By Jimmy Tuten, Jr.
Several years ago a network television news report told of a large East Coast city housing development that was abandoned because of the apparent unstableness of the foundation. The houses had hardly been completed and occupied when it was discovered that the earth beneath them was not stable. Efforts to institute intensive reinforcements failed. The entire housing development had to be given up and people who had invested their life savings in new homes had to take enormous losses simply because their houses had no adequate foundation. This illustrates the fact that a house with inadequate foundation is utterly worthless. Engineering books will tell you that a weak steel girder can be strengthened; if a column is found to be inadequate it may be reinforced; but if a foundation yields unevenly and ruptures, then little can be done to improve the situation.
This is a modern counterpart to the profound conclusion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Here are the words of Jesus: “therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall thereof” (Matt. 7:24-27).
The main point and the real point that Jesus was concerned with is the fact that our lives are like houses. They bear an analogy to houses. When Jesus uttered these words He knew that some who heard him, even though they were astonished at His doctrine and listened with interest, would not have their lives changed. Many would forget all that they had heard. They would relapse into their old ways. Jesus knew it would be so and forewarns them of the danger. So it is today. The Word of God must be obeyed. The obedient hearer is like a wise man who built his house upon a rock. His religion is real, deep and true. Temptation might come, maybe even suffering and persecution. Sooner or later, there would be some pain of body or anguish of soul. In all of this the house that hath foundations, the house built upon the rock, will not be shaken. It standeth sure. With the careless hearer the story is different. He is a foolish man whose house is built upon sand. There is no obedience in his life, no self-denial and no reality. Such a house cannot stand.
Friend, storms and floods come into every man’s life. There is the storm of unexpected disaster or the flood that comes more gradually but puts the foundation to a test slowly but inevitably. Only one thing matters-having one’s life situated on a solid foundation. That solid foundation is the Word of God.
The Word of God teaches that there is no other foundation “than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11). The church as the household of God is “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Eph. 2:20). It is “rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith” (Col. 2:7). All who are willing to obey the gospel can be founded upon Christ (2 These. 1:7-9; Rom. 1:1617). The believer must obey the gospel by being baptized into Christ (Rom. 6:17, 1-6). He must live a life of obedience. May each of our lives be built upon this foundation.
Truth Magazine XIX: 11, p. 167
January 23, 1975