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August 20, 2018 9:07 am
Two days but one way to life. Two gates, but one way to life in Matthew chapter 7 verse 13 and 14 we read Matthew chapter 713 and 14. Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is why in the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.
For the gate is narrow that leads to that on the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few have ever noticed in the word of God. God gives us choices wherever we see two or more things or people. We do have a choice, it does represent choice to us. We make choices regularly about what we should eat what we show wherein where we will go in the root we were taken, with whom we will travel and who would be our friends will be our confidence.
How fast to drive in postal to drive in who take out the garbage at the house and who do the dishes and all of these things represent choices for person in school you've got some homework. You have some assignments in college when am I going to do it, how my going to do it, even going to do it. What television programs to watch how much time to spend watching TV.
We do have choices.
Isn't it true, but one thing is also true with the choices that we have is that there are consequences to the choices we make and so here we see severest comparisons and contrasts throughout Scripture.
Interestingly Alice just a few of them. We see comparisons and contrasts between light and darkness, which will you choose good and evil, heaven and hell, strength and weakness, peace and war, love and hate, poverty and wealth spiritual that is spiritually and and not materially poverty or wealth, health and sickness, life and death, joy and sorrow. We been given various choices as we compare these things. We make decisions based on certain perspectives that we have in life based on the outcome that we are looking for. Based on our desires or wants our wishes. We look at two things we compare them.
We make a decision based on which we think somehow is going to benefit us, or perhaps which would be simply the best choice to make. God gives us choices.
He created us with the capacity to make decision in the capacity to choose, aren't you happy.didn't make us as robots, he gave us choice not so that we would just serve him as robots worship him mechanically or programmatically. Again he gives us choice. He also tells us in Deuteronomy chapter 30 that God has placed before us choice he has given us life or death which will be choose a text before us today. Matthew chapter 7, 13 and 14, a continuation of Jesus's sermon on the Mount, one of the key emphases here that we see throughout the sermon on the Mount is a comparison between external righteousness and internal righteousness. The Pharisees says this important to have external righteousness, so that you are righteous don't care so much about an internal change, but the word of God in colleges and focus is on the heart if any man is in Christ Jesus you creature man looks at the outward appearance, but God sees our hearts were told it is not what enters the mind that if I was a man, but it's what comes out of it because it's a reflection of our hearts, we have choices to make, regardless of the choice we make again we see the options we try to figure which way to take we go this way are do we go that way do we honor regardless of the choices that we make.
I want us to understand something today that it only takes Christ on the cross to enter that narrow way into eternal life. There are no other choice is there are no other options. There remains, but one way to Jesus Christ, which will you today. Have you chosen this way.
I am so glad that God has provided this path through his son Jesus Christ, and that many of us here today have chosen this path.
Others of course have not chosen this path with our Savior patiently waits is not slow but he patiently waits because it is the desire in his wish is that all would come to repentance. But again, we do have the choice to make. John MacArthur writing about the decisions that people need to make he says no, Jesus presents here in Matthew chapter 7 Jesus presents the choice of entering the kingdom or not. It is just that simple. All you going to make the choice to enter the kingdom of God or you will not hear the Lord focus is MacArthur continues on the inevitable decision every person must make the crossroads where he must decide on the gate, he will enter and the way he will go. At one point the other in our lives we come to this juncture, we come to this crossroads in life, we must make the decision we enter all will we not again we see before us today to gates but only one way that leads to eternal life. First of all, we provided a commandment that we need to ponder a commandment that needs to be pondered wrist simply told here. Enter by the narrow gate enter. This is a commandment, Jesus is presented in enter this way is a commandment. It is in the imperative but is also in the areas so that's very interesting combination, because as the imperative. It presents to last a command is an urgent call that needs to be responded to respond, no, as it were, respond is already some of us may say he requires immediate action, immediate attention.
Immediate response is very urgent.
One of the reasons it is so urgent is because we have today, but tomorrow is not provided is not promised for us. But not only is it imperative, but again is the heiress that is not normally the heiress then speaks about some actions in the past but doesn't always have a completed action in the past thought of one small action in the past.
