Summary: This is a study on the Sermon on the Mount. This the 13th sermon in the series.
Sermon on the Mount
Two Gates – Life or Destruction
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. [NKJV]
1. Decisions – Life is full of them.
A. This morning you were faced with some decisions –
To come to SS and church | To come to church only | To just simply stay at home and not come at all
B. Every Day we make decisions –
What to wear | What to eat | Where to go | What to do | What to say | What to buy
Who to marry | What career to follow | Major purchases | And on and on
2. John MacArthur
Our lives are filled with decisions – … 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 [Text | Matthew 7:13-14] calls men to make. … [This is done] in perfect harmony with His absolute sovereignty, God has always allowed men to choose Him or not … He has provided and shown the way [to mankind], leaving nothing to man but the choice. [For] God made His choice by providing the way of redemption. [Accepting] the choice is now man’s.
The Ways – [John Oxenham, British poet]
To every man there openeth | A Way, and Ways, and a Way,
And the High Soul climbs the High Way, | And the Low Soul gropes the Low,
And in between, on the misty flats, | The rest drift to and fro.
But to every man there openeth | A High Way and a Low,
And every man decideth | The Way his soul shall go.
----- [The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 1-7, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1986), p. 449-450 (adapted)] -----
NOTE: It is decision time!
In these two verses (7:13-14) Jesus is making an appeal for those (especially His disciples) who have been listening to Him to look at and decide which path (way) they are to be traveling down concerning life.
The text indicates that there are two paths (ways) that we can travel. One is through a broad gate that leads to destruction and the other is through a narrow gate that leads to life. Jesus here tells – No | demands (imperative aorist verb) – that His disciples “must” enter the narrow gate. Any other way leads to destruction.
Therefore, just as those disciples were expected to follow His will then, so too we as His disciples are no less obligated to follow them today – we are indeed to heed His Words: “Enter by the Narrow Gate” and walk in its way which leads to life, to do otherwise leads to destruction.
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.
I. Enter by the narrow gate
A. Enter | Narrow Gate
. Enter – imperative aorist verb: demands a definite and specific action.
. Narrow Gate – Gk. means: an opening (syn. door) [point of entrance] that is difficult for even a small man to pass through w/o distress. Normally associated with an opening in a wall.
1. Example: Mammoth Cave, KY – Fat Man’s Misery. An extremely narrow section on the historic trail that is difficult for those who are over weight to maneuver through.
2. Illustration: Demonstrate the difference between a narrow pathway and a broad pathway.
NOTE: The command here is not to ponder and admire the gate. But is to enter it. Many people respect and praise Jesus Christ but never receive Him as Lord and Savior [John MacArthur, 452].
.. Having a head knowledge of Jesus Christ will not save an individual from their sins – cf. 1 Corinthians 2:14.
. Unfortunately – Many of today’s professing Christians (87% of Americans) as evidenced by their lack of spiritual fruit may only have such a knowledge of Jesus Christ instead of a saving heart knowledge (being born-again) of Him.
II. 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.