I have been taught that a good speech should always end with a call to action. What this is depends on the type of speech. A speech given by an election candidate will usually end by telling people they need to vote. A product placement speech or demonstration will end with a way to buy the product. Often a sermon will end with a life application.
As we look at the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount, we see that Jesus ends with a call to action. He has given us some other actions to take throughout this passage, but let’s look at this final section and see how we should respond to this sermon.
Let’s start by looking at Matthew 7:21-23:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, an in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
So, making the assumption that the goal is to be in the kingdom, Jesus says our action is to do the will of God. This is obviously more than actions that we do. Many times in chapters 5-7, Jesus talks about our thoughts, attitudes, and reasons for doing things being as important as the actions we take.
Jesus continues in verse 24 by saying, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Again, the key here is to act on the words that Jesus has spoken.
The call to action is to put all the things that Jesus taught into action, which includes our thoughts and attitudes. I encourage you to spend some more time reading through Matthew 5-7, and reflect upon seeking God, his righteousness, and his kingdom. As we seek these more, the actions will follow.