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Twelve years ago I had a magnificent obsession with C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Here’s how it found its way into my sermon on 30 October 2005 when I addressed Matthew 23:1-12

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Three years ago, I preached on Matthew 23:1-12, this Sunday’s Gospel. It is interesting to revisit old sermons. Here is what I said on Sunday 2 November 2014, from back in the days when my sermons were written out.

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21‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord”, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

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Perhaps the problem in Matthew 25:31-46 is that we have not properly understood separation in verse 32 or “eternal punishment” in verse 46.

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41Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels…”

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21‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord”, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

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When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another…’

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The prophet Jonah is the patron saint of “It’s not fair.”

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Matthew 10 verses 32 and 33 feel terrifying and bewildering. They appear to portray a mean capricious God who will walk away from anyone who does not measure up to an arbitrary standard that is impossible to comprehend.

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The overall point of Matthew 10:24-39 is that the most important thing in our lives is attending to our inner life because a life lived without reference to the reality of God’s presence is a life of suffering.

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