THIS DOESN'T FIT THE MOLD: The key to packed churches & successful ministries, so we are told, is to preach informal, positive, practically oriented sermons. Certainly those attributes aren't bad in and of themselves, but that's not the way Jesus finishes out the most magnificent sermon ever preached.
Do not judge, for you will be judged in the same way
Take the log out of your eye
Don't throw your salvation out to the dogs and pigs
Wide and easy is the road to destruction, and most people are on it
False prophets are in disguise and are out to attack you like vicious wolves
If you don't bear good fruit, you'll be cut off and thrown into the fire
Many will say to me, Lord, Lord... then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, evildoers'
The storm is coming, and if your life is built on the sand you will fall with a great crash.
The Bible is not merely a book of good advice for a well lived life, and Biblical preaching does not have making you feel good about yourself as its primary goal. Although tough teachings like this are not easy to hear, be thankful that God gives us the medicine we need to bring us back home to Him.
BUT IT'S NEVER ALL HELLFIRE & DAMNATION: Jesus is harsh in this sermon, but He also includes some amazing promises:
When you remove the log from your eye (through the power of the Holy Spirit), you will see clearly
Ask / seek / knock and you will find
Your Father in heaven can't wait to give you good gifts
The narrow, difficult road leads to life
You will be recognized by the good fruits you bear
Everyone who hears these words of Christ and puts them into practice is like a wise man who builds his house upon the rock. They will withstand the coming storm.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father in heaven, the giver of all good gifts (v11).
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Hear these words of Christ and put them into practice in your life (v24).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: