Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: … And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:Matthew 7:24; 26
As Jesus closes out the Sermon on the Mount, He includes a call to action as all good sermons do. Yet, we will see that not everyone responded the same way.
However, we should note first what people are being called into action in response to Jesus’ teachings. Jesus is not giving a charge to those who did not hear Him teach. All those under consideration in this lesson heard the words of Jesus. Since all those who are charged to take and use Jesus’ teachings heard His sermon, they are all without excuse if they do not live according to what Jesus taught.
And so it is with each of God’s children today. We need to be careful that we are not only shouting “Amen” when we agree with the preacher. We need to be taking action with what we have been taught by applying the sermon to our lives and transforming our walk to be more like Jesus. After all, this is our reasonable service of thankfulness!
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.Romans 12:1-2
If we do not transform our lives to walk more like Jesus, then we are conforming our lives to the world. There is no gray area.
Preachers have the responsibility to teach all the Bible to God’s people. They are like watchmen on the wall to sound warnings, and calls to fight. Consider these words from Ezekiel:
Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.Ezekiel 33:1-6
If the preacher does not preach as instructed by God and danger comes upon His people, God will hold the preacher responsible for not sounding the trumpet. However, if the preacher is faithful to teach the Bible to the congregation and they do not respond, it is their own fault if they are harmed when danger comes. And it will come.
The writer of Hebrews tells us that it is for our own good that we listen attentively to the word of God being preached and then respond in our active discipleship.
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.Hebrews 13:17