Faithlife
Faithlife

Sermon on The Mount - 12 - The Narrow Gate

Sermon on the Mount  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 98 views

The Wide and Narrow Paths

Notes & Transcripts
Matthew 7:13–14 NKJV
13 “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. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

The Narrow Gate

Jesus is beginning to bring the sermon to a close
It matters whether and how we apply His teachings
He is not just giving some good self help advice
He is providing us with revolutionary ideas and principles that are not optional
His Words are true and right regardless of the number who choose them
and you do have a choice
4 Key elements in this passage
The Gate
The Way
The Many
The Few

Enter by the Narrow Gate

We are commanded to “enter”
So there is an entrance, or gate that we must choose
The command to “enter” could be linked back to 5:17-20 where Jesus mentioned entering the kingdom of heaven
So the gate could be seen as a City Gate, the entrance into the promised kingdom
The idea of a gate is a sharply defined mode of entry -
requires a definite decision -
one does not wander in by accident
You must receive Christ by choice
requires a decision to believe, repent, receive forgiveness and sanctification
So, there is a very sharply defined mode of entry into this City (Kingdom)
this entry is described as a “narrow” gate
Narrow is the Gate
“narrow” This gate is not obvious. May not be easily seen, or intuitive.
perhaps uncomfortable
not where the crowd is going

the unstated assumptions are that everyone must go through a gate and end up somewhere and that only two gates exist

Everyone must end up somewhere
Only two gates exist
There is the city of destruction, and the celestial city
Jesus Christ is this Gate!
John 10:9 NKJV
9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
This Gate is narrow - only one
Acts 4:12 NKJV
12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Wide is the Gate

There is also another gate
This gate is wide - easily entered
Not at all difficult to find
So far He still hasn’t described the destinations beyond these gates
only that one is narrow and one is wide
One is able to accommodate much traffic, the other, less comfortable
But we are instructed to enter by the narrow gate
too many so called Christians are being deceived into thinking that they can enter the kingdom through the wide gate
They live in ease, excusing themselves from any responsibility or sacrifice
not willing to suffer loss, be inconvenienced, or to work for only His reward
Their God is their belly as Paul said
Having a form of Godliness yet denying His Power
These pseudo Christians live so much like the rest of the world they can scarcely be seen as different
They think that the passage in 1 Peter having to do with giving an answer concerning the hope that is in you has to do with worldly wealth or position
There is nothing in them that could be described as this “Peculiar people” that Peter mentioned.
They want to enter the kingdom one day, but they have no concept of the difference between a wide and narrow gate
indeed they measure their success and their godliness by comparing themselves with the rest of the world that does not know Jesus Christ.
The evidence of their Christianity is how well they fare in comparison to the rest of the people entering the wide gate
compare this to Paul who said if I must boast, I will boast of my infirmities
2 Corinthians 4:7–10 NKJV
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
2cor4.

Broad is the way

The word picture is expanded now to include a “way”.
Having chosen to enter at the gate, one must now choose the best “way” to get to the gate

