SERMON ON THE MOUNT

 

MATTHEW 7:13-14

FACING REALITY

#22 – SERMON ON THE MOUNT

 

When we read the Bible or when the Bible is preached to us, we are facing reality.

We are facing reality because the Word of God is inspired. 2 Timothy 3:`6-17

We are facing reality because the Word of God is true.

We are facing reality because the Word of God is to be obeyed. John 14:21

 

There are some Scriptures that really grab us and cause us to really face reality because the truths they teach are so challenging and convicting.  Two such verse that force us to face reality are found in Matthew 7 as Jesus begins his conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount.

 

Matthew 7:13-14 - Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: [14] Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

 

John MacArthur gives an outline in his commentary on Matthew that I feel sums up the reality of these verses.  (John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Matthew, Volume 1 {©1985 Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, Moody Press} pages 452-457)  

Please note this outline is John MacArthur’s not mine!

 

THERE ARE TWO GATES

 

Consider first, that there is a wide gate.

A wide gate implies room to get through.

·        You can come any way you want.

·        You can bring in whatever you want.

·        You can bring with you whoever you want.

 

If you want to bring the keeping of the Ten Commandments, you can bring those with you.

If you want to bring the golden rule as your means of salvation, you can bring that.

If you want to bring in baptism as your means of salvation you can bring that.

If you want to bring in your own good works as merit before God, by all means bring that!

If you want to enter with your own moral code, that’s fine!

If you want to bring the teachings of your favorite radio or television personality or the teachings of a particular denomination, that’s wonderful.

 

And because this is a wide gate, you can bring the teachings of your favorite teacher or religion.

 

How about the Mormons? Bring them in!

And the Jehovah’s Witnesses?  Enter!

Christian Science is welcome as well as Buddha, Confucius, Mohammed, or even Son Yung Moon.

 

The gate is wide!

This is a broad gate! Everything and everybody is accepted!

 

Do I recommend you enter in at this gate? Noooooooooo

 

Jesus does not recommend that you enter in at this gate, even though He says that many will.

 

This gate is too wide!

It leaves room for all sorts of error.

And, as we’ll see later, it ends in destruction!

 

The strait or narrow gate is very restrictive.

It’s like going through a turnstile.

A turnstile is very restrictive. You can’t get much through a turnstile.

 

When we go through the narrow gate, there is only room for us! Everything and everybody is left behind. You come as you are.

 

What is the narrow gate?

The narrow gate is a person.

That person is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God in the flesh.

 

The Lord Jesus knew that you would fail God by walking on the broad way of life. Jesus knew that all men were sinners. Isaiah 64:6

 

Knowing what He did about you, Jesus laid down his life for you!  As the sinless Son of God He died in your place.  Romans 5:6-8, 1 Peter 1:18-19 

ut blemish and without spot:

 

The Lord Jesus rose again the third day!

God accepted His sacrifice for our sins!

Jesus Christ already paid for your way to Heaven.

If He indeed has already paid the way for you to go to Heaven, and He has, THEN THE ONLY WAY TO ENTER HEAVEN IS THROUGH HIM!  John 14:6, John 10:9, Acts 4:12 

 

No other name will save you!

The name of Jehovah’s Witness or Mormon will not save you.

The name of Buddha or Confucius will not save you.    

 

Let me get personal.

The name Baptist will not save you.

The name Bible Church will not save you.   

The name Catholic will not save you, nor will Episcopalian, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, or United Churches of Christ.

Your own name will not save you.

Your own name keeping the Ten Commandments

Your own name doing good works

Your own name being baptized – None of these will save you!

 

The only gate to salvation is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. And Jesus tells us to leave all the excess baggage outside, just come as you are!

Now face reality. The only way to get to Heaven is through faith in Jesus Christ. If you have come that way, Praise the Lord! If you have not, you should come this morning.

If you have already come to Christ, face another reality.

 

Anyone of your friends, relatives, work or school associates how have not come through the narrow gate of Christ are in trouble. They are going through the wide gate of destruction.

 

THERE ARE TWO WAYS

 

There’s logic here.

The wide gate leads to a broad way.

The narrow gate leads to a narrow way.

The wide gate which allows anybody to drag in anything leads to a super-highway lifestyle. And you find all sorts of vehicles going all sorts of speeds on a super highway.

 

On the super highway you will find those who fast and those who indulge.

You’ll those who attend church regularly, and those who miss church regularly.

You’ll find those who practice all sorts of immorality, and those who are very moral people.

 

You’ll find every type of lifestyle under the sun, except one.

The one type of lifestyle you won’t find is the one that went through the other gate, the narrow gate.

 

The narrow gate seems very restrictive.

The narrow or “hard way” implies limitations on what we can or can not do.

The narrow way implies struggles and difficulties.

The narrow way implies sacrifice.

A hard and narrow way implies that I can’t make many, if any of my own choices.

A hard and narrow way is exactly what Jesus is describing in the Sermon on the Mount. It is the true Christian Life for the person who has entered in to Heaven through Christ.

 

You might ask, “Why is God so restrictive?”

God is so restrictive because He loves you!

God is so restrictive because He knows what is best for you!

 

Some special things happen the moment you trust Christ as your only way to Heaven and are “born again”.

 

Because you are “born again” a new birth takes place. You are born into a new family, the family of God.

 

Being born into an earthly family means you inherit some of the characteristics of you parents.

Being born into God’s family means that you receive some of the same characteristics as your Heavenly Father.

 

You have some of the same characteristics as your Heavenly

Father, because the moment you trusted Christ came to live inside of you! Romans 8:9

 

With the help of God’s Holy Spirit, God expects us to be more like Him that we are like the people taking the broad way. 1 Peter 1:15-16

 

People get the mistaken idea that once they are “saved” they continue to live any way they please. But someone who is truly born again will not want to live the way they used to live.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Because of the change Christ has made in us we will want to walk the narrow way.   

   

THERE ARE TWO DESTINATIONS

   

If I take the wide gate and the wide way I will end up in Hell.

If I take the narrow gate and the narrow way, I will end up in Heaven.

How do I know this? Jesus said so! John 3:16-18, 36

 

THERE ARE TWO GROUPS   

   

There are the many who go their own way because they like their own way, because they are ignorant.  The many are those destined for hell.

 

Then there are the few.

The few who have accepted Jesus’ way to Heaven

The few who realize that the narrow lifestyle in Christ is the happy lifestyle

The few who have discovered true peace and freedom