Boy does Jesus know how to conclude a sermon! Hear His conclusion from His most well known (the most well known) sermon of all time, the Sermon on the Mount:
"Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it." - Matthew 7:24-27
Let's be clear. This isn't the option between being a "super Christian" and a "backslidden Christian". This is the difference between a person who is a Christian - hearing and doing the words of Christ - and one who isn't - merely hearing the words of Christ but not actually doing them.
So based on this text would Jesus say you're a Christian? Not what I think. Not your family. Not your friends.
Would Jesus call you a Christian?
I know we get nervous about speaking on works sometimes. And I understand that. We must unapologetically and unequivocally hold the line on justification by faith alone. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone. Yes! Amen! And these are truths important enough to die for.
But we can't ignore these plain words of Jesus. A faith that won't submit to Jesus' words is a faith that won't save from Jesus' wrath. We can hear Jesus' words, and even like Jesus' words, and talk about Jesus' words, and think about maybe trying out Jesus' words, but if there is never any actual acting on Jesus' words, we are building on sand, and on the Day of judgment our 'house' will fall and great will be the fall of it.
Very truly "unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Mt. 5:20)
A life that hears what Jesus says on the Sermon on the Mount, but doesn't abide by it is building on sand.
I know I should read my bible but I don't. I know I should pray but I don't. I know I should love holiness but I don't. I know I should intentionally instruct my children in the ways of God but I don't. I know I should not love the world but I do. I know I should love my enemies but I only really love people like me.
This is a life built on sand.
No, no one is advocating perfectionism. Christians are meek and understanding of their need for constant grace, forgiveness (Mt. 6:12), and the power of Christ in their daily lives. But let us be clear: Believers do what Jesus says. They don't just hear it and admire it. They do it.
We are either building in the rock or building on sand. We are either committed to Christ or not. We are either saved or lost.
Would Jesus say you're a Christian?
See, the standard isn't the Bible Belt is it? It isn't your neighbors' view. Or even necessarily your Pastor's. What does Jesus say about you? Does your life exemplify one on the rock or one on the sand?
Jesus doesn't give an altar call after this message. He doesn't ask people to bow their heads and close their eyes. He doesn't ask them to repeat a prayer after Him. He simply states the unshakable truth that those who hear and do His words are building on the rock and those who don't are building on the sand.
Of course, this demands a response from us doesn't it?
Would Jesus say you're a Christian?
If we answer 'no' to this question, what hope do we have!? Absolutely none unless we close with Christ. Jesus says whoever comes to Him, He will not cast out. That leaves us with no excuse. If we look at Jesus' standard and see that we aren't a Believer, we must go to Him. Go to Him now! Do not delay.
Or the house will fall. And great will be the fall of it.