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Entrance into the Kingdom (Kingdom of Life)

Kingdom of God  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The Kingdom of God is inherently a Kingdom of Life. Therefore the path which leads is a path that brings life. The Prophets are ones who speak life. And the recipients are those who have a relationship with that life, Jesus.

Notes & Transcripts

Matthew 7:13–23 CSB
“Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it. “Be on your guard against false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So you’ll recognize them by their fruit. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, drive out demons in your name, and do many miracles in your name?’ Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you lawbreakers!
The Context:
Jesus began teaching to the crowds that were gathered around Him on the Mount
This section is commonly referred to as "The Sermon on the Mount"
It is in this section of teaching that we come to our passage

1) Kingdom’s Entrance - Path of Life (7:13-14)

The Context:
Jesus began teaching to the crowds that were gathered around Him on the Mount
This section is commonly referred to as "The Sermon on the Mount"
It is in this section of teaching that we come to our passage
Matthew 7:13–14 CSB
“Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.
As Jesus begins speaking, He gives us two pictures in our minds regarding entrance into the Kingdom of God
The Narrow Gate
The Wide Gate
Jesus first tells the people to "Enter through the narrow gate"
This is a call, a command telling people exactly where they need to go
From this, he will begin elaborating why it is He is calling them to enter through this "gate"
Before we get to the why, there is one thing I want us to notice about the gate Jesus is calling us to enter through...its narrow
This is further polarized by Jesus very next statement which is that there is more than one gate...
However despite there being here a second gate, there are not the same in where they lead
Which means just because it is A gate does not mean it is THE gate
Jesus says to enter in to the narrow gate because there is a wide gate and a broad road which lead to destruction
And on top of this, there are MANY who are going through it
The gate being wide and the road being broad shows it accommodation to the people entering through it
This is what makes this gate particularly deceptive - the fact that it is incredibly accommodating
It is anticipating that many will be deceived to enter this gate
But Jesus calls us to enter in to this narrow gate and then says that there seems to be a bigger gate and road which would seem probably more natural to enter through, that many enter in that leads destruction
Proverbs 14:12 CSB
There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death.
On top of this, Jesus says that the gate we are to enter through is:
Narrow
That the road is:
Difficult
And that:
Few find it
If we were to compare these two gates, and these two roads, and the people going down them its a little contrary to how we would think of when given directions on which way to go
But how is it that only few find this gate if it is supposed to be the gate of life?
That is a great question which brings us to our next point and part of the text

2) Kingdom’s Entrance - Prophets of Life (7:15-20)

Matthew 7:15–20 CSB
“Be on your guard against false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So you’ll recognize them by their fruit.
Jesus moves from speaking about the gate to speaking about false teachers and fruit which may seem like a bit of a jump in topics right?
You may also be thinking,  why does the title of this section say “prophets of life” when…He is clearly describing the opposite?
Jesus is showing us exactly what the prophets who are not proclaiming life are about and what they look like
He then says that we need to be on guard for "false prophets" 
To which He describes as "ravaging wolves" in "sheep's clothing"
This is an incredibly vivid picture that if can really scare us
Because the idea behind wolves in general is the fact that if you're not a wolf...you're probably prey
And to think a wolf (if it could be) disguised to look exactly like a sheep....is terrifying 
If I put you in a pen with 100 sheep and told you...one of the sheep is actually a wolf trying to eat you..what's the first question you would ask?
Probably, "How the heck am I supposed to tell which is which???"
(Aside from the obvious "why did you put me in here")
Jesus then says to them "You'll recognize them BY THEIR FRUIT"
Saying they may be able to somewhat visibly masquerade themselves but the fruit of their actions will reveal exactly who they are
Good fruit comes from a good tree - Simple enough right??
But good fruit doesn't come from a bad tree
So the narrow path to the kingdom is the path of salvation; the path of life. And there are 2 simple categories for people you hear from: 1) Someone who proclaims Life found in Christ, 2) Those who do not
Jesus says at the end of this section that “Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
From this point He moves on into our last section

3) Kingdom’s Entrance - Recipients of Life (7:21-23)

Matthew 7:21–23 CSB
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, drive out demons in your name, and do many miracles in your name?’ Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you lawbreakers!
Jesus begins this last section saying “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of God”
And you may be thinking one of the same things I thought when I first read this section for the very first time
“I don’t want to be one of these people”
And I will be honest with you guys, in my youthfulness as a Christian, when I didn’t fully grasp the Gospel this really confused me
The reason being is because I really wasn’t understanding the true Gospel
And that was evidenced in this section right here
Because honestly, this last section is terrifying
Because the description of what these people did seems to be more than I or You as an individual have ever done for the LORD
Jesus says these people prophesy, cast out demons, and do miracles in His name
And we often sit here and think....well…I woke up on time for church? Does that help my case?
The irony is that if you noticed in our 2nd section Jesus says that good trees will produce good fruit and then we see in this last section people who seem to be producing good fruit and yet get cast aside…why is that?
But this is the point of this is EXACTLY the point Jesus is making
Jesus is making the point that IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU DO FOR ME that gets you “into the kingdom”
And I need to make this a strong point here because many of us believe this
For those of us in this room who confess to be Christians we may say that we believe in salvation through Christ alone but if this passage scares you, then likely you are where I was too
Believing in a much deeper sense and trust more in our own works and righteousness as the reason that we will be saved
Or you may be in this room and you would say you are not a Christian
Maybe you would consider yourself religious
In the sense that you’re here, you believe a “god” exists, you may pray (whether frequent or infrequently)
Regardless of what you claim, this last section is touching on this question here:

If you were to stand before the God of the universe and He were to ask you “Why should I allow you in Heaven?” What would you say?

