Summary: A sermon on Matthew 7:13-14 (Much material taken from a book by Kyle Butt and John Farber called, "Am I Ready to be Baptized?")
Evening Service for 10/4/2009
Poem by Robert Frost:
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth
A. Read Matthew 7:13-14
B. Jesus is starting to give his conclusion and his invitation here.
C. From “Am I Ready to Be Baptized?” by Kyle Butt and John Farber
Imagine that you have been hiking all morning. You are getting tired and ready for a break. As the sun climbs higher in the sky, you come to an opening in the trail. In front of you the trail forks in two different directions- the right and the left. As you look down the trail on the right, you see that it starts to go uphill not far in the distance. It looks very hard to travel. There are logs and rocks in the path, and even some thorns that hang over the trail. Grass has grown up over the trail, because not many people have traveled it.
The trail on the left is much wider. It is so wide you could drive a steam roller on it. As you look at it, you see that it goes down hill not far in the distance. Walking down hill seems much easier than walking up hill. Also, there are soda machines and snack shops on the sides of the left trail. As you stand there trying to decide which trail to take, you see other hikers coming your way. In fact, you start to see many other hikers. Most all of them take the path to the left. They stop at the snack shops and the soda machines, but they never seem to get enough to eat or drink. They just keep going from one shop to the next, always wanting more. Once in a while, you watch a hiker step up to a sign in the fork. The hiker read the sign, and then takes the path to the right.
You wonder what the sign says, so you walk up and begin to read. The sign is a large wooden sign divided into two large sections. The section on the left talks about the path on the left. The part of the sign on the right tells about the path on the right.
Thesis: Let’s talk about this sign.
I. The path on the left
A. It is easy and most people take it. Have you noticed the tremendous emphasis today upon broadness? There are people who would like to make the way so broad that, ultimately, everybody is walking in that way; ultimately every path will lead to God, ultimately everybody will be all right. If we follow the crowd we can be sure it is the wrong way.
B. The sign talks about the snack shops and soda machines all along the way, which you saw. But the sign tells you something interesting about those places. It tells you the snacks taste good at first, but later they hurt your stomach. And the snacks are addictive; the more you eat, the more you want to eat.
C. You also learn that the soda feels good in your mouth at first, but later it burns your throat. The soda is also addictive; the more you drink, the more you want to drink, even thought it burns your throat.
D. (Prov 23:31 NIV) Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! (Prov 23:32 NIV) In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper.
D. (2 Pet 2:19 NIV) They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity--for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.
F. The sign says that this path leads to a huge lake of fire. The hill in front of this huge lake slopes steeply down. Everyone who does not get off this path before they come to the hill slides down the path into the lake of fire.
G. (Mark 9:43 NIV) where the fire never goes out.
H. (Mat 13:50 NIV) and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
I. I can do what I want and still get to heaven. Not so! (1 Cor 6:9 NIV) Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders (1 Cor 6:10 NIV) nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor 6:11 NIV) And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.