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Sermon on the Mount -10- The Road Less Traveled

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Reading: Matt.7:12-14

 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV)

I.    No Two ways about it

      A.  There are only two Possible paths

            1.   As far as where you’ll spend eternity, there are only 2 possible choices: eternal joy or eternal sorrow.

            2.   The narrow gate is named “God’s Grace” — the narrow road is named “Following Jesus.”

                   a.   Please notice that the gate is at the beginning of the road, not the end.

                   b.   We get on the right path by accepting God’s love and forgiveness, given to us in Jesus.

                   c.   We stay on the path because God’s Spirit helps us and “makes our footsteps sure.”

            3.   If the wide gate has a name it is “In our strength.” If the wide road has a name it’s “In our own way.”

      B.  You’re on one Or the other

            1.   You can only be on one road at a time. Duh!

            2.   You can only be traveling one direction at a time.

            3.   There is only one gate and one path into eternal life. So, if you haven’t entered that gate, and aren’t on that road, your headed toward eternal sorrow.

            4.   You’re either on your way to life, or you’re on your way to death.

                   a.   We might not like that reality - it seems sort of exclusionary.

                   b.   But our discomfort doesn’t make it less true.

II.   Don’t judge a road by its Traffic

      A.  Wide roads can still lead Nowhere

            1.   Beltways are big, wide, busy roads that just go in circles.

                   a.   Within big cities, the widest roads just lead to other parts of the city.

                   b.   Some roads just lead from cities with one name to cities more or less like them, but with different names.

                   c.   All the roads there are still only go to places where roads can go.

            2.   The path of your life might go around in circles, or from one ugly place to the next, or maybe all over the place — but that doesn’t mean you’re actually getting anywhere.

                   a.   What we need is a way to get off the same old roads and onto a road that goes somewhere!

      B.  Less traveled for a Reason

            1.   Jerry Seinfeld says “Maybe the road less traveled, is less traveled for a reason.”

            2.   It is less traveled for a reason — people prefer to do things that harm themselves and others.

                   a.   Too often we prefer death to life — or we think that the only way to get life is to flirt with the things that lead to death.

                   b.   We too easily believe the lie that our life will be happier and more exciting if we go around acting like perfect idiots (or at least imperfect ones).

            3.   It is also less traveled because it requires effort to get through the narrow gate and stay on the narrow path.

                   a.   We have to struggle with our shortcomings, face our failures, realize our inadequacies.

                   b.   We have to train ourselves to be better people by unlearning old patterns and going through the pain of learning new ones.

      C.  Choose the road that leads to Life!

            1.   God offers life — He’s not the cosmic party-pooper that Satan wants to make him out to be.

            2.   The road to life might not be as smooth, might not be as easy to travel on, might not have the razzle-dazzle of the super-highway to nowhere. But, it’s still a much better journey.

III.  Narrow Gate Ahead

      A.  Don’t miss the Turn-off!

            1.   The gate is Narrow, so it’s easy to miss.

                   a.   You might be surprised at what a simple-looking gate it is.

                   b.   You might expect something bigger.

                   c.   The gate us just up ahead on the right.

            2.   The road forks today.

                   a.   Today you have a choice - to go the way that heads toward death, or to go the way that heads toward life.

            3.   You have to choose which fork you’re going to take.

                   a.   No rushed decision. If you want to ponder Jesus’ teachings a little longer before you decide to follow him, that’s OK.

                   b.   Jesus himself talked about the importance of counting the cost.

                   c.   On the other hand, you’re still moving down life’s road. You’re either moving toward life or away from it.

      B.  Not everything Fits through the gate

            1.   It’s a Narrow gate. You can’t get a wide-load through it (a wide person, yes!).

            2.   Leaving the wide road, means leaving some stuff behind. It’s not that the stuff is so good, but it has had a certain allure for us.

      C.  Everyone is Welcome

            1.   The gate is always open.

            2.   There aren’t any guards at the gate looking people over.

            3.   All who call on the Lord will be saved. All who want to get in the narrow gate will.

                   a.   Jesus says I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. . . The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:9-10)

The Bottom Line:

Take the Next exit to a Fuller more Joy-filled life. Take the road to God.


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