Many would likely answer saying “Well I think I’ve been a good person, I go to church, I pray, …ya know I’m not a BAD person right?
Is this not exactly what the people here are saying? Listing there good works as justification?
Listen to the reason that Jesus gives behind why that are case aside
Because often times we read this and get so freaked out we don’t read carefully
Jesus says:

“Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you...”

Did you catch that?
The rebuke is that they are not KNOWN; He doesn’t even acknowledge any of the good things they say they’ve done
So let me walk you through this and then we will apply all of this as to how it should be affecting your day to day life and relationship with the LORD
It is the basic tenant of Christianity that Jesus is God
If you were to go through our Foundations Class, which is in essence the basics of the Christian faith which we utilize Scripture as the content and the Baptist Catechism as a guiding means to which we understand this thing called Christianity, you would see the first question we answer is “Who is God?”
Now that class gives our full explanation to the question (What is God? How do we know there is a God? etc) but we look at a couple responses to the question “Who is God?”

We see through ; ; that there is only one true and living God

In saying that, the one true and living God is three persons (commonly referred to as the Trinity)
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; Distinct in person but same in essence and equal in power and glory
So we would say that Jesus, the Jesus speaking here in this text, at the very moment He is speaking this, is part of the infinite, eternal Godhead
That He is 100% God found in the second person of the Trinity
Now you may be wondering, okay we seem to be getting a little of track and getting a little confusing don’t you think?
Just follow me through this
Because I really want us to understand why these people in this text are not “known”
We see in multiple texts through scripture that all things were created by, for, and through Jesus
John 1:3 CSB
All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created.
Colossians 1:16 CSB
For everything was created by him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities— all things have been created through him and for him.
Hebrews 1:2 CSB
In these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son. God has appointed him heir of all things and made the universe through him.
But if that means what I think it does…then how can Jesus, who created ALL things, not know someone?
That either means, Jesus isn’t God because He didn’t create me and those texts we just looked at are lying OR He doesn’t simply me know as in a knowledge of (as in knows you exist)
This is where I’m going
Jesus says to the people who have no entrance into the Kingdom of God, that they are to depart because He doesn’t know them
But Jesus is God and knows ALL THINGS
The word here in Greek “to know”, which don’t worry you’re not going to get a fully Greek 101 lesson here, can have a lot of different meanings/different words for the same thing
To know in Greek, which would be cognitive, could just be to know how to do something (I know how to ride a bike) or understand something (I know Math)

The word used here means to know experientially to know something as acquired through observation and senses

Jesus lays out a really clear picture here, that in this last section, to enter the Kingdom is not to work for it and EARN it but rather that we have a relationship with the King
Colossians 3:4 CSB
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
What this means is that if the Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of life, and as Paul states that Jesus IS LIFE then...

What this means is that if the Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of life, and as Paul states here that Jesus IS LIFE then to be recipients of life is to be the recipient of a relationship with the One of is life

To be recipients of life is to be the recipient of a relationship with the One of is life

This is not just something we see in this text but is the call of scripture itself to people!!
Deuteronomy 30:15 CSB
See, today I have set before you life and prosperity, death and adversity.
Joshua 24:15 CSB
But if it doesn’t please you to worship the Lord, choose for yourselves today: Which will you worship—the gods your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living? As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord.”
Proverbs 14:12 CSB
There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death.
Jeremiah 21:8 CSB
“But tell this people, ‘This is what the Lord says: Look, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death.
Life in Christ exists as we see in the last section is found in relationship with Christ, not simply good deeds done on behalf of Christ. Salvation is not found anywhere other than Christ (the narrow road) but it is not just doing things FOR Him it is KNOWING Him and being KNOWN BY Him.
(Don’t read)

Entrance into the Kingdom (Kingdom of Life)

(Don’t read)
So this is the call before you as well, Christ has set before us the narrow and the wide gates
I am here to proclaim the message of all of scripture, to speak to you the way which leads to life; that way is through relationship with Christ
My desire is that you would be a recipient of life, that is Christ who laid down His life for us so that we might have His
If you would like to know more about what that looks like come and talk to me after the message and I would love to tell you what it means to receive Christ as your life and enter through this narrow gate into the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of life
chain together: your a led to the narrow gate by those who proclaim to you LIFE, that life IS Jesus Christ. These are not prophets like Jesus described who are not for you and are wolves. Jesus ended the second section saying any tree not producing good fruit is cut down and thrown in the fire AND YET says in the last section to people who seem to be producing good fruit to depart from Him.
So the narrow path to the kingdom is the path of salvation; the path of life. And there are 2 simple categories for people you hear from: 1) Someone who proclaims Life found in Christ, 2) Those who do not
Life in Christ exists as we see in the last section is found in relationship with Christ, not simply good deeds done on behalf of Christ. Salvation is not found anywhere other than Christ (the narrow road) but it is not just doing things FOR Him it is KNOWING Him and being KNOWN BY Him.
Proverbs 14:12 CSB
There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death.
Deuteronomy 30:15 CSB
See, today I have set before you life and prosperity, death and adversity.
Joshua 24:15 CSB
But if it doesn’t please you to worship the Lord, choose for yourselves today: Which will you worship—the gods your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living? As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord.”
Jeremiah 21:8 CSB
“But tell this people, ‘This is what the Lord says: Look, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death.
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