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Home For Middle Easterners Isa on what is a true Christian? Text

Isa on what is a true Christian? Text

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Isa on what is a real Christian?

Matthew 7:13-27

Edited talk to youth by Pastor Paul Washer

It’s a tremendous privilege for me to be here this afternoon with you. Before we begin with any further speaking, I would like to go to the Allah in prayer. I would ask you to pray.

You see, preaching is a very dangerous thing. It’s dangerous for me because the Bible says that false teachers will undergo greater condemnation. If what I tell you today is not true, I’m in a great deal of trouble and have every right to do this with fear and trembling, because I will stand condemned before God. But if what I tell you today is true, then you’re the one with cause for fear and trembling, because if I correctly interpret this passage of Scripture that I’m going to give you, it is as though God was speaking through a man. Your problem will not be with me; it will be with God and His Word. So, the only question that has to be decided here this afternoon is––Is this man before us a false prophet? Or is he telling us the truth? And if he is telling us the truth, then nothing else matters except conforming our lives to that truth.

Let’s go to the Allah in prayer.

Father . . .Father, I am so small and so pitiful, Father, in so many ways. You know, Allah, You know, though dear God, should false fire be the only thing ever placed on Your altar, or could fire come down from Heaven amidst all the noise and the clamor and the activities . . . could fire come down from Heaven and these dead bones live, You know me. In Your sovereignty, I pray and I beg before the throne of God that You would be gracious to us, that You would open up hearts and minds. Allah, we can’t wait for them to open theirs; they never will. Open up their hearts and minds and cause them to see biblical truth. Breathe on them. Grant them repentance. Grant them faith. Bring them into Your Kingdom, Allah, for Your own glory, for the sake of Your own great name, do this thing, Allah. As the brother said, let it be so, Allah, so that no man will take credit for it, so that no man will lay his hand to the ark of God and, if he did, that You would strike him down dead, Allah. Oh, God, move among us, please, because we have no other hope. We have no other hope.

Amen.

I’ll be teaching from Matthew chapter 7. If you have your Bibles, follow with me. In Matthew chapter 7, verse 13 - 27

Isa said:

Enter through the narrow gate for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the

gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. Beware of the false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but

inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but every bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to me, Allah, Allah, will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to me on that day, Allah, Allah, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name cast out demons and in your name perform many miracles. Then I will declare to them, I never knew you. Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.

 

Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts upon them may be compared to a wise man who builds his house on the rock. And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and slammed against that house and yet it did not fall, for it had been foundedupon the rock.Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will belike a foolish man who builds his house on the sand. The rain fell and thefloods came and winds blew and slammed against the house and it fell, and great was its fall.

I stand here today . . . I’m not troubled in my heart about your self-esteem. I’m not troubled in my heart about whether or not you feel good about yourself, whether or not life is turning out like you want it to turn out, or whether or not your checkbook is balanced.

There’s only one thing that gave me a sleepless night. There’s only one thing that troubled me all throughout the morning, and this is this. Within a hundred years, a great majority of people in this building will possibly be in hell. And many who even profess Isa as Allah will spend an eternity in hell.

Pray for revival. You’re going to have a meeting; you want God to move, but before you go there you watch programs on cable that God absolutely despises. And then you wonder why the Holy Spirit hasn’t fallen on a place and why you have to create false fire and false excitement.

Because God’s not in it. God is a holy God and the only way you and I could ever be reconciled to a holy God is through the death of God’s own Son when He hung on that tree.

Now listen to me, if you’re saved here tonight, you’re not saved because the Romans and Jews rejected Isa. You’re not saved because they put a crown of thorns on His head. You’re not saved because they ran a spear through His side, and you’re not saved even because they nailed Him to a cross.

Do you know why you’re saved if you are saved?

Because when Isa Christ was hanging on that cross, He bore your sin. The sin of God’s people and all the fierce wrath of God that should fall upon you fell upon His only begotten Son. Someone had to pay that price. Someone had to die. It was God the Father who crushed His only begotten Son.