To get to the right gate, one must first choose the right way

This introduces the idea of time for the journey - tenacity
whereas the gate may represent a decision, the way represents living it out
The wide gate corresponds to the broad way
this is the way that leads to destruction -
this is true in this world, and ultimately of hell
The broad way illustrates a wide roadway, able to accommodate a large number of people
like a superhighway with numerous lanes
This “WAY” to hell is paved with “self” and “comfort”
This road represents the path of ease, and carnal pleasure
It is easy to take this road - just set he cruise control and go
Decisions are led by emotion and self satisfaction on this road, and should never be difficult
Jesus didn’t come to make us comfortable (contrary to the opinion of some)
In fact, this was one of the problems He had to confront
The Pharisees were comfortable in their self righteousness
the Sadducees were comfortable in their legalism
the sinners were comfortable in their sin
the Romans were comfortable in their idolatry
Jesus made them all very uncomfortable!
commanding to repent! To give! To Love! To Forgive!
Those Pastors who make people comfortable in their sins are warned
This Broad way must be avoided
Psalm 1:1 NKJV
1 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
psa1.
Clearly, it matters which “way” you take
Clearly all paths do not lead to heaven
There are only two gates
only two destinations
1 Corinthians 10:21 NKJV
21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons.
Just as Jesus Christ is the gate (door) that leads to life
He also is the way to reach that door
John 14:6 NKJV
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
So, Jesus is the decision that we make in choosing life, and He is the way we choose each day in the journey!
And there is no other way
There is a false Christianity today teaching that there are many “ways” to heaven
These false teachers and false prophets wrap themselves in many subtle disguises, and slowly leak their false doctrine into the water supply of Life
with such graduality and subtlety that it largely goes unnoticed.
Consider the recent movie “The Shack”
There is overwhelming christian support for this movie
Christians applaud it as an evangelistic tool, teaching the love and character of God
It is in fact a satanic lie - distorting the Character of God and hiding the truth of an eternal hell and judgement for the unbelievers
This movie, like so many other false teachings, supposes that God, because He is good, would never judge anyone, and that in fact all “ways” will result in salvation
Describes God in a way that is different than the way scripture would describe God
heb.3
Hebrews 2:3 NKJV
3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,
This, if it were true, would completely negate not only this parable of the wide and narrow gates, but all of the warnings of God concerning life and death, salvation and damnation, eternal life and the wrath of God.
Deuteronomy 30:19–20 NKJV
19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
Deuteronomy 30:19–20a NKJV
19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
Deuteronomy 30:13–18 NKJV
13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. 15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, 16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess.
Deuteronomy 30:1–20 NKJV
1 “Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God drives you, 2 and you return to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, 3 that the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you. 4 If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you. 5 Then the Lord your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers. 6 And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. 7 “Also the Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you. 8 And you will again obey the voice of the Lord and do all His commandments which I command you today. 9 The Lord your God will make you abound in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your land for good. For the Lord will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers, 10 if you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 11 “For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. 15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, 16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
Deuteronomy 30:15 NKJV
15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil,
Deuteronomy 30:19–20b NKJV
19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

The Many

Wide is the road that leads to destruction and many there are that go in there
This “way” is wide, convenient, fast, popular
There are many multitudes who have gone this way
so many by choice have rejected the other way
no need to
while many others through ignorance have been lured to this way, by its glitz, by the crowd, by the glamorous attractions along the way
And still others, have been deceived into believing this road was somehow the right way, through lies, through selfish ambition, through hard heartedness
Yet they all should have known that, any “way” that lacks the savoir could never lead to life
any way that cannot atone your sins could never redeem your life.
Many will come in that last day, only to hear “I never knew you”

The Few

But some will find Him.
There are some, who though this world with devils filled should threaten to undo them, they know that the right man is on their said, and they will not turn from the narrow way.
Like John Bunyan’s Pilgrim, they will reach the celestial City
The fact that there seem to be so many more taking the wide road to the gate of destruction is irrelevant to them
Romans 3:4 NKJV
4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: “That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged.”
Romans 3:3–4 NKJV
3 For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? 4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: “That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged.”
This “few” should not be interpreted to mean a small number however
It is quite likely that there will be many hundred millions and perhaps even billions of souls who are saved
Revelation 5:11 NKJV
11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,
John saw in Revelation a great multitude that no man could count
Revelation 7:11 NKJV
11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,
Revelation 7:9 NKJV
9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
Jesus said that there would be many that would come and sit down with Abraham
Romans 3:3–4 NKJV
3 For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? 4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: “That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged.”
Rom
So the “few” then should be interpreted in relation to the seemingly many more that are at ease without care for their salvation (seemingly)
Or perhaps to the feeling of aloneness that we who have chosen this narrow road often feel while walking out our faith in this world
Like Elijah, we can often feel that “they” have broken down His altars and now “i” only am left and they want to kill me
Like Elijah, we can be assured that there are thousands (times thousands) who have not bowed their knee to Baal
Yet, if there were none, we must Choose for ourselves whom we will serve
Conclusion
Enter by the Narrow Gate
Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to life
Choose Life!
RELATED MEDIA
See the rest →
RELATED SERMONS
See the rest →