The $#*% that’s About to Hit the Fan

A Christ-centered, Trinitarian paraphrase of Matthew 7:15-27

(15) Beware pious predators who come to exploit your fear and shame in order to lead you down the easy wide road of religion.  They are wolves disguised as sheep, but there is no reason for you to fall for their tricks. (16) You will know them not so much by listening to their words but by attending to the fruit they produce.  If a plant produces grapes, you know it’s not a thistle. (17) Ask yourself: Is the fruit of the Spirit being produced here? – Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, and self-control?  If yes, then you know it’s a healthy tree, a prophet of truth.  If no, then you know it’s a sick tree, a prophet of lies.  It’s as simple as that.  (18) It’s impossible for bad fruit to come off a good tree, or for good fruit to come off a bad tree. (19) The time is coming, and it’s very soon, when the bad trees will be consumed in flames. (20) Keep watch for them, and don’t eat their fruit.

(21) As you watch for the coming of that day, remember: Saying I’m your king is not the same thing as living under my saving rule.  You will experience the Triune life only to the extent that you share in my obedience to Papa. (22) When the fire of catastrophe hits this generation, many will call out my name, saying “My king, my king, we have performed so many cool religious tricks for you!  Shouldn’t that exempt us from experiencing the awful consequences of our awful behavior? (23) Then I will say: “Look, buddy, whatever kind of privileged relationship you think you have with me, you DON’T. Your actions and their consequences are YOUR business, not mine.  If you don’t like the results of your behavior, you might consider behaving in some other way.  It’s your choice, not mine. Look me up someday when you’re ready to stop playing this game.”

(24) Everyone who, instead of playing games, thinks and lives in accordance with the truth, is like the guy who built his house on a solid foundation. (25) The hurricane came and pounded that house, but the house survived because it had been built on something real, solid, and enduring. (26) But those who do not hear and believe and act on what I’m saying, they are like the guy who built his house on sand. (27) The hurricane came and pounded that house.  It washed all the sand away, and the house collapsed – not one stone left on another.  This is not a game.

~ John Stonecypher

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