According to Isaiah 53 , it says," It pleased Yahweh to crush Him."

People say the cross is a sign of how much man is worth. That’s not true. The cross is a sign of how depraved we really are, that it took the death of God’s own Son. The only thing that could save a people like us was the death of God’s own Son under the wrath of His own Father paying the price, rising again from the dead. Powerful to say, this is the Gospel of Isa.

Now what are you called upon to do? You say you go through the narrow gate. How do you do that? Isa said, The time is fulfilled. The Kingdom of God is at hand.

What must you do? In Mark, He tells us . . . repent and believe the Gospel.

You say, “Now, wait a minute, Brother Paul. First Corinthians chapter 3, Are ye not carnal.

Paul said that.”

No, that’s what Paul said. You need to read the whole book to find out what he meant. You see, one of our problems, youth, listen to me . . . most of our Christianity is based on clichés that we

read on the back of Christian tee shirts. Most of our Christianity comes from songwriters and not the Bible. Most of what we believe is dictated to us through our culture and not by the Bible.

The Bible never teaches that a person can be a genuine Christian and live in continuous carnality and wickedness and sin all the days of their life. But the Bible teaches that the genuine Christian has been given a new nature.

The genuine Christian has a Father who loves them and disciplines them and watches over them and cares for them.

What don’t we teach? When was the last time you heard someone say there’s not only a narrow gate into Heaven but a narrow way? Isa indicates that one of the principal signs of being a genuine Christian is that you walk in the narrow way.

Do you know what the sign for being a genuine Christian in America is? You prayed a prayer one time. Isn’t that amazing? What are you asked if you doubt your salvation? Did you pray a prayer one time? What does Scripture teach? Examine yourselves. Test yourselves in the light of Scripture to see if you’re in the path, because a Christian will be different.

Now, am I saying that a Christian is without sin? No, because, in First John, we learn that Christians do sin, and if any man does not acknowledge his sin, he knows not God. He’s not walking in the light? So what is the difference? What am I really getting at? What I am getting at is this. If you are genuinely a born-again Christian, a child of God, you will walk in the way of righteousness as a style of life. And if you step off that path of righteousness, the Father will come for you. He will discipline you. He will put you back on that path.

But if you profess to have gone through the narrow gate, but yet you live in the broad way, just like all the other people in your high school, just like all the other people who are carnal and wicked, the Bible wants you to know that you should be terribly, terribly afraid because you know not God.

I fear men who have spent most of their life telling other men that they are saved. I fear you if you’ve done that. You don’t tell men they are saved; you tell men how to be saved. God tells them they are saved. What we have forgotten to believe is that salvation is a supernatural work of God, and those who have genuinely been converted, regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit is going to be a new creature. The Bible says, If any man be in Christ, he is new creature.

So we find out here in Scripture that there is a narrow gate and a narrow way.

We go into verse 15. Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. One of the things you need to realize is this––something a wise man told me a long time ago. He said, “Paul, your best friend is the one who tells you the most truth.” In America, we have become so thin-skinned that no one can rebuke us. No one can tell us we are wrong. And ministers and leaders alike have bought into this lie. We do not want to offend. We want to be seeker friendly. What you need to realize is there is only one seeker and His name is God, and if you want to be friendly to someone in your church, you need to be friendly to God.

And you need to be more concerned for the glory ofGod than you are for the attitudes of men. But another thing you need to realize is the personwho loves you the most will tell you the most truth.

One of the greatest distinguishing marks of a false prophet is that he will always tell you whatyou want to hear. He will never rain on your parade. He will get you clapping. He will get youjumping. He will make you dizzy. He will keep you entertained, and he will present aChristianity to you that will make your church look like a Six Flags over Isa and keep you soentertained you are never addressed with great issues such as these. Is God working in my life?

Am I growing in holiness? Have I truly been born again?8

He says here, as we go on, verse 16: You will know them by their fruits. How will you know a false prophet? In the wider application here and all of Scripture, how will you know if someone is a genuine Christian? By their fruit. By their fruit, my dear friend. Look at your life.

