Wood, Hay, and Straw Part 1

Notes Outline


    1. The consequences of a poor foundation

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them (“does them” [ESV, NET]; “obeys them” [ISV, NCV, TEV]; “puts them into practice” [NIV]; cf. Ezk. 33:30), may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell (cf. Ezk. 13; Jer. 23)and great was its fall.” (Mt. 7:24-27, NASB)

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. (1 Cor. 3:10-15, NIV)

  • Now whether someone builds on the foundation using enduring materials like gold, silver, and precious stones, or with perishable materials like wood, hay, or strawthe nature of each person’s work will become very evident. The Day, you see, will show it for what it truly is, because that Day (or because each person’s work; lit. it) will be revealed with fire, and each person’s work—its true quality—the fire will put to the test. (1 Cor. 3:12-13, BHT).
    1. In what follows…
      1. I myself have received the Lord’s correction in all these areas, and it is with genuine, heartfelt concern for the Lord’s flock in this hour that I share these things
      2. Not everything applies to all churches or believers; leave it to the Holy Spirit to highlight specific things to specific people or communities
      3. Could apply on different levels: individual, corporate, family, etc.
      4. Important to remember the Lord’s heart

Those whom I love I rebuke (“correct” [ISV, NCV, NLT]; “bring correction” [BHT]) and discipline (“punish” [NCV, TEV]; Gk. paideuō; cf. BHT at Tit. 2:12—“shaping us through training and discipline”). So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. (Rev. 3:19-20, NIV)


    1. Happy Meal Christianity
      1. Fast food, no time to go deep (want it fast, want it now, want it cheap); little nourishment; mesmerized by the toy inside (entertainment and distraction and triviality), so eat it while our bodies crave nutrition; everyone knows it’s bad and a waste of money, but we still eat it; McDonalds everywhere, and so many people go there and just go along with the Happy Meal, so it must be OK and acceptable to God; God=the big Ronald McDonald in the sky, clowning around in the things He says—He wouldn’t really do that (no lake of fire/eternal punishment, no testing, no pruning—unhappy things)
  • Example (quotation from the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary):

C. Modern Scholarly Opinion

Numerous biblical texts, particularly in the NT, refer to the coming day or time of judgment. Nevertheless, little scholarly attention has been devoted to this topic, in contrast, for example, to closely related topics like the coming of the Son of Man and the kingdom of God. One suspects that modern scholars prefer to deal with more congenial subjects [Happy Meal Christianity!]. So suggest Brandon (1967: 56–75, 98–135), who provides an excellent review of NT and subsequent Christian traditions concerning the judgment of the dead, and Fairhurst (1970). Scholarly squeamishness is articulated occasionally, e.g., by Dalton (1968: 7): “God is primarily a God who loves, a God who saves. Hence any eschatological statement set in the context of future judgment must take into account the inadequacy of this context and must allow for this inadequacy if conclusions unworthy of God are to be avoided.” (bolding mine and bracketed comments mine)

      1. On the contrary…

Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul;  rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Mt. 10:28, HCSB)

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One  is understanding.” (Pr. 9:10, HCSB)

Peter said to her, “How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” At that moment she (Sapphira) fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear (wisdom!) seized the whole church and all who heard about these events. (Ac. 5:9-11, NIV)

      1. What kind of food are we cooking up for the flock?

The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time (“to give them at the appointed time [Gk. Kairos] their allotted portion of food” [BHT])? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces (Gk. dichotomeō: “cut him in two” [NET]) and assign him a place with the unbelievers. (Lk. 12:42-46, NIV)

    1. Lucky Charms Christianity
      1. Separating out the marshmallows from the grain; love the charming messages, the sweet messages about God’s favor and blessings, but ignore the warnings, the call to faithfulness in the midst of the plain and mundane, and the call to suffer; rots the teeth, and our message no longer has any bite; happiness in the moment, but no energy to endure the hard race ahead
      2. On the contrary…

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. (2 Tim. 4:1-5, NIV)

“You yourselves know…how I did not shrink (“shrink back” [HCSB]; “hesitate” [NIV]) from declaring to you anything that was profitable (“helpful” [NET, NIV]), and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ…. Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. (Ac. 20:18, 20-21, 26-27, ESV)

For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him (Php. 1:29, NIV)

Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. (Rom. 11:22, NIV)

    1. Trail Mix Christianity
      1. Mixing together whatever we want, and calling it acceptable to God; thinking it is enough to get us down the trail
      2. On the contrary…

But I have this against you (church in Thyatira): You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and by her teaching deceives my servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent, but she is not willing to repent of her sexual immorality. Look! I am throwing her onto a bed of violent illness (Lit “throw her onto a bed”; “I am about to strike her with severe illness” [BHT]), and those who commit adultery with her into terrible suffering, unless they repent of her deeds. Furthermore, I will strike her followers with a deadly disease (“I will strike her children dead” [ESV, NIV, NRSV]; “And I will kill her children with pestilence” [NASB, NLT]), and then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches minds and hearts. I will repay each one of you what your deeds deserve. 2:24 But to the rest of you in Thyatira, all who do not hold to this teaching (who have not learned the so-called “deep secrets of Satan”), to you I say: I do not put any additional burden on you. However, hold on to what you have until I come…. The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ (Re. 2:20-25, NET)