Lord, you are my shepherd that I will not want (Psalm 23:1). How can I want anything when you supply my every need (Philippians 4:19)? Am I not rich in Jesus to be rich in good works (1 Timothy 6:18)? So what is there in life to give other than my life to give. In other words, is not my life the only thing I can sacrifice to you, Lord? How can I not offer my body, mind, and strength as a living sacrifice, which is holy and acceptable to you (Romans 12:1)?
Thus, a lack of faith puts us in a terrible predicament. A lack of faith makes us unacceptable to God. Our unacceptableness arises from our sinful life. This sinful past is present with everyone, and it makes us guilty before God. For instance, David, fearing judgment from God, says, “Don’t put your servant on trial, for no one is innocent before you” (Psalm 143:2). David emphasizes not only his fear of the judgment of God, but why everyone should be fearful. We should be fearful because we have all been unfaithful toward God.
So why does this great fall happen at the end? Why can people build a house on lawlessness until they finish building? The apostle Peter answers this question by first recognizing that a storm is coming. This storm, as Paul hinted, will be a firestorm. Peter says, “The present sky, universe, and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed” (2 Peter 3:7). Peter stresses that life as we know it will explode in a great fire. This destruction is far more destructive than a hurricane. In fact, this storm is going to be a cosmic firestorm!
It doesn’t end well for the person who builds on lawlessness. Thus, Jesus compares lawlessness to sand. Sand is far from a suitable material to build anything on. So we can imagine that if someone built a house on sand, how the house would fall. This fall might not be apparent immediately. But the more one builds on such a weak foundation, the greater that fall will be. This is the point Jesus makes when he describes the builder who builds on sand. Jesus says, “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall” (Matthew 7:27). Jesus stresses that the fall of the house built on sand is not only approaching but great.
We can assume we do God’s work, but still do lawlessness. The lawlessness I mention here translates to anomia. This word means the total disregard of God’s written and living word. Here, it is important to note that God’s word is also Jesus. Thus, anyone who disregards Jesus Christ falls into this category of lawlessness. It might be difficult to accept we live in such lawlessness if we deceive ourselves to think we do what God wants. However, whatever we trick ourselves into thinking is God’s work will not last.