Sometimes it continues and when the heiress and the imperative comes together. It's a commandment that needs to be responded to already respond right now.
Now is the opportune moment, it will not always be available to us.
This way, this date that Jesus Christ has has given to us through his blood on the cross. This invitation to enter. We were not always have the time and the opportunity to respond to that box we have now enter this narrow gauge we are provided with the reasons why we should wish to look at a while ago. This is a very important matter. We cannot afford to linger. We cannot afford to delay.
We cannot afford to wait any longer. We need to enter.
This path is a natural way gate and narrow gate that leads to a narrow path. It begins right at the foot of the cross as it were.
One of the things we notice about a gate or door which is seems quite obvious, but will just mention it just for a few seconds I get a taller door when one it provides access so that we can enter but shortly thereafter that date or that door will also close the dying access and entry into that room into that house, as it were.
So again when these storms come together in this one out wording here. It is telling us. The gate is now open this door is open to the way of eternal life, but it will not remain open forever. The time to respond is no to gates but one way to life.
We told that Jesus is this door key is this date and is only through him that we have eternal life.
Here is the Kaman clearly presented. You might say what I don't see does a commandment. While I understand that just looking at the your English version, you might not see that, but it's a command again combined with the heiress stance is something that needs to be responded to write the very moment have you ever noticed. Just a slight difference when you look at Matthew chapter 6 and verse 11. Give us this day our daily bread.
Give us right now sports a day today only our daily bread. There is something about today, perhaps, is the need that the person is having campus right now. This day our daily bread. In contrast with the very same Lord's prayer appears in the book of Luke, there is a slight change or new ones that we see there from the infection. Here we have give us this day. This day our daily bread. In Luke Luke says each day our daily bread. Give it to us today.
Lord Thomas tomorrow keep on in the imperfect tense keep on given to us, our daily bread but here we don't have and not promised tomorrow. Here we have today and the command is enter right now. Enter this narrow gate music. Why should I enter this narrow gate because if we don't enter this narrow gate. Then we're going to stay in a particular place where we are on a particular path on which we are. You will see where that path leads to so here we are presented with a command that needs to be pondered and pondered too long.
Say yes to the Lord. If you've not yet said yes to him before is eternally too late.
A command to ponder. Secondly, we have a pathway to sin and destruction a command to ponder. But then a pathway to sin and destruction.
Notice we are told. For the gate or it could even be because enter this narrow gate. For or because the gate is why on the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. A pathway to sin and destruction noticed that the entrance to this gate is why it is wide open. The idea here is an entrance gate. That is why it always brought the Greek term.
Here it is spread out. It is flat. Lots of options exist along this path as we enter through this. Why not gate the natural topography up this pathway on which many of us have traveled and on which many are still traveling notice is described as being easy. It is a wide date. It is a flat road if you may. It is easy. It presents a sense of ease and torment along this path. The entrance is why all brought her some verses may say the pathway is easy. Why is this pathway so easy is easy because it's filled with the pleasures of the world is easy because of our unrestrained freedom and sin exist along this path weekend you heard it said do whatever you want to do doing that all your might.
As long as it pleases you do it with all your might restrain sin, unrestrained, evil as it were, at least in the eyes of man dwells on this path, ungodliness, pride, sin in all inspections. The celebration of sin is there all things that this honors prize are there false doctrine. The recruiting lines that lead to destruction.
You will find on this path so might not like for us to say what you think of what's going on in uptown Charlotte over this weekend that this gay pride this parade that is there on the broad road notice. One of the things I said not only is sin there but there is a celebration of sin. There whenever we speak against our sin.
We are calling tolerance have given notice. You will tolerance him as it is today is not just that we can get along and tolerate each other. But what they want for us to do is to celebrate the sin. Don't say anything about someone sin was okay back in the days don't ask don't tell. But today we need to celebrate the sin, particularly as we are being forced to these days of homosexuality celebration of sin we find on this path. It is easy, lots of pleasures are there lights next flickers that seems to drive towards lots of pleasure we will find along this path, but don't forget is the path that leads to destruction. It's a path that leads to destruction, destruction or punishment all rolling, but the idea here is, specifically as it relates to destruction and misery in hell. This is not the kind of a temporary thing that you bump your foot on a rock and you feel something temporarily, but then it goes away. This is a chart is a path that leads to eternal destruction and again we are told many enter their many are there one of the reasons and many are on this path. The truth were known, you and I were on this path as well.
