Summary: Which path will you choose? This is another 1996 rework for me. I hope it isi better this time!
• Life is full of choices isn’t it?
• Just take a moment to think about how many different decisions that you made just to get to church this morning. What time to get up? Shower or bath or nothing? What to wear? What to eat? Which car do we drive? Do we come this morning? What do the kids need to wear? Which path will I take to get here?
• Each day we are confronted with choices. Some of the choices that we make on a daily basis have very little impact on our lives such as what and where to eat? Other choices can significantly change the course of our lives, such as “Do we have children?” Do we get married? What career do I chose?
• Then we have a whole other set of choices dealing with our daily conduct.
• John MacArthur writes in his commentary on Matthew, “Our lives are filled with decisions—what to wear, what to eat, where to go, what to do, what to say, what to buy, whom to marry, what career to follow and on and on. Many decisions are trivial and insignificant, and some are essential and life-changing. The most critical of all is our decision about Jesus Christ and His kingdom. That is the ultimate choice that determines our eternal destiny. It is that decision that Jesus here calls men to make.”
• MacArthur hit the nail on the head. The most important choice you will make in your life is whether or not you are going to follow Jesus and give your life to Him. All the other important decisions in life hinge on that choice.
• There comes a point in our lives where we are standing at the crossroads. We will be standing at the crossroads where there are two signs, one pointing to Jesus and eternal life and the other pointing toward a path of destruction. Each of us will have to make our own choice.
• In our passage we will look at the two paths that Jesus tells us we have to choose from. The title to my message today is “Standing at the Crossroads”.
• As you stand at the crossroads of life, which way will you go? Let us look at the contrast of the two paths.
• READ MATTHEW 7:13-14
The first contrast we will look at is the:
I. THE ENTRANCE
The key word for the entrance is DECISION.
As we stand at the crossroads, we are confronted by two gates, the narrow and the wide gate. Let us look at the wide gate first.
A. The wide gate.
• The wide gate is one of the choices that we have as we stand at the crossroads. Notice that Jesus gives us the choice as to which gate we are going to enter.
• The gate is wide and is easy to enter. Many people can go through it at the same time. When we go somewhere we would naturally choose to go through a wide passage verses a narrow one.
• The gate is wide because more people will choose to enter in through it.
• The nice thing about the wide gate for many people is the fact that because the gate is wide, they are able to take anything they want with them on the journey once they enter in through this wide gate. Have you ever had to take a door off the hinges to get an appliance through it because the door was not quite wide enough?
• Wide doors or gates are inviting.
• On our journey through life many will want to take as much baggage with them as they can, the wide gates allows for that.
• As we stand at the wide gate we peer down the path and it looks very wide and inviting also.
B. The narrow gate.
• The narrow gate does not have room for anything but you. You must leave all the baggage behind. Jesus tells us to take up our cross and follow Him daily. This implies that our agenda is the one that Jesus has.
• There is no room for chasing after the world and its pleasure, no room for unforgiving spirits, and there is no room for the self-righteous.
• The narrow gate will not be as easy for us to walk through. All the things that Jesus has told us up to this point has been to prepare to be able to walk through the narrow gate.
• In LUKE 13:24 Jesus say, "Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
• Jesus tells us that we must strive, or put out a great effort to enter through the narrow gate.