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Summary: There are many advertised "roads" to heaven, but only one leads to life.

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The Narrow Road

of Life

Matthew 7:13-23

May 22, 2005

Matthew 7:13-14 (NLT)

"You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way. [14] But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.

The Choice of Two Roads

 The wide road

• The way of the secular world

• Runs contrary to Biblical values

• Leads to destruction

 Here and now

• Broken relationships

• Inner turmoil

 Eternal – Romans 1:18

Romans 1:18 (NLT)

But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who push the truth away from themselves.

The Choice of Two Roads

 The wide road

• The way of the secular road

• Runs contrary to Biblical values

• Leads to destruction

 The narrow road

• Accessed only through the narrow gate – John 10:7, 9

John 10:7, 9 (NLT)

so he explained it to them. "I assure you, I am the gate for the sheep," he said.

Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. Wherever they go, they will find green pastures.

The Choice of Two Roads

 The wide road

• The way of the secular road

• Runs contrary to Biblical values

• Leads to destruction

 The narrow road

• Accessed only through the narrow gate

• Only one way to live eternally with God

• Many will choose to go their own way

Matthew 7:15-16 (NLT)

"Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep, but are really wolves that will tear you apart. [16] You can detect them by the way they act, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit. You don’t pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles.

Hazards and Roadblocks

 False teachers

• Teach what people want to hear

• Claim to speak God’s message

• Sound religious, but have ulterior motivations

 Recognizing the false teacher

• Christ is minimized and the teacher is exalted

• Motivated by money, fame or power

• Does the fruit bring glory to God?

Matthew 7:17-20 (NLT)

A healthy tree produces good fruit, and an unhealthy tree produces bad fruit. [18] A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. [19] So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. [20] Yes, the way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit that is produced.

Inspecting the Fruit

 The fruit of a persons life reflects what is on the inside

• A spirit filled life produces spiritual fruit – Galatians 5:22-23

Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)

But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.

Inspecting the Fruit

 The fruit of a persons life reflects what is on the inside

• A spirit filled life produces spiritual fruit – Galatians 5:22-23

 Those who do not produce spiritual fruit face the wrath and judgment of God

 What kind of fruit are you producing?

 Are you evaluating the fruit of others?

Matthew 7:21-23 (NLT)

"Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as ’Lord,’ but they still won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven. [22] On judgment day many will tell me, ’Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ [23] But I will reply, ’I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.’

The Great Pretenders

 Talk is cheap

• Many can speak religious lingo

• Many know about Jesus

• Actions speak louder than words

Judgment Day

 Everyone will stand before Christ someday

• Religious activity will not count

• Kind deeds will not count

• Wholesome speech will not count

 Only a personal relationship with Christ counts

• All others will be told “Depart….I never knew you.”

• Does Jesus know you?

**Powerpoint available on request

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