Which Path Are You On?

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Which Path Are You On?

Sermon by  Thomas Thornhill Jr

Passage: Matthew 7:13-14


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Sunday, November 29, 2020 am        


Sermon on the Mount (27)

As we continue our examining of the Sermon on the Mount as part of our theme dealing with the teachings of Jesus, we now see Jesus beginning to wrap this lesson up, but even in this, there is still plenty of sermon to examine and lessons to apply to our lives.   Many sources present one summary lesson based upon the remainder of the text (Matthew 7:13-27), but we will devote a handful of lessons to His teachings here.

Last week we noted His teaching about “the Golden rule”. Today, we find the choices we are faced with.

I.  Two choices

  1. As Jesus begins to summarize, He presents us with choices. In fact, in the remaining sermon, we find at least 4 choices:
    1. The broad way and the narrow way – today’s lesson
    2. Good fruit and bad fruit – which will you choose?
    3. To do His will or not do His will –those who profess to believe in Him can be included in those who do NOT do His will
    4. What foundation will you build upon? The Solid rock or on sand?
  2. Throughout the Bible, we find that we are faced with choices – either obey God or do not obey Him.
    That was the choice Eve and Adam faced in the garden (Genesis 3:1-6) that they failed.
    Moses could have chosen to remain in Egypt’s royalty, or to serve God. He chose the latter (Hebrews 11:24-25)
    Joshua 24:15 – chose this day whom you will serve.
    1 Kings 18:21 – similarly, Elijah challenged the people of Israel, “How long will you falter between two opinions?” He was challenging to choose God or Baal.
    Matthew 12:30 where Jesus said, You are either with Him or you are not.
    Deuteronomy 30:15-20 – I have set before you today life and good, death and evil…choose life
  3. This is the message of scripture. You HAVE to choose!   And there is no middle ground.


II.  What is the broad way?

  1. Jesus described this as having a wide gate – something that many can pass through at the same time. It is OPEN all the time and receives anyone for any reason whatsoever.
  2. The way is broad meaning spacious – plenty of room. Think of some of our freeways in California – with 14 lanes across (so large, you could build a nice sized house on it and have a yard) and contrast that with a 1 lane road off the beaten path.
    IT is a POPULAR road filled with all the bright lights of temptations and worldly pleasures.
  3. It leads to destruction – Jesus is here again addressing the subject of hell. Jesus spoke of this place of torments and everlasting punishment more than anyone else in the New Testament.
    – TO describe hell, Jesus references a valley of Jerusalem that at that time was a garbage dump (γέεννα – geenna, the valley of Hinnom). It was unclean, filthy, maggot infested and putrid. It was the most terrible place the corrupt Jewish leaders could comprehend.
    – Originally, it was prepared for the devil and his angels – Matthew 25:41. (2 Peter 2:4, Revelation 20:10).   But it will also be filled with all sorts of the ungodly (Revelation 20:15, 21:8, etc.) AND those who torment the godly – 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9, etc.
    – This included the corrupt religious leaders that Jesus was continually confronting – cf. Matthew 23:13, 15 where Jesus called the corrupt religious leaders “sons of hell”
    The reality of this place is established throughout the New Testament.
    For example – Matthew 25:46 speaks of everlasting punishment;
    – Earlier Jesus said it would be better to pluck out your eye or cut off your hand to keep from sinning than to be cast into hell (Matthew 5:29-30)
    – Mark 9:44 further elaborates on this describing hell as a place “where the worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched” indicating torments.
    – Matthew 8:12 – it was described as outer darkness, and “where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
    – even worse it will be a place where God is NOT found at all (- 2 Thessalonians 1:9, Matthew 7:23)
  4. Many go in by it – this is the road of the majority. This is the road of wickedness and evil. This is the road of compromising the truth and false doctrine. This is the road of those who persecute the godly. This is the road of blasphemy and all sorts of ungodly behaviors (cf. Revelation 21:8, Galatians 5:19-21, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, etc.).
    It is also the road of those who do NOTHING!

III.  What is the narrow way?

  1. The gate is narrow – meaning it is restricted. One source described it like a turnstile entering a station – only one at a time enters, and you do not carry anything with you.
    We KNOW what that door is. John 10:1 begins a discourse of Jesus as “the Good Shepherd”. In vs. 1 He notes He is the door and anyone who climbs up another way is a thief and robber (not welcome).
    7-8 notes He is the ONLY door – all who came before were thieves and robbers
    Vs. 9-10, I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
  2. The way is difficult (NKJV) – small (NASB), “the way is hard” (ESV), or strait (KJV) – NOTE the spelling in the KJV. This doesn’t mean a road with no curves, the word means confined (like a geographical strait – e.g. the strait of Gibraltar, the strait of Hormuz)
    This certainly describes the way to heaven – 2 Timothy 3:12 reminds us that all who desire to live godly, will suffer persecutions.
    In this sermon Jesus has described its difficulty – seeking first the kingdom of God, loving our enemies, forgiving others as we want to be forgiven, turning the other cheek, etc.
    He will become even more blunt as He continues His preaching and teaching on earth – passages we have examined such as Matthew 10:37-38, Luke 9:62, 14:33 – which speaks of forsaking all that we have, etc.
  3. It leads to life – clearly, Jesus is speaking of salvation – eternal life. An oft addressed subject in the New Testament. In fact, it is hope emphasized throughout.
    – John 3:16 – everlasting life…
    – Matthew 25:46 – “but the righteous into eternal life
    – John 14:6 – Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me
    – John 10:27-28, Jesus continues His discourse as the good Shepherd and says, My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
    Romans 2:7 – speaks of eternal life awaiting those who seek for glory, honor and immortality.
  4. Few find it – unlike the broad way that virtually everyone is on, this path is quiet and traveled by few. – Only the TRULY righteous are on this path.
    – These are those who literally “seek first the kingdom of God”.
    – These are the ones who have obeyed the gospel and remained faithful, even unto death, whether peaceful or in tribulation (Revelation 2:10).
    – These are the ones who have “died in the Lord” – Revelation 13:14
    THESE are the SAVED!
  • NOTE: It is worthy of mention that far more THINK they are on this path than really are. Some have been lied to with false gospels – some advocating false doctrine (our next lesson) OR watering down the true gospel. We need to examine ourselves continually and truly commit our lives to Him (2 Corinthians 13:5). Do NOT cheapen the grace of God by thinking He will excuse you for that which He condemns everyone else.

And thus, Jesus as He begins to conclude His lesson, drives home the importance of the choices we need to make. The reality is, you ARE making a choice, even if think you are not or do not want to.   And one day, you will stand before God and reap the harvest of your choice. Jesus offers to EVERYONE the strait and narrow path. Are you on that path? If not, let us help you in whatever way we can. Think about it!