Matthew 11: Closest to Heaven

Read Matthew 11

S.O.A.P. Matthew 11:20-24

(Scripture. Observation. Application. Prayer)

S – Matthew 11:20: “Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of His miracles had been performed, because they did not repent.”

O – Some of the most wicked cities in the world, which were destroyed by God for their evil, were Tyre, Sidon and Sodom. But Jesus told those of Bethsaida, Korazin and Capernaum, where He had performed many miracles, that they would be thrown into Hades because they saw Him first-hand performing miracles and did not repent. He says that if He had performed miracles in the wicked cities, they would have repented. The cities who saw Jesus and did not repent would suffer more on judgement day than the wicked cities who did not witness Him.

A – Last week I heard a sermon by Dr. Jeffress at First Baptist Dallas. The message was on hell (Hades) and how Jesus describes it when Lazarus and the wealthy man died. It was terrifying. Even as a Christian I cannot imagine the torture of an eternity in hell. This reminded me how important it is to live as an example of Christ here on this earth because people’s eternal lives are at stake. It’s not just about them getting into heaven, it’s about them not going to hell. When Jesus was on the earth, He spoke more about hell than heaven. In Matthew 11, Jesus says that those who have witnessed Him and do not repent will suffer more on judgement day than those who are wicked but have not seen Him. Compare this to cities in the present day where we see churches on every corner and Bibles in every home. We will have no excuse on judgement day if we do not repent and believe. I am reminded of something I heard one day..."This world is the closest to heaven the ungodly will see."

P – Dear God, thank you for pursuing my heart and calling me to repentance. Lord, I pray that I can live my life as an example of Christ and a disciple for your Kingdom. I pray those I come across would begin to know you through me and that they would be convicted to repent and believe. For we are not on this earth for our own pleasure but to be disciples for your kingdom. Give me opportunities to plant seeds of salvation to those around me. Jesus, I pray I can be an example first to my husband, my children, my family and that a ripple effect of your love would spill over from each of us. I pray they would all be called to repentance and a life dedicated to following and trusting you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.