Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Jesus Never Taught A Salvation Prayer

A Look At Prophecy In The Gospel of Matthew

Are Jesus' Teachings Prophecies?

Matthew 5:1-12 NLT


Prophecies are the forthtelling of a message from God. In popular culture and language that term has come to mean foretelling or predicting. In today's passage, Jesus' teaching does both - forthtelling and foretelling. Look at the list within the verses we call the Beatitudes:
  • The Kingdom of Heaven is theirs
  • They will be comforted
  • They will inherit the whole earth
  • They will be satisfied
  • They will be shown mercy
  • They will see God
  • They will be called the children of God
  • The Kingdom of Heaven is theirs
  • For great is your reward in heaven.
The question that accompanies each of these predictions is "WHO?"

Do our answers fit Jesus'?
Do we ever preach these means for receipt of these blessings?
Especially the Kingdom of Heaven.

Of whom do we say, "Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven"?

  • The ones who say a Salvation Prayer?
  • The ones who repent of their sins?
  • The ones who say Jesus is Lord?
Jesus never taught a salvation prayer as the way to be saved. He did not tie saying a prayer to receipt of the Kingdom.

Jesus did say repent for the Kingdom is at hand. But it was not just repent of your sins. Jesus said repent of your sins and turn to God which will produce the fruit of repentance. 

Do these Beatitudes name that fruit? An excellent question.

We can with assurance say they mention two fruits - one a mindset and one a response of others to our discipleship. Look for these in the weeks ahead.

Of whom do we say, "Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven"? Let us be careful how tightly we hang on to our pet statements and ideas. Remember Jesus also said of some that call him Lord that at the final judgment he will say, "I never knew you."

Photo Credits:
The Beatitudes NIV by Wayne Anson,  some rights reserved

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