Summary: In God’s realm, all we are offered is two choices. What direction we choose will affect where we spend eternity.
The Decision That Determines Your Destiny
Griffith Baptist Church – 3/9/08
Text: Matthew 7:13-14
In God’s realm, all we are offered is two choices. What direction we choose will affect where we spend eternity.
Thomas Edison had a unique way of hiring engineers. He’d give the applicant a light bulb and ask, ’How much water will it hold?"
There were two ways to find the answer. The first choice was to use gauges to measure all the angles of the bulb. Then with the measurements in hand, the engineer would calculate the surface area. This approach could take as long as twenty minutes.
The second choice was to fill the bulb with water and then pour the contents into a measuring cup. Total elapsed time: about a minute.
Engineers who took the first route, and performed their measurements by book, were thanked politely for their time and sent on their way. If you took the second route, you heard Edison say, ’You’re hired."
David Armstrong, Managing by Storying Around, Doubleday, New York, NY; cited in The Competitive Advantage, P.O. Box 10091, Portland, OR 97210, Speaker’s Idea File
This is the invitation portion of Christ’s sermon (7:13-27)
In this, He begins with the presentation of two choices
o We are confronted with choices all our lives
o When it comes to decisions about most things, we may often have more than two choices (just look at a Bob Evans menu)
o With God, only two choices are afforded us. That is good.
o God uncomplicates things for us.
o Fewer choices should mean quicker decisions.
Transition Statement: Christ tells us that there are two contrasting ways or roads that are offered to humanity, and only two. The first choice He gives mankind is the road that leads to loss.
1. The Road That Leads to Loss
A. The On-Ramp of Fateful Decision
i. A husband and wife, prior to marriage, decided that he’d make all the major decisions and she the minor ones. After 20 years of marriage, he was asked how this arrangement had worked. “Great! In all these years I’ve never had to make a major decision.”
ii. We are all called upon to make a spiritual choice
iii. Many see an easy path and a wide open entrance
iv. Without God guiding we are bound to get on the wrong road
B. The Interstate of False Faith
i. Zig Ziglar tells of a thief, a man named Emmanuel Nenger. The year is 1887. The scene is a small neighborhood grocery store. Mr. Nenger is buying some turnip greens. He gives the clerk a $20 bill. As the clerk begins to put the money in the cash drawer to give Mr. Nenger his change, she notices some of the ink from the $20 bill is coming off on her fingers which are damp from the turnip greens. She looks at Mr. Nenger, a man she has known for years. She looks at the smudged bill. This man is a trusted friend; she has known him all her life; he can’t be a counterfeiter. She gives Mr. Nenger his change, and he leaves the store.
But $20 is a lot of money in 1887, and eventually the clerk calls the police. They verify the bill as counterfeit and get a search warrant to look through Mr. Nenger’s home. In the attic they find where he is reproducing money. He is a master artist and is painting $20 bills with brushes and paint! But also in the attic they find three portraits Nenger had painted. They seized these and eventually sold them at auction for $16,000 (in 1887 currency, remember) or a little more than $5,000 per painting. The irony is that it took Nenger almost as long to paint a $20 bill as it did for him to paint a $5,000 portrait!
It’s true that Emanuel Nenger was a thief, but the person from whom he stole the most was himself. Signs of the Times, Oct. 1988, pp. 22-3
ii. Verse 13 says – many there be which go in thereat: (It is a busy place)
iii. There are Four (4) lanes on this highway:
iv. Lane One: Religion
a. Going to church
c. Reading your Bible
d. Obeying the Ten Commandments
v. Lane Two: Good Works
a. Helping others
b. Giving to charity
c. Being kind
vi. Lane Three: Indecision
a. This is the play it safe lane
b. Noncommittal is really commitment to nothing
c. This is the “God is to good to allow anyone to go to hell” deception
d. You think, “If I lay back and do nothing, maybe my not worrying about it will make the necessity to make a decision go away.”
e. So, we fill our lives with other things (materialism, pleasure, and other distractions)