All of us were born in sin and Satan in the iniquity. The wages therefore sin is that all of us came into this world. On this broad path we simply entered this broad path because as David reminds us in sin my mother conceived me. So the whole world as it were, entered this path so the idea here is, if you can picture a large group of people every single person who has been born into this world and of course you know there are only two people that are excluded from that list so if you are in a class and asked the question. I'm sure you would say Adam and Eve were single person born into this world were would be on this list because we enter this work on this broad path we came into the world would sin the batter of death over Russ. We were headed to destruction so you can pitch it all at one particular point a huge number of people on this path which means the path must be broad enough to accommodate every single person and as we are walking along this path, the pleasures of this world and the disappointments that we find but somehow convincing ourselves still that we need to remain there because of pleasure and the temporary joy that we find here along the way as we are traveling we see a narrow gauge. There is this narrow gauge as we travel.
And here is one stand in this day saying get off that path. Get off that path. This path leads to death, destruction, domination, get all that path what your response going to be how foolish would it be for you to leave your continuing life on that path, knowing full well that this path leads to destruction.
Can you think of a group of people heading on a wonderful Sunday. Perhaps there in Jamaica. I don't know some beautiful cabin island like that. I'm a bit biased as I'm sure you know, particularly since last month. This time we were in Jamaica, albeit not at the beach but we were there, but you can consider a group of people in a bus on a beautiful sunny day, heading to the beach.
There are having a wonderful time. Lots of singing in lots of chatter lots of games in the bus, but there thinking about the ultimate destination of going to the beach, perhaps the third location they've never been before. And because this journey was quite long. It took a number hours to travel to the destination. Let's say one young man falls asleep and I'm not talking about sleep. I'm talking about deep sleep. I'm talking about. Join booties as we might say Jamaica.
That means you're saying a lot of things and making a lot of spells in your sleep. Your snoring here are far gone maybe from here to you and Gyro wherever that is your God, but somehow you are welcome by the shouts of people crying. The smell of smoke and the crackling of fire and ice. You look around you realize this bus is on fire is being engulfed with fire. Some people are jumping out the window. There's a stampede to get to the door. People want to get out of this bus because now it's on fire no longer represent pleasure and joy to them. They want to get off this bus can imagine this young man. He wakes up all goes right back to sleep. How foolish would that be know he would want to get off that path.
Get out of that bus as well and he would want to do right now realizing he may not have another opportunity to do so today is your opportunity to get off that path. That dangerous path that destructive path today is your opportunity would you be like this young man to see the obvious danger and destruction on the bus and go right back to sleep. Or would you want to get off the bus. Certainly you would want to get off the bus again.
Thanks be to God that through Jesus Christ and him alone. I way has been made. The whole way has been made for us to get all this bus of eternal destruction through Jesus Christ and his finished work on the cross command to ponder a pathway to sin and destruction. Then finally, you will save three points past peers would never seen that before.
Praise God the way that pathway to holiness in life. Verse 14 for the way is narrow the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
The gate is narrow and the way is hard in comparison to the easy path in the easy life on the broad road. This gate is narrow in comparison to the law or the wide gate. This gate is narrow in comparison to the. The other path. Many are on that path.
Few are on this path for the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are true after there's one more point to come. Sorry, got too excited over the third point the way to life. Holiness in life we enter our entrance to this path again is through Jesus Christ. It is narrow.
It's filled with lots of obstacles as part of the word. For now, here the suggestion is that there are obstacles on this path. But, praise be to God that there is no mountain too high that we cannot scale with the help of Jesus Christ. First Corinthians chapter 1 and verse hate, I call your attention to this text just for a few seconds. Paul is going to describe for us. Just a few obstacles along this path. Some of us may experience it it it might be our education. It might just be our way of thinking and in the evidence that we look for in various things. What Paul says that the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to those of us who are being saved it is the power of God for the cross of the gospel the way of Christ might appear to be foolish to out some people that might become their stumbling block that might become the obstacles that might prevent them or keep them or delay them get in office path.
