Summary: God presents choices to all people today. It is our responsibility to follow Him in the right choices.
Tonight marks the end of our journey through the greatest sermon ever preached—The Sermon on the Mount. Sunday morning we went on a Quest for Blessedness as we looked at the Beatitudes. Sunday night we went on a Quest for Purpose as we looked at how Jesus calls believers to be salt and light in the world. Monday and Tuesday night, we clearly saw the need for God’s grace as we went on a Quest for Perfection and fell way short. Tonight, we’ll finish up with the real starting place. Tonight we’re going on a Quest for Christ.
I joked last night about graduating from chapter 5. Tonight we actually graduate from the Sermon on the Mount. But, just like anytime we have a graduation in life, this graduation leaves us with choices to make. Just like we can’t hole ourselves up in high school or college forever, we can’t stay in revival meetings forever. We have to graduate. We have to graduate and make the choices that God requires us to make. I want each of us here tonight to see the clear choices that God has laid before us. And when we do, I want us to leave this place determined to choose the right way—the way of Christ, the way everlasting. In order to choose the right way, we have to see the choices that are laid before us. In this passage, Jesus lays out the four choices He gives people today. The first choice Jesus lays before us is two paths. Look with me in verses 13-14:
The first choice Jesus gives us is the choice between two paths. A story is told of an older US Senator who, many years ago, was standing in a train station frantically searching for his ticket. A porter helped him look for a while, and finally told him, “Don’t worry senator, just mail us the ticket when you find it.” The senator looked at the porter and said, “Thank you. Now if I could just remember where I was going.” That’s one thing about the sermon that Jesus preached. He left no doubt as to where we were going. Then He left us with our first choice. Which path do we want to travel? The first path is an easy path. It’s an easy path, because it’s the path that we naturally want to travel. We don’t have to give up anything. We don’t have to be different. We can go with the crowd. Remember how He described it. He said it is a broad way. When we first came back to WV, I asked someone about the exit to nowhere. You know which one I’m talking about. As you’re driving down 460 from Princeton to Bluefield, there is an exit to nowhere. Well, when I asked the question, I certainly got an earful about the Coalfield Expressway. See, a lot of people want that road to open up because it will open up those counties to more traffic. It will be a broad road that will be a lot easier to travel than highway 52. If you want to go to McDowell County, you have to really want to go there. The road is narrow, and windy, and difficult—especially if you’re used to flat, straight roads. If I had the choice, I’d take the expressway. So would most people. It’s easier. But Jesus compares following Him to going down the narrow path. It’s not an easy way. It’s certainly not a popular way. But it’s the way that leads to life. Are you following the broad way tonight? Are you following the crowd? Taking the easy way out, even though you know it’s not right? Jesus said that path only leads one way—to destruction. No bypass, no detour. But the wonderful thing is—He gives you the choice. You can choose to exit the broad road and enter the narrow road. The road that leads to life. The thing about the broad road, is that it’s a mountain road. It goes downhill at a steep grade. The farther you go down it, the faster you go. It’s easy to use your brakes at the top. But the farther and faster you go, the hotter they get. Until they finally give out and won’t stop you at all. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit will not strive with man forever. If you feel His tug on your heart, you still have some brakes left. You can still make that exit to the narrow road. But He won’t tug forever. There might not be a runaway truck ramp farther down the road. We don’t know. What we do know is what waits at the end—destruction. Instead, Jesus wants you to choose the narrow road before it’s everlasting too late. He wants you to choose Him—the narrow path that leads to life. Not only does Jesus give us two paths to choose from, He gives us two products. Look with me in verses 15-20: