Ask, Seek, and Knock
Though Jesus has taught us not to “Judge…lest ye be judged”; He has also given us commandment to make certain judgments. That can be seen in these things we will look at now. Jesus teaches us to Ask, Seek, and Knock. Could it be that the power of A.S.K. is that it is the mortar of God that holds the building stones (1 Peter 2:5) of the kingdom together, and keeps us strong in Him? We may know the answer to that question when we see Him face to face.
ASK, SEEK, AND KNOCK IN PRAYER (vv. 7-12).
* The first thing the Kingdom dweller must do is ASK;
+ for wisdom, knowledge, righteousnss, for making right judgments.
+ Ask for the glory of the Lord in all things.
+ Ask for His glory in your own life.
* The second thing the Kingdom dweller ASK in Seeking is to do it diligently, frequently, hopefully,
+ and once again; what ever we are seeking that we may glorify the Lord.
+ Also Seeking that others may enter through the right gate.
* The final thing in the ASK acrostic is in Knocking.
+ Be consistent, persistent, victorious, and again for the glory of the Lord.
+ Don’t give up on praying to fill the glory of the Lord.
“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” (v.12). The “Law and the prophets” has to do with the whole of the Word of God.
PEOPLE MUST BE SURE TO SEEK TO ENTER THE RIGHT GATE (vv. 13-14).
* Jesus tells us to enter the “strait gate” or “narrow gate”.
+ This thought gives us a picture of a path that is also narrow.
+ This gate is seen as narrow, rough, rocky, and often dangerous according to the flesh.
* The other gate is wide and broad, and this is the journey which all of us are on until we heed the call through the “Narrow gate”.
+ The broad gate leading to destruction is the one of popularity.
+ You go along to get along. There is tolerance. There is political correctness. There you can be and are expected to be Socially Progressive.
+ It is the gate of the masses. It flows with ease; everyone is going the same direction.
* The “Narrow gate” is one which only very few enter.
+ This gate has a high price to enter it.
+ It requires righteousness. A righteousness that is far greater than any of our own – any greater than that of the scribes and Pharisees
“For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Phraisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 5:20 (NKJV).
We must conclude also that there are two groups of people represented here. Quoting John MacArthur, “The many will include pagans and nominal Christians, atheist and religionists, theists and humanists, Jews and Gentiles — every person from whatever age, background, persuasion, and circumstance who has not come to saving obedience to Jesus Christ.” MATTHEW, Vol. 1, p. 457 of THE MACARTHUR NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY.
* The few is not few because there is no room.
+ Jesus’s death, burial and resurrection has provided room for all who will believe.
+ However, you come in through the gate at the price He paid, not yours or mine.
+ The room God provides is boundless.
WITH PERSISTENCE, BEING CONSISTENT, AND IN THE VICTORY OF THE CROSS AND RESURRECTION GIVE GLORY TO JESUS CHRIST (vv. 15-20).
* By our looking at verse 15 it seems we are required to make judgments by action, words spoken, and behavior.
+ A “False prophet” is to be identified as a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
+ How does one discern a false prophet? By the words they speak and the lives they live.
“If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’ — which you have not known — and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst” Deuteronomy 13:1-5 (NKJV).
“And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken? — when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.” Deuteronomy 18:21-22 (NKJV).
* Usually, false teachers/prophets like having a large following.
+ They are dependent upon the applause and accolades of the people.
+ The true prophet of God proclaims the Word of the Lord, and is not motivated by men, money, or mention.
* One of the fruits of a true prophet of God is his faithfulness to the Word of God.
+ The prophet of God will preach the Word of God even while he is being stoned, and hated and despised.
+ The prophet of God will preach even when it seems no one is listening, or seems that no one cares.
* The fruits give the verdict. The fruits of the true prophet of God will be that those who hear the Word of the Lord through him will be on their face before God, seeking righteousness, holiness, and the face of God.
* In fact, the fruits of the prophet of God may not be seen immediately; they may come after the prophet is dead.
THE FINAL JUDGEMENT IN IN THE HANDS OF THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE (vv. 21-23).
* Many of the false prophets and teachers are those who are relying upon their “good deeds” to get them into presence and pleasure of God.
+ They believe that by their many deeds they surely will be allowed into God’s house.
+ They have afterall healed the sick, cast out devils, and preached in His name; why shouldn’t God allow them in?
* The reason they will not get in is because they are not known by the Savior.
* They are in fact self-deceived people.
+ Because of a “Prayer of decision”, led by someone else, and false assurances given from men, and not from the Word of God they go from the church “altar” thinking all is well and there has never been any change made in their lives toward God, grace, and salvation.
+ They fail to examine their own lives –
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” 2 Corinthians 13:5 (KJV).
* The Righteous Judge: who is Jesus Himself will say to those who do not know Him and are not known by Him; “I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity”.
+ Notice, that He attributes what they have deemed as good works, as iniquity.
THE JUDGMENT THAT STANDS WILL BE THAT WHICH IS BUILT UPON THE ROCK AND THE STONES ERECTED THROUGH THE MORTAR OF ASKING, SEEKING AND KNOCKING (vv. 24-29).
* The foundation is one of obedience.
+ Is it required that a follower of Jesus be obedient?
+ Should a child be obedient to their parents? Obedience is as a child to a parent or master who has our best interest at His heart.
* It has a foundation which is built upon the Rock.
+ This rock will never fall, nor will the foundation that is built upon this Rock.
+ The Rock of Jesus Christ will never fall nor fail, but shall abide forever, “…And the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it” Matthew 16:18.
* Jesus Christ Himself is the Rock, and we must trust Him to be our Rock of security, strength, and power.
+ He is our authority.
+ The people who heard this Sermon on the Mount realized His authority.
“He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes”.
+ He is the authority, and anyone who detracts from Him is a liar and a deceiver.
+ His judgment and the judgment of His Word will stand forever.
-Tim A. Blankenship