Why only a few are going to heaven? Part 2 - Matthew 7:21-23
Session 1 Index page Session 3
(A1) Review of session 1
(A2) Start by sincerely asking God to open your mind and tell him you'll do Psalm 119:34 "Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions; I will put them into practice with ALL my heart."
(A3) How did you do on the goal to EVERY day spend a few minutes studying (learning, remembering and doing) the Bible last week?
(A4) Click here to view the applications and split into groups of 2 and work on saying word perfect from memory Applications 1a and 1b.
(1) Once you're back in the big group have everyone say the applications by memory.
(B1) Requirement #2 - Serve ONLY Jesus as master, calling him master is not enough
(B2) Matthew 7:21-23 "Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. (22) On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ (23) But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws. "
(1) What is Jesus teaching in this passage?
(2) In v23 who determines who gets into heaven?
(3) Is Jesus showing himself to be God by saying he is the one who determines who goes to heaven?
(4) In v21 who will Jesus allow to enter heaven?
(5) In v23 who will Jesus not allow to enter heaven?
(6) Do you think the people in v22-23 "believed in" Jesus?
(7) From John MacArthur Commentary note on Matthew 3:2 on kingdom of heaven and kingdom of God - "refer to the sphere of God’s dominion over those who belong to Him. The kingdom is now manifest in heaven’s spiritual rule over the hearts of believers; and one day it will be established in a literal earthly kingdom." What is the "kingdom of heaven"?
(B3) What it means to call Jesus Lord - Mark 8:34-37 "If any of you wants to be my follower, you MUST give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. 35 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. 36 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? 37 Is anything worth more than your soul?"
(1) In v34 what 3 things MUST we do if we don't want to lose our souls (go to hell)?
(2) In v34 can ANYONE, regardless of what they have done in the past, become a follower of Jesus if they give themselves to doing these 3 things? This is why Jesus’s message is called "Good News". It's available to anyone regardless of what they have done in their past. Session 4 is all about this "Good News".
(3) Do you think that to "Take up our cross" includes us being open about being a Christian even if people will think less of us or persecute us?
(4) What does it mean to "follow me"? Does it include following his example and teachings?
(5) In v35 how are these 3 requirements summarized?
(6) In v35 who and what must we give up our lives for?
(7) In v35 what does Jesus say will happen to us if we don’t spend our lives SERVING Jesus and SERVING the spreading of the Good News?
(8) So is this surrender and serving Jesus in Mark 8:34-37 a good summary of what it means to call Jesus Lord in Matthew 7:21?
(B4) What we must do to be Jesus' disciple - Luke 14:25-28, 33 "A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, (26) “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. (27) And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. (28) “But don’t begin until you count the cost. ... (33) So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own."
(1) What must we do if we want to be his disciple in v26? In v27? In v28? In v33?
(B5) The MacArthur Bible Commentary
(Luke 14:26) "A similar statement in Matthew 10:37 ("Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.") is the key to understanding this difficult command. The “hatred” called for here is actually a lesser love. Jesus was calling His disciples to cultivate such a devotion to Him that their attachment to everything else-including their own lives-would seem like hatred by comparison.
(Luke 14:28) The multitudes were positive but uncommitted. Far from making it easy for them to respond positively, He set the cost of discipleship as high as possible (vv. 26, 27, 33)-and encouraged them to do a careful inventory before declaring their willingness to follow. Cf 9:57-62.
(Luke 14:33) Only those willing to carefully assess the cost (vv. 28-32) and invest all they had in Jesus’ kingdom were worthy to enter. This speaks of something far more than mere abandonment of one’s material possessions; it is an absolute, unconditional surrender. His disciples were permitted to retain no privileges and make no demands. They were to safeguard no cherished sins, treasure no earthly possessions, and cling to no secret self-indulgences. Their commitment to Jesus must be without reservation."
(1) v26 What does Jesus mean by hate?
(2) v33 What does it mean to give up everything you own?
(3) Does giving God complete control over what we own (rights, things, money, time, goals, desires, hobbies, TV, internet, sports, etc ...) actually free us from them controlling us and allowing us to experience God's love and care in a much deeper way?
(4) In your own words how would you describe what it means to be a disciple of Jesus?
(B6) No other master - Matthew 6:24 "No one can SERVE two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." NIV
(1) Who must be our one and ONLY master?
(2) Who or what else do people serve as their masters besides money, power, hobbies, cares, and pleasures?
(3) What is Jesus saying when he says "No one can serve two masters"?
(4) Is Jesus saying if we have any other competing master then we are in reality hating and despising Jesus by our actions?
(5) Did Jesus say “No one can serve two masters” because he doesn't want to have say Matthew 7:23 ("I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.") to us?
(6) If we are hindered in any way in serving Jesus as our ONLY master what must we do?
(7) Who or what do you need to stop serving so that you can serve Jesus better?
(B7) What the Kingdom of Heaven costs - Matthew 13:44 "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field."
(1) What happens to those who are unwilling to sell everything?
(2) Is selling everything doing Mark 8:34-37 "If any of you wants to be my follower, you MUST give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me." and Matthew 6:24 "No one can SERVE two masters" by serving only Jesus as master?
(3) From the NLT Life Application Study Bible: "The Kingdom of Heaven is more valuable than anything else we can have, and a person must be willing to give up everything to obtain it." What is more valuable than anything we have?
(4) A thousand years from now who will be the smart/happy people? Those who sold everything or those or didn't sell everything?
(B8) Review: In your own words what must we do if we want Jesus to be the Lord of our lives?
(B9) Summary: Don't deceive ourselves that Jesus is our Lord and Master when we are not living to obey and serve Jesus as our Master. Many people may start on the difficult road but then revert back to living for themselves. If we say that we are followers of Jesus then we actually need to give up everything, make him our real Master, and live to follow his example and teachings. In 7:21-23 Jesus is giving us a preview of the judgment that will soon happen. Deciding to stop living for yourself (your desires, goals, things) and to start living for Jesus and his Good News is the most important decision you can make. If you have really done it, it will cost you everything, but what you get in return is so much more valuable!
(C2) This is the most important part of the study. As we just saw it's ONLY those who not only hear BUT do (obey) God's words are the ones building their house on the rock.
(1) Is there any change you need to make so you can be a better servant of Jesus?
(2) Will you commit to reading the Bible EVERY day this week? It can be just a few minutes. This is one of the two key ways we learn how to serve him, by learning his instructions.
(3) Will you also commit to spending a few minutes every day in prayer this week asking Jesus what he wants you to do today? Go over your daily and weekly to do list with him, ask Him which ones you should do. This is the second way we learn to serve him, by giving him control of our time/schedule.
(4) Click here Next week you need to be able to say word perfect from memory Applications 1a-2. This little effort will make ALL THE DIFFERENCE in having your and other's lives changed.
(5) Read carefully and answer all of the questions in session 3. We'll discuss session 3 next time.
(6) On your phone's podcast player listen to "BRING YOUR ONE" part 3, 4 (Feb 3 and 10) of the 4 part sermon series by Rick Atchley, The Hills Church, Fort Worth, Texas. Each of them is only about 30 minutes long. Or watch them here sermon 3, and sermon 4. If possible, listen to them twice so you can 'apply' them.
Session 1 Index page Session 3