Summary: This sermon will help you identify dangerous deceptions, expose them, and overcome them.
Matthew 7:13 – 27
By: JB Hall
Introduction: Everyone hates to be deceived; to think something to be true, or real, or genuine, only to find out it is not, that you have been deceived. Deception is not only disappointing; it can be very destructive, depending on the type of deception that has occurred.
Spiritual deception is the most dangerous of all deceptions, for it has to do with where we will spend eternity; and also with the quality of our lives while we are in this present world.
God hates spiritual deception; and in His word has given us good, clear information to help us distinguish between truth and error.
Today we want to examine some spiritual deceptions that commonly occur in people’s lives; deceptions that if not exposed and avoided, can spell disaster for those who have been deceived.
1. Verses 13 & 14 – The Deceptive Gate
A. Here, we are introduced to 2 gates – a strait, or narrow gate; and a broad, or wide gate.
B. We’re told that many enter the broad, or wide gate; but that few find the narrow gate.
C. From this we learn that finding the wide gate is not difficult; and many have entered it, because it is easy to find and easy to enter.
D. The narrow gate, on the other hand, appears to be more obscure; for few find it.
E. By this we learn that the narrow gate is not a gate that is identified by a quick, non-involved, non-responsive glance.
F. It is identified by careful, concerned, investigation resulting from a genuine desire to know the truth for the purpose of receiving it once it is ascertained.
G. Each gate opens to a road that leads to a destination.
H. Each road can only be traveled once the corresponding gate has been entered.
I. One cannot travel the road unless he first enters the gate.
J. Each gate opens to only one road; one cannot travel both roads by entering only one gate.
K. There is no mention of returning through the gate once it has been entered; only a destination where the corresponding road will end.
L. We’re told that one gate opens to a road that leads to destruction.
M. We’re told that the other gate, the narrow one, leads to life.
N. The gate you choose then, determines your final destination.
O. To understand the importance of choosing the right gate, you must look beyond the gate to the destination.
P. The wide gate leading to destruction sets you on a road whose destination will be eternal darkness, eternal death, eternal torment, eternal pain, eternal fire, and eternal hopelessness; for there is no escape.
Q. The narrow gate leading to life sets you on a road whose destination will be eternal light, eternal perfection, eternal joy, eternal pleasures, eternal love, eternal rest, and eternal peace; for this destination, also, is unending.
R. The wide gate is popular, many are entering it; the road is wide and easy to follow, and there is little resistance along the way.
S. The narrow gate, on the other hand, is much more difficult to find, but not difficult to enter; the road is narrow, meaning its primary focus is its destination rather than the trip along the way.
T. Since the broad gate is wide and easy to enter, since it is popular, since it opens to a wide, easy to follow road that highlights the trip more than the destination, it is a deceptive gate; for while it promises a great trip, it deceives you into disregarding the destination by getting you to focus on the fun along the way.
U. Sadly, the destination arrives all too soon, and the trip is immediately forgotten because of the horror of the destiny the gate has brought you to.
V. The narrow gate represents Jesus Christ, the only opening to the Heavenly road, and the only Way we can enter the life that ends in eternal life instead of death.
W. Don’t be deceived into entering the deceptive gate by the broad, popular, appealing road that lays just beyond it!
2. Verses 15 & 16 – Deceptive Prophets, or Preachers
A. The word ‘beware’ warns us to be on guard for false prophets, or preachers.
B. The words “…in sheep’s clothing…” indicates these false preachers are deceptive; masquerading as the genuine article, while concealing their evil message.
C. False prophets such as Jim Jones and David Koresh for example, initially appear to be genuine prophets of the Lord, only to be exposed to be destructive, demonized deceivers, all too late for many of their followers.
D. All preachers are human and make mistakes from time to time.
E. The false prophets masquerading as the genuine, though, have an inherently false message.