Program Air Date - 10-23-05



"Our Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy," Psalm 145:8! No wonder we have assembled this day to laud and magnify His Wondrous Name!

Let me welcome each of you to the Living Word program on this glorious Lord's day morning! How wonderful it is to know that you have chosen to put God first this day and to assemble for this time of worship before His Mighty Throne!

As always, it will be our privilege to offer sacrifices to God this morning, with the fruit of our lips and the obedience of our actions, may we all be encouraged on this the Lord's day. However, may we each do our part so that ultimately we will offer praise to God according to His truth as is found in His Precious Will. So as we begin our focus on the Creator, will you bow with me in prayer?


This morning let me take just a moment and thank our viewers in Southwest, Missouri, as well as Northwest Arkansas! We appreciate your love and support of the Living Word program. With this in mind, I would like to invite those in the Berryville, Arkansas area to join with me in a special study of God's Living Word. I have been blessed by being asked to join the brethren in Berryville for a Gospel meeting which begins this morning and will go through Wednesday night. Our theme is, "Do All In The Name Of The Lord." So if you have the opportunity we would love to have you join us for this time of growth in the teachings of Christ. I look forward to meeting many of you. Feel free to contact us if you need any further information!

Now let's join in our first hymn of the day. It's name, "Let Me Live Close To Thee."

(SONG # 1)


In the Bible we learn of many things which bring joy to and which please our Lord. One such thing is found in Psalm 133:1, where David proclaimed, "Behold, how good and how pleasant is it for brethren to dwell together in unity!" Doesn't this just make perfect sense?

I want us to remember what Jesus said about unity, in His prayer of John 17, beginning in verse 20, "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:"

God's desire is that we are all one in Him, just as He is one. This means we are to be completely unified, in spirit and truth, striving to remain in unison and harmony concerning all those teaching which are given according to the doctrine of Christ.

A final and familiar verse we mention is found in Ephesians 4:3, there Paul speaks to the church at Ephesus and encourages then to, "...endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Notice that this unity as clarified by the Holy Spirit, is again a unity of oneness, common belief and principles, with God and His Will being at the heart. We never find that God encouraged, condoned or even accepted a unity based on compromise, or on getting along at any cost. The only unity that pleases God is based on where He is, "in the light," and that's where all true fellowship must begin, remain and end to be pleasing in His sight - 1 John 1:7. Are you striving to achieve the unity which Christ taught? Why not follow and obey this very important command of our Creator!

Today we will continue our studies from the Sermon on The Mount. Our lesson this day is entitled, "The Wise Man And The Foolish Man." So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, I will lead us in the main thoughts of the day. Now it's time to join in our second song, the name of this hymn, "Yield Not To Temptation."

(SONG # 2)


Speaker: Ray Sullins

Every year, we have a Vacation Bible School and probably one of the most favorite of songs is "The Wise Man Built His House." I know my little children enjoy certainly singing that song and going through the motions and talking about the man who was wise, who built his house on a proper foundation, but yet also a man who was foolish, who built his house on the sand.

Today, we actually want to look at the scripture that this song is taken from as we continue again in the Great Lessons From the Sermon on the Mount. We are in Matthew chapter 7 and verse 24. In verse 24, the Bible begins in the words of Jesus to say this, "Therefore, whoever hears this saying of Mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock and the rain descended and the floods came and the winds blew and beat on that house and it did not fall for it was founded on the rock, but everyone who hears these sayings of Mine and does not do them will be likened to a foolish man who builds his house on the sand and the rain descended and the floods came and the winds blew and beat on that house and it fell and great was its fall." Certainly again then we are reminded here about this very important story. It isn't a story at all for children, but a story about you and I as adults, as followers of God. I want you to notice what He starts out with there in verse 24 of chapter 7 where He actually states that, "whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them..." Well, we've been spending now multiple months looking at the different great lessons from God here in the Sermon on the Mount, the many teachings, the many doctrinal things that God says, "If you are My children," the many things that He says, "Happy are you and blessed are you," the many things that again not only show that we will receive the blessings of this earth, but also the great reward of eternal life in heaven. And so what does He state here? He says, "Whoever hears these things and does them." Well, we don't have to back up very far and we begin to see the very same idea being presented in the text. You might recall last week we looked at a verse there in again Matthew chapter 7 that talked about the fact that those who say, Lord, Lord will not inherit the kingdom of God unless they do what? The Will of the Father. But notice also there in verse 23 because those who do not do the Will of the Father, who hear it, but do not do it, will be told what? Verse 23 says, "I never knew you. Depart from Me you who practices lawlessness."

So here we learn what the wise man and the foolish man are all about. It is about the individual and the choice that he or she makes in reference to serving God. Will they choose to be wise? By doing what? Hearing and then doing what is supposed to be done according to the Will of God. Or will you and I choose to be foolish by doing what? Hearing the Word of God but not doing it and therefore when the rains and the trials and the tribulations come, we fall. Our houses do not and cannot stand firm. And so certainly as we talk about the wise man building his house, we would want to be wise in the eyes of God.

Another idea that I would like to bring out here is found in verse 24 where it talks about the one who hears, and then the one who does it being referred to as the wise man. But I want to focus on who the wise man is building on. I want you to notice there that it is said that he builds on the rock. Go back if you will even in the Old Testament to the book of Deuteronomy. I want you to notice there in the book of Deuteronomy chapter 32 that as Moses spoke there to the children of Israel that we find a clarifying statement about a rock, a rock that they must build on if they were to be proper in the eyes of God the Father in Heaven. If you'll notice there in chapter 2 again of the book of Deuteronomy beginning in verse 1, here is what Moses says. "Give ear, of heavens, and I will speak, and hear oh earth the words of my mouth and let my teachings drop as rain, my speech be still as the dew as raindrops on tender mercies, and as showers on the grass for I proclaim the name of the Lord, ascribe greatness to our God..." Hear this. "He is the rock. His work is perfect for all His ways are just, a God of truth without injustice, righteousness and upright is He." What do we learn here about God? What do we learn here about the Creator? It states that God is not only great, that not only is His name to be proclaimed, not only is He just and true, not only is He righteous, and not only do we learn here that He is one who is upright, but he states here that God is the rock. Well, when we sing then "The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock," what is this rock? God. Who must we build on, brothers and sisters? Friends, who is it that we must look to as the foundation for all that we do spiritually? God. God is our rock.

We see further then back in the New Testament the concept of this same idea. Maybe not using here specifically the idea of the rock, but using here more specifically the idea of the knowledge of the foundation itself. I wish you would turn there with me to the book of 1 Corinthians and we want to look at chapter 3 because here as Paul speaks to the church at Corinth, he helps us to again see the concept of this rock, the power of the rock and what it is that this rock is or what foundation that it is. He mentions there in verse 9, "The building of God." He says there in verse 9, "For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field and you are God's building." Go on to verse 3 there to 1 Corinthians, or rather go on to verse 10 there of 1 Corinthians chapter 3. "According to the grace of God that was given to me, a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation and another builds on it, but let each one take heed how he builds on it for there is no other foundation that anyone can lay than that which was laid, which is Jesus Christ." Do you hear that? There is no other foundation. No other foundation to what? To the house that is built. The house that is what? You and I, who are we? The people of God. We are to build our house on Jesus Christ, Christ who is the rock.

Well, this might also take us back to a very familiar statement that Jesus made Himself back in Matthew 16 as He was telling there the disciples something, and specifically Peter, in verse 16 as Peter made the great confession, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God." I want you to notice when Jesus said He would build His church what He would build it on. There in verse 18, He says, "And I also say to you, Peter, that on this rock, I will build My church." What is the statement, the wondrous statement that Peter has just made that God, there in the flesh, Jesus is commending him for? That Jesus Christ is the Son of God and so therefore on that statement, He says, "Blessed are you Simon Barjonah..." Why? Because upon this rock... What rock? Jesus Christ, the foundation, God, the rock. Well, you see again, and when you sing the song, when we read the verse there in Matthew 7, we learn that the wise man building his house on the rock means that he builds his house on God and more specifically for you and I as Christians today on Jesus Christ the foundation, the one whom "it is only by His name, Acts 4:12, that we can find salvation, that we can build the foundation and be the house that God truly wants us to be.

I also then want you to notice with me now that we understand that the wise man built his house on the rock and it withstood the winds and the rain and what is this showing again? The trials and the temptations, the tribulations, all the darts that Satan was hurling. There again the rock makes us strong. It allows us to stand firm. But then as we continue there, those who hear and do not do are foolish men. Why? They build on sand. They build on anything but the rock on God. But they build on things that are looser such as men, such as a church, such as something of this earth or physical possessions or family and when you've built on the sand and you're not on the rock, guess what happens. The rains will also descend. The winds will come. The tragedies will avail themselves and we will not be ready if we are not built on the rock, but those trials and those temptations will blow us down, will knock us down. I often am reminded of the little fairy tale we talk about sometimes, "The Three Little Pigs," and how there again the wolf came and he blew and he blew and most of the houses did not withstand, but only the house made of stone. There, brick or rock is the one that withstood. As Christians, it's the same. We must choose as builders for God, to choose to build only on the foundation, the foundation of the Master Builder Himself, Jesus Christ, God as the rock. So therefore, when the rains come, the fall will not come as well.

