every bad tree that does not produce fruit is discarded, another revealing fact, Matt. 7:19-20.
        3. Applied to ministers, false ministers produce evil, unedifying deeds in life and ministry, and end up being discarded as useless by God and man where the true produce righteous, edifying deeds, and end up being valued by God and man. Thus, as 1 Timothy 5:22, 24-25 reveals, this requires time, so we should allow time to expose the truth that we be accurate in disapproving or approving ministers.
    3. Jesus taught that God's salvation is also fearfully exclusive as to its recipients, Matthew 7:21-23:
      1. Not every person who calls Jesus, "Lord, Lord," in the last day will enter the kingdom of God, but only those who do the will of God the Father Who is in heaven, Matthew 7:21. In other words, saying nice, appealing words will not save, but only truly trusting in Christ in the heart saves, John 3:16.
      2. Indeed, Jesus claimed that in the last judgment, many will say unto Him, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?" However, He will say unto them, "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!" (Matthew 7:22-23 NIV)
      3. Thus, performing even miraculous ministries like prophecy, and doing seemingly good miracles like exorcising demons, and performing many miracles that many would think indicates they work in God's power means nothing apart from true faith in Jesus Christ! Much like Deuteronomy 13:1-4 warns about people who perform miracles but with the evil intent of teaching people to depart from the true God, miracles can be performed by Satanic powers, 2 Thessalonians 2:9. We must thus trust in Jesus Christ versus relying on even miraculous works or saying nice things to be saved!
Lesson: Salvation's gateway, its true messengers and its recipients are all fearfully exclusive, so we must take CARE to heed God's call to BELIEVE ALONE in CHRIST ALONE as taught by His TRUE messengers to be TRULY saved, or we will go unto eternal damnation!

Application: May we take heed that we are sure of the way of eternal life, and then may we truly take it!