Some obstacles might be prior humanism, human wisdom and reason, and on believe these might just be some of the obstacles that we might find on this path. This very narrow path, but would you allow human wisdom, would you allow the pleasures of the world to keep you from enjoying a relationship with Christ and having the hope of being with Christ for all eternity. Would you allow that. Again, this pathway to holiness in life. It is narrow, but again not only is it narrow with this path. It is hard. The root word here it it it it has, it carries the idea of affliction, trouble of suffering of tribulation. It's it's it's it's not a is not an adjective.
Actually it is a verb that describe the process arduous processes or squeezing the juice out of great perseverance that is involved in that process, the difficulty that is involved in that process is a hard path.
What do we mean is a difficult journey yes on this path we find sinners who are saved by grace and struggling to love Christ and honor their fellow man. Yes, on this path, we might find a few hypocrites because isn't there some point or another in your life and mine. Those of us who claim the name of Jesus Christ find ourselves there on this difficult this hard path, we may find some of those there, but that's not the only thing on this path, we find those who are weighing those more acidic. Those were sorrowful because of one loss, are the other. Those who may weep at night but thanks be to God that the joy of the Lord is our strength. We find this on this path on this path. We also find some perseverance we we find some deniers on the spot, quite contrary to the easy path of the Broadway we find people carrying their classes and helping other brothers and sister bear their own cross and their burdens as well is here on this cross at this pathway that we seek to esteem others about ourselves and their needs above ours is on this path is difficult is a hard path because on this path, you might find some persecuted on this pathway but thanks be to God, we may be persecuted.
But we are not abandoned, then we may be afflicted, and trust in every science but we are not destroyed by winds and so on.
This hard path because we are more than conquerors in Jesus Christ who loves us and gave his blood for us shed his blood for us on this cross so therefore on this path we find men, women, Boys and Girls Club bought with the blood of Jesus Christ and washed in his blood and sealed to the very day of redemption on this path are just thankful that you're on the spot. I'm happy I'm on this path on this number path that we enter through the gate of Jesus Christ is difficult road to travel where we might find some patients there. We might find some self-control there some loving one another. There even though we struggle with that at times we see demonstrations of the fruit of the spirit they receive person struggling to put on and bear the whole armor of God on this path, we find those were seeking to serve Christ and to do on the price of the redeemed of the Lord. Children of the King on this path, we might be discouraged at times we find encouragement in Jesus Christ or Struthers might seem to be like brought that Giants in Northside and we might be like grasshoppers in their side. Jesus is on our side on this path is a hard path. Yes it is, we admit it's a hard path, but Christ is with us. We have the hope of eternity.
We have assurance of salvation on this path, we have those on this path, whose names have been written in the Lamb's book of life, we see righteousness on this path piece on this path, presence of Jesus Christ on this path. So again, the path may be hard yes it might be difficult to walk at times, but the end result, my brothers and sisters that destiny as we might say is out of this world. Out of this words they would you remain on the broad path that leads to destruction. Why would you knowingly stay on the bus that is going over the precipice bus that is heading nowhere just because of the little light that is on it that you know is going to go out descriptor is a path that leads to destruction. Why would you remain on this path when you can have Jesus Christ as your shepherd as your anchor has your tour when you can be safe in the hands of Jesus. Yes, you might be harassed by the devil on this path. But again, not all of victory is secured in Christ. It might just be a difficult path so we wouldn't be surprised when we find that it's amazing the Scripture makes it abundantly clear for the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few leads to life, eternity with Jesus Christ and I hope you will find it before.
It's eternally too late. The devil may come we see in John 10 is threefold ministry. The steel detail and to destroy. But those of us who are in Christ Jesus again. We can't be taught to why we are in Jesus's hands and he is in the father's hands and we have double security.
Remember a few years ago in Jamaica will might be a little bit a minute as they say. I remember a new security company came on the scene and it tried to distinguish itself from all the other in a private security companies and it tried to describe the sort of full-service that it would offer the security that people would have any compared some a few other companies that previously existed before it. And then there came to some of the slow run are this phrase that if you come to our company.