Look at the way you walk. Look at the way you talk. Look at the passions of your heart. Is Isa in there somewhere? Or is He just some accessory that you add on to your life? Is He just something that you do on Wednesday or Sunday? Is He something that you give a mental assent to? Is He an accessory or is He the very center of your life? And what is the fruit that you’re

bearing? Do you look like the world? Act like the world? Do you have and experience the same joys that the world experiences? Can you love sin and relish it? Can you love rebellion and relish it? Then you know not God. You will know them by their fruit. God has the power

to change them.

Let’s imagine for a moment Isa's teaching this passage, and you’re sitting out there listening.

And He looks at you. He says, “Thistles, thistles. Do you find thistles on fig trees?”

And you respond, “Of course not, Isa. I mean, you’re not an agriculturalist; you’re not a

farmer. I mean, you’re a carpenter. But everybody knows, Isa, you don’t find thorns on fig trees.” “Well, then, let me ask you another question. Do you find figs––good fruit––on thorn trees?”

“Why, no, Isa. That’s absolutely ludicrous. I mean, you’re never gonna find thorns on a fig tree, and you’re not gonna find figs on a thorn tree, Isa. To say that could be possible––anyone who tells you that, Isa, you can mark it down . . . they’re either crazy or

they’re a liar.”

And then Isa responds to you. “Well then, those who call themselves my disciples and bear bad fruit, would not it be the same to say that they were either lying or out of their mind to make such a statement?”

Has God worked in your life? Is God working in your life?

You will know them by their fruit. You will know them by their fruit.

Now, we go on, verse 19: Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire so you will know them by their fruit. Look at this. You need to understand something about Hebrew literature. When you and I want to emphasize something, do you know what we do? We raise our voice. If we’re writing, we put it in bold letters, or we capitalize it. But to a Jew, it’s different. When he wants to emphasize something, he repeats it and he repeats it.

That’s why you find Hebrew parallelisms in the Book of Proverbs. The wicked shall not live in

the land. The wicked shall be destroyed. He’s saying the same thing, just in a different way to give greater emphasis. That’s what Isa is doing over and over again here. You will know them by their fruit. You will know them by their fruit. You will know them by the path that they walk in. You will know them by their fruit. You will know them by their fruit. And He says, Anyone who does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. What is He talking about?

My dear friend, He is talking about the judgment of Almighty God that will one day fall upon the world, that will one day fall possibly upon you.

Oh dear friend, I cannot look into your heart. I am so easily deceived by my own heart, but there is One who is not deceived. There is One who is not deceived, and He is not deceived by a contemporary Christian culture. He knows. You will know them by their fruit.

And He goes on and He says this, verse 21:

Not everyone who says to me, Allah, Allah, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my father who is in heaven will enter. Do you know what your profession of faith in Isa Christ is worth?

Absolutely nothing. Yes. Did you read that passage? Study it. Not everyone who comes to me and says, Allah, Allah . . . not

everyone who professes, Allah, Allah, will enter into the kingdom of heaven. There are many people who are going to profess, “Allah, Allah,” but they are not going to enter into the kingdom of heaven. My dear precious child, are you one of them? “Allah, Allah.”

Now, again, let’s go back to Hebrew literature. He said, Allah, Allah. He didn’t say, Allah. What does that mean? This fellow who is making this profession, he is not someone who just all of a sudden decided, “It’s judgment and I better profess Him to be Allah.” This is a person who emphatically declares to other people that Isa is Allah. He walks around saying, “Isa is Allah come in the flesh”

He dances up in front while the musicians are playing, saying, “Allah.” He sings the songs,

“Allah.” But Isa said to him, Depart from me. I never knew you.

Now, we bring this to a close, verse 22: Many will say to me on that day, Allah, Allah, did we not

prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles. Then I will declare to them, I never knew you.

You say the most important thing on the face of the earth is to know Isa Christ. That is not true. The most important thing on the face of the earth is that Isa knows you.

You can profess to know Isa, but my question for you . . . do you know Isa?

