Summary: This message is taken from the Sermon on the Mount and looks at four sets of two choices given by Jesus as to where we'll spend eternity.
Sermon on the Mount
“There Are Only Two”
We all prefer to be given choices and the more choices we have the better we like it. But there are limits, which is evident when looking up and down the grocery aisle.
• First you have the cereal aisle. You have at least 50 different types of cereals, and each type has at least two different manufactures making it.
• And then there is bottled water. Where once there was only a couple of brands, now there are hundreds, and to make matters worse, water now comes with flavors and vitamins, each adding to the price.
• And what about the personal hygiene aisle, or should I say aisles. There are at least 20 different styles of shave creams, each having multiple manufactures, and the same could be said about every product found on these aisles; that is with the exception of hair products, they have a whole aisle all to themselves.
• And let’s not even talk about cosmetics. Whole stores are dedicated to them.
Everything involves choices. Just going out to dinner is a big thing because of the choices.
There are multiple different types of food from every continent, country, and ethnicity. There are over 12 different types of Chinese cuisine, and when it comes to BBQ, there’s way too many to mention.
Sometimes I feel like one of the vultures in Jungle Book saying, with a slight variation, “Where you want to go? I don’t know, where do you want to go?”
But in our passage Jesus shatters any false allusions a person might have about where to spend eternity. Our society likes to think that there are many ways to get to heaven, but Jesus said there is only one true path. In other words there’s not many ways, as people like to say. In fact, when it comes to our eternity Jesus said there are only two choices.
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14 NKJV)
What we see is that there are four sets if choices. Four sets of two
1. Two Entry Points
These two entry points are the two gates. There’s a wide gate and a narrow gate.
The Wide Gate is the easy gate. There’s no difficulty getting through this way, and that’s because there are no limits to what we can get through. We can take all the baggage we can carry. Nothing needs to be left behind, including our sins, self-righteousness, self-centeredness, and even our pride.
The Narrow Gate, however, is not so easy. It’s difficult, not only to get through but to find.
When in Israel these narrow gates were quite difficult to find and to get through. The main gates were wide where all the traffic flowed, but the narrow gate was off to the side. You had to look hard to find them, and often times I didn’t even know they existed until our guide opened it up. And to get through some of them we had to step over a threshold a couple of inches high, while ducking our heads at the same time.
One time as I was stepping through one of these narrow gates when something caught my attention and I forgot to duck. I about knocked myself out.
It’s this narrow gate that Jesus tells us to go through. This gate isn’t easily found, so we need a guide, the Holy Spirit, to reveal the way.
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” (John 16:7 NKJV)
And then again a little later Jesus said,
“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” (John 16:13 NKJV)
The Holy Spirit is our guide, and He’ll open up this narrow gate, who is none other than Jesus Christ, because the doorway to eternal life is one person wide, Jesus.
“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” (John 10:9 NKJV)
Jesus is the door to everlasting life in heaven. But while the perception is that it’s hard to get through, the reality is that it isn’t hard at all. It starts with us unpacking all the baggage we’ve collected in this life. Stuff like selfish ambition, pride, and sin.