I also like what it said here in verse 27 because it talks about the kind of fall. It says, "And it fell...", but it doesn't stop there. It says, "And it fell and the fall was great." It wasn't just a stumbling or something that happened for a moment. It was a great fall. Why? Because it had eternal bearing. It was eternal in nature. Once again, we find that in scriptures. We can back up again as we've already seen in verse 23 and it stated there that "those who had said Lord, Lord, but not done the Will of the Father," He declared to them, "I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who work lawlessness or practice lawlessness." Why? Because they didn't know Him. They were not doing the Will of God. They heard but they weren't doing it. So they were like the foolish man and so therefore they fell and their fall was great because they were cast away from the presence of God.

We might also notice the same idea in chapter 7 back in verse 13 where we begin to see introduced to us the narrow gate and also the broad gate. The narrow gate that leads to what? Eternal life. That leads to the promises of God, the wonders of heaven. And then the broad way that most are going in by that really is based on again physical things, on the flesh, on really where everyone else is and where the masses and the multitudes are going. You see even in that part of the Great Sermon On the Mount, we have the two sides predicted and really considered and we have the idea that the prediction that we might have eternal life with God and a narrow way that leads us only to God or a wide path to destruction, a life of eternal punishment, a life as we've read here, of a hard fall and therefore again, we are not only not ready, but we are those who will be punished according to what God has said. The same type of punishment that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 25 when in verse 46 He mentions there that "There are those who will go away into everlasting punishment, who have not done to God or to others as He commanded." But also in the same verse, He says, "There are those who are righteous who will go into eternal life. Great is the reward and hard is the fall." Isn't that why in the same passage there that we find in Matthew 25 that even in verse 31 it talks about how that God, Jesus coming on His throne as the Son of Man will someday separate the sheep and the goats, the faithful from the unfaithful, and at that time it will be determined whether they were wise and whether they have been firm and had the right foundation or whether they had a shaky, sandy foundation and therefore fell and then hard is the fall.

Finally, I would like to look at two more verses. One, found in the book of Ephesians there to the church at Ephesus as Paul encouraged them again in relationship to the house of God. We are houses of God and we must build on the house of God. There in verse 19 of chapter 2, we read the following, "Now therefore, there are no longer strangers or foreigners but citizens with saints and members of the household of God." What are we? Members and people of the household of God and we are built, it says there on the foundation of what? The apostles, the prophets, and even Jesus Christ Himself and the whole building works together. Why? Because it is built on the right foundation. You see, once again, we find the clear understanding, the clear teaching from Christ through the Holy Spirit as Paul spoke to the Ephesians that we are the house of God and that we must build not only on Christ, but on those who built on Christ like the apostles as well as the prophets.

But then I want you to notice one more thing about the firm thing, the house that is built on the rock. In 1 Peter chapter 4 and verse 17, "It is that same house of God that someday," it says there in verse 17, "when the time comes will be judged first. That is the house of God. And then after this, what will the end be," it says, "for the gospel of those who do not obey?" Again, the same depiction. The house of God, the wise people who are in God. But then on the other hand, those who choose not to be of God, who do not follow God and therefore what will their end be when they have rejected the very gospel of Jesus Christ? Well I again suggest as Jesus did, they will fall and the fall will be very hard. Why? Because there's only two opportunities: to do what we are doing, to love God and to serve Him and to obey and to let the world know and to let God know that we say, Lord, Lord, and we do His Will rather than to claim we love Him and to speak all day and to claim we are Christians, but yet really we have neglected to do the Will that has been found through the Word of God.

Will you take the challenge today to do the work of God and to follow His covenant and to do His Will just as He has commanded so that you might receive the great reward of eternal life someday when God comes back to receive His own?

(SONG # 3 - "Wonderful Words Of Life.")


Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in this offering to God. I know our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God!

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I pray to God that we are all striving to be wise according to the teachings of Christ. For only a truly wise man of God will build his house on those things that are about God and eternal in nature!

(Program closing)