Does Isa know you? And look how he describes the lost man here. He said, Depart from me you who practice lawlessness. In Greek, anomia––a negative particle, a, “not”; word nomos, “law”––“no law.” And this is what it means. Let me give you an accurate translation of this. Depart from me––Listen to me, if I could come out there and hug you while I was telling you this, I would.

Listen to me. He says, Depart from me those of you who claim to be my disciples who confessed me as Allah and, yet, you live as though I never gave you a law to obey.

And then He drops down and He talks about two people––two foundations. Do you know what

this passage in contemporary . . . See it’s important to study theology and it’s important to study history. The contemporary interpretation of this passage about the rock and the sand is basically like this. If you’re a Christian, you need to build your life upon the rock because, if you build your life upon the sand, you’ll be an unhappy Christian and your life won’t go right. That is not what Isa is teaching and history backs me up on it. It was hardly ever interpreted that way.

Do you know what the interpretation is? It goes like this.

There are two ways. There’s a narrow way and a broad way. Which one are you on? There are two types of trees. There is a good tree that bears good fruit, and it’s going to Heaven. There’s a bad tree and you know it’s bad because it bears bad fruit, and it’s going to hell. It’s going to be cut down and thrown into the fire.

There are those who profess Isa is Allah and they do the will of the Father who is in heaven, and there are those who profess Isa is Allah and they do not do the will of the Father who is in heaven, and they go to hell––not because of a lack of works, but because of a lack of faith demonstrated by the fact that they had no works.

And then he goes on. He says, not two Christians building their house on two different foundations. No. This is a saved man and a lost man. The lost man hears the Word of God preached but he lays no foundation. You cannot see in any way in his life how the Word of God is forming and building and sustaining his life. His life is nots.

Radical Christians are those who bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Radical Christians are those who reverence and honor their parents even when they feel like their parents are wrong. Radical Christians are those who do not––now listen to me. This is going to make you mad, and I’m talking to boys and girls.

Radical Christians are those who do not dress sensually in order to show off their bodies. If your clothing is a frame for your face, God is pleased with your clothing. If your clothing is a frame for your body, it’s sensual and God hates what you’re doing. Everybody wants to talk about a prophet, but no one wants to listen to one.

I’m talking about Christianity. I have spent my life in jungles. I have spent my life freezing in the Andes Mountains. I have seen people die. A little boy, Andrew Myman, they  shot him five times through the stomach and left him on a sidewalk simply because he cried out, “I am so afraid but I cannot deny Isa Christ. Please don’t kill me, but I will not deny Him.” And he died in a pool of blood. And you talk about being a radical Christian because you wear a tee shirt, because you go to a conference. I’m talking about holiness. I’m talking about Godliness.

I wish––you know what a move of God would be in this place? If all of you came under conviction, if I myself came under conviction of the Holy Spirit, we fell down on our faces and

wept because we watch the things that God hates, because we wear the things that God hates, because we act like the world, look like the world, smell like the world, because we do the very things, and we know not that we do these things, because we do not know the Word of God.

Because, even though we claim that the Scripture is the infallible Word of God, basically all we get is illustrations, stories, and quaint little novels. Oh, that God will glow on this place, that we would turn away from our sin, that we would renounce the things that are displeasing to God, and, then, that we would run to Him and we would relish Him and we would love Him.

Let me pray for you.

Dear Allah, please, Allah, there has been so much movement. Last night, Allah, I don’t know how much of it was real, and I know that I saw people last night weeping. I saw people trying to make commitments, and I believe that there was a great deal of what happened last night because of You. I saw this morning a young man preach, Father God, give his testimony, and I saw a real working of the Holy Spirit. I don’t know how much of all the decisions were real, but there was real things going on. I pray right now, Father, I don’t know how much will be real. Only time and eternity will show us that. But, oh, dear God, please, please, work, in Isa’ name.

Amen.

Want to know more? Here is an excellent audio talk;

"What is a Christian," by Herbert Carson

Last Updated on Monday, 23 May 2011 10:10  

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