You will have security ramble style. I don't know if it's Rocky one, two, three or four blocks, you will have great securities. The best way they could demonstrate it. What you literally a small group a small amount of people enter this narrow through this narrow gate on this narrow way. This narrow path. You find it, but in order to find it.
We must be seeking for it. We must seek the Lord when he can be widely can be found, knock and it will be open to us. Call upon him. He is there.
Those who find it are few. Then finally again is a discovery of eternal value because when we find Christ that which he promises he would give we are locked in for all eternity and he provides us with glimpses of heaven here even on the earth.
It wouldn't lie to us.
Remember in John chapter 14, he says, in my father's house verse two. There are many mansions and if it were not so, by the way, I would've told you once of light to you. You can find joy and peace and eternal rest in this place, those who find it to come upon it after searching to find something we can find Christ. Matthew six remind us verse 33 seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness are you worried are you concerned about what you show Ethan where you should live and what you shall put on. Where the remedy is instead a war in seek the Lord first seek him first put him first in his righteousness, and all that you have need for you will find Christ. Why he is made himself discoverable. I like that term. I know it's a bit you Nicole for some of us, but I realize how important that is just a few days ago, as I try to transfer some video some videos and pictures from my phone taken in Jamaica to my laptop and I thought you just begin with the phone and you say you want to share it you want to share you know it, with your with your Bluetooth option and so I hit that nothing was going. I mean it wasn't going to say I may not put it all up close to my my my laptop like I see my kids to get that a guy get closer to the iPad.
You know and there's this note and all software on it that they somehow communicate and that finally I realized I had to make the laptop itself discoverable until I made a laptop discoverable my little phone, smart as it might be cannot discover this laptop on its own and the beautiful thing about it is God has made himself discoverable.
God is a calming down kind of a God, God has opened the windows of heaven, as it were shown as himself and his love for us salvation is available to all of us. He's not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance and he has a need. The way for all to come to him. But we must come to Christ and him alone to be saved by grace through faith in Christ alone is finished work on the cross with salvation. It needs to be pursued and we need to discover we need to find the provision that Christ has made many of us have done so, but not all of us have done so I would say seek the Lord and seek, you know, I would say turn from your way. You see what that has done to you. Trouble disgrace to your family disgrace to your self laptop in prison fired from your job outcast in society. Disease written that's what you find on the broad path with Jesus offers another option we can have a life in him, we must do it now today do it today is the day of repentance. Joshua says when you consider Israel your journey you want to go back and serve the gods beyond the Midianite Corp. Father's Day hidden and suffered God's judgment. He says you can do that if you want to, but as for me on my house we will serve the Lord.
What will you do will you choose Christ today. You know the condition of your heart. I don't know it. If you don't know Christ. You know you're on this path and you know what's ahead is destruction, eternal separation from Jesus Christ. You know it. If I haven't sufficiently convince you in these few minutes that I'm not so sure I can even if I had 15 more minutes by doing Jamaica, we might just be starting might have another Utica's falling out the window you are leaving both your presses and go to the cafeteria to get lunch wherever you go. But today, now is the time come to Jesus come to Jesus and live. For those of us who know Christ as our Lord and Savior.
Let's live for him this continue to serve him. This continue to worship him even more. All live the life worthy of the call of Jesus Christ with others of you today. Perhaps you would need to say just as I require comps I come now, Lord, without one plea was that your blood was shed for me that the obits need come to the O Lamb of God, I come, I pray you would come to Christ today all the devil might say to you know you know you can go now, you need to clean your life up first know you can go like that, Jesus says, just as you are he will clean you up.
You can clean yourself up you know you will try outside. I failed every time I had to come to Jesus just as I was that everything the believer here had to come to Jesus just the way we were and what did we find the worst sins be as scarlet. He makes them as white as snow. I pray that you would come to Jesus that you would come now, you do have a choice. There's are still two gates, one ultimately leads to the death, destruction, eternal separation from God, but the other needs to eternal life, which will you choose