Today Derek speaks about Jesus’ story of the house that is built upon a rock. This refers to whether or not our lives have been built on His Word. Of the two houses, one was built on a firm foundation, and the other was built on sand. Derek then looks at what we can expect to be shaken: things like our families, businesses, governments, religious institutions, and finally the whole earth.
Now let me come back more closely to the scripture that we began with, the prophecy that God was going to shake all things that can be shaken. Nothing that can be shaken will eventually be left unshaken.
Now let’s ask ourselves for a little while, what are some of the things that can be shaken? Because, if they can be shaken they will be shaken. I’d like to turn, first of all, to the famous parable of the two different houses, one built on sand and the other built on the rock, the version that’s given in Luke 6:47–49. [Jesus is speaking]
“Whoever comes to me and hears my sayings, and does them, I will show you whom he is like. He is like a man building a house who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like the man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently and immediately it fell. The ruin of that house was great.”
Notice there’s no difference to the tests to which each house was subjected. Each of them was subjected to the storm. Don’t imagine that being a believer will give you a storm-free passage through life. If anything, rather the opposite. There’s a kind of presentation of truth today which is only half truth, which is if you come to the Lord and get saved, everything will go well, you’ll never have any problems, et cetera. Most of us know by experience, if not by scripture, that that is not true.
A friend of mine who is a preacher was once asked, “What is the evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit?” He replied, “Trouble.”
There was only one difference. It was not in what the houses went through, it was that one was built on a solid foundation, a rock; the other was not. And Jesus said building on the rock is very simple, it’s hearing what He says and doing it. I believe that is the only foundation that will give us a building that cannot be shaken. Anything that is not built on the hearing and doing of the teaching of Jesus will be shaken.
So, I would like to think over with you briefly some things that will be shaken. First of all, individual lives can be shaken. In the ministry I’ve dealt with hundreds of people over the years whose lives have been totally shaken by sickness, by poverty, by broken marriage, in various ways. People who say, “I give up. I can’t go any further. Nothing helps. Nothing works. I might as well be dead.” They were people whose lives were not built on the teaching of Jesus. It doesn’t mean that if we build on the teaching of Jesus we’ll have no problems, but we’ll have the strength to withstand the problems.
And then Jesus said in Matthew 12:25:
“Every house [or household] that is divided against itself cannot stand.”
So, any household that is divided, in which there is not unity and love and peace, can be shaken and will be shaken. We see every day reports in the paper of households that are being shaken. In fact, I think it’s probably the main cause of the problems that confront us in society today. It’s the breakup of the family. And what it’s resulted in is hordes of unparented children. Parents can run away from their responsibilities for their children, but they’ll catch up. Maybe not in that generation but in the next. And one of the major social features of the world today is the activities of unparented children.
I’ve said many times there’s no such thing as a juvenile delinquent. The delinquents are the adults. And, there’s no one really that can control them.
See, police can keep order in a society if the majority of society are on the side of the police and in favor of law and order. But when the majority of a society turns the other way, the police cannot possibly maintain order.
There is no social answer to this problem. I personally believe it will multiply. I can’t believe that here in Britain there will be whole areas which will be taken over by young rebels and the police will simply stay clear of those areas. In fact, there are some areas in the country now.
But we need to come to the root of the problem which is the parents who failed to train their children.
Then let’s think about institutions. Any institution that is not founded on the teaching of Jesus can be shaken. Banks can be shaken. Do you believe that? Believe me, in America we are seeing a shaking of the banks. I’m not going to go into that but it’s just, I believe, a fact. I believe that whole nation is going to be shaken.
Then, businesses can be shaken. And there are many businesses in this country and other countries closing down and going bankrupt.
Governments can be shaken. We saw that in what used to be the Soviet Union. The whole of that government collapsed like a house of cards. And, no one has been able to put it together.
We need to take note of these things because we tend to look to some of these institutions for stability. We tend to look to big corporations and firms and think, “Well, they’ve got it made.” But, they don’t have.
There’s another kind of institution which can be shaken, and that is religious institutions. They have no guarantee of stability whatever unless they’re built on the teaching of Jesus. I believe many, many so called Christian institutions are going to be thrown down in the shaking that’s ahead.
I would say to you don’t look to a bank, don’t look to a business, don’t look to a government and don’t look to a religious institution for security because they cannot provide it. They are all amongst the things which will be shaken.
And then material structures can be shaken. Structures like this church building in which we’re meeting. I’ll read you just a couple of passages from the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah 2, beginning at verse 12.:
“For the day of the Lord of hosts shall come upon everything proud and lofty, upon everything lifted up, and it shall be brought low; upon all the cedars of Lebanon that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan; upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up; upon every high tower, and upon every fortified wall; upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all the beautiful sloops. The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of man shall be brought low. The Lord alone will be exalted in that day.”
And then the whole earth will be shaken. In Revelation 6, this is part of the unfolding of the prophetic vision of Revelation. Beginning at verse 12:
“And I looked when he opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth, and the moon became like blood, and the stars of heaven fell to the earth as the fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.”
I don’t think our minds can fully conceive what will happen when every mountain and every island, including the British Isles, will be shaken.
And finally in this list, the heavenly bodies will be shaken. In Matthew 24:29, this is part of the prophetic discourse of Jesus on the Mount of Olives leading up to his return. Matthew 24:29:
“And immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
I don’t believe any of us fully understand, but apparently everything that we associate with the heavens will be shaken. The writer of Hebrews says everything that can be shaken will be shaken. Why? Because God wants to reveal and demonstrate a kingdom that cannot be shaken. And one way to prove it is to let everything that can be shaken be shaken.
And the writer of Hebrews says we have such a kingdom. We have something that cannot be shaken. But, it’s not in any of the things that I’ve listed. So you need to ask yourself and I need to ask myself where is my kingdom? What is my kingdom. What am I putting my trust in that cannot be shaken?