Summary: Lesson 32
Life is filled with choices. Some of those choices are of very little importance and do not carry with them any major, life-changing consequences. Other choices however are quite important, and making the wrong choice could alter our lives forever. Not only our earthly lives, but our eternal lives as well.
In the verses now under consideration, we are faced with the most important decision anyone will ever make. The choice they make will effect their life forever. It is a choice between heaven and hell.
I. THE DIFFERENT CHARACTERISTICS
In this passage, we are presented with a description of two ways. Each one is very different.
A. The Wide Gate vs. The Strait Gate
1. Ancient cities were surrounded by walls and entered through gates. Some gates were very broad and permitted throngs of people to pass through at one time, while others were quite narrow, permitting one person at a time to enter. Few people chose the more narrow, restricted gates.
2. The wide gate represents the way of the world. It is very accommodating and easily entered. As a matter of fact, it is the natural way to go (Ephesians 2:1-3).
3. There is absolutely nothing that keeps a person from entering the wide gate.
4. The narrow gate represents the entrance to eternal life.
5. While the wide gate is the natural way to go, the strait gate is quite unnatural. It is contrary to human reasoning.
6. There were many reasons why people chose the more wide entrance as opposed to the narrow and more confining one. One of those reasons was because in order to get through the strait gate a person would have to stoop down. In order to enter the gate that leads to eternal life, one must be willing to humble themselves in the sight of the Lord (Psalm 34:18).
7. Another reason few chose the narrow entrance had to do with the fact that there wasn’t any room for anything else but the person themselves to fit through the entrance. They couldn’t take a lot of excess things with them, they had to leave it all outside. The call to eternal life involves a separation from sin. A person must be willing to abandon their old life and to follow Christ wholeheartedly.
B. The Broad Way vs. The Narrow Way
1. The broad way is the easy way. There are no restrictions or prohibitions. Anything goes on the broad way. The broad way is open, affirming, loving, and accepting.
2. The broad way offers many attractions that stir the mind and the flesh.
3. The broad way is the way of the unthoughtful, undisciplined, lazy, worldly, ungodly, materialistic, and carnal.
4. The narrow way is much harder and more difficult to travel. It requires commitment, determination, discipline, control, and self-denial.
5. While traveling the narrow way, one must be constantly on guard against the evils that await around every turn.
6. The narrow way is unpaved, covered with rocks and gravel. It takes a strong will, much determination, and a great deal of self-sacrifice to travel this way.
C. The Many vs. The Few
1. People choose the broad road because it is the way the majority seems to be traveling. After all, how could so many people be wrong?
2. People choose the more popular way because it is easier and less confining.
3. The reason that a relative few find the strait gate which leads to the narrow way is because few are interested in finding it. Some, after having been shown the right "way", decide that it is too narrow for them, and choose rather to go in the way that is more broad.
II. THE DEFINITE CONSEQUENCES
A. The Way of Salvation
1. The strait and narrow way leads to life. That is, it leads to salvation and eternal life in Christ.
a. John 3:36
b. John 5:24
2. The narrow way ends in heaven.
B. The Way of Damnation
1. The broad way leads to eternal death and damnation.
2. Romans 6:23
3. Sadly to say, many who travel this way have no idea where it leads. Some, on the other hand, are aware of the destination, but give little or no heed to the warning signs and plunge head long into eternal death.
III. THE DEMANDING CHOICE
The fact that there are two roads to be traveled demands that a choice be made. The obvious choice is that which leads to life. Though it may be more difficult and involve a more restrictive lifestyle, in the end, the results will be much more pleasing.
A. This choice must be made Personally
B. This choice should be made Wisely
C. This choice should be made Immediately