Jesus concluded His sermon with a final warning and summarizing example. As you would expect, it is an illustration of His theme—Only the holy will inherit God’s kingdom.
Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them [literally, “does them”], may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them [literally, “does not do them”], will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall (Matt. 7:24-27).
Jesus’ final illustration is not a formula for “success in life” as some use it. The context shows that He was not giving advice on how to prosper financially during tough times by having faith in His promises. This is the summary of all that Jesus had said in His Sermon on the Mount. Those who do what He says are wise and will endure; they need not fear the wrath of God when it falls. Those who don’t obey Him are foolish and will suffer greatly, paying “the penalty of eternal destruction” (2 Thess. 1:9).