“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”
One of the primary treatises on the Sermon on the Mount is a series of sermons, about thirty of them, done by David Martyn Lloyd-Jones…a well-known English pastor. I think he died sometime in the late sixties or early seventies. And Lloyd-Jones says, and I have to echo him, that the Sermon on the Mount, if you really read it…ought to scare you to death.
There are people who look at the Sermon on the Mount and say “Wow! That is so beautiful. Just get rid of the rest of the Bible and give me this. Let this be my life.” But the answer is, knowing what we are really like…that would be a recipe for disaster. Because the Sermon on the Mount, certainly to the place we are now…this is doctrinally…theologically…it’s hitting the wall. Because we can’t do this.
But Lloyd-Jones goes on to say, and I agree with him here as well…Jesus says “I’ll declare to them ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.” We look at the Table…He sets this before those who are his, and he says to us “I know you. You are mine. I gave Myself for you. All of these things in the Sermon on the Mount…Ultimately, they describe Me and My character. And you are going to be like me.”
Do you understand that? I mean, in Philippians 1 Paul says “Of this one thing I am very confident, that He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” And that good work, of course, is your sanctification. If I can play Dr. Seuss and mangle the English language a little bit…your ‘Jesus-ification.’ “You’re making me more like Jesus.”
And for me and my wife…and for a bunch of people in Nacogdoches…we mourn because a dear friend has been taken from us. But I can write back to them and say “Reese is now like Jesus…as much as creation can be.” And that is what Jesus holds out to you.
He does it right here. He does it by His life. He does it by His Spirit. And He does it by signs. The sign of baptism…and the sign of the Lord’s Table. As opposed to saying “Depart from Me,” He says “Come sit down with Me, and let’s have a feast.”
I hope you don’t ever get tired of hearing me say that, because I don’t ever get tired of telling it to you.
Paul writes this…
For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.