13 Standing at the Crossroads

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  • 8/2/2019 13 Standing at the Crossroads


    Sermon on the Mount

    Standing atthe Crossroads

    Matthew 7:13-14


    One of the constants of life is that Life is full of choices!

    Just think about how many different choices, or decision that you made just to get to church thismorning:

    What time to get up

    Shower or bath

    What to wear What to eat

    Which car do we drive? Do I even go to church today?

    What route to I take? And for those with kids, the choices are multiplied

    Each day we are confronted with choices

    Some of the choices that we make each day have very little impact on our lives, such as what andwhere to eat.

    Other choices can significantly change the course of our lives, such as Do we have children?Do we get married? What job or career do I pursue?

    Then we have a whole set of choices dealing with our daily conduct.

    John MacArthur writes in his commentary on Matthew:

    Our lives are filled with decisions what to wear, what to eat, where to go, what to do, what tosay, what to buy, whom to marry, what career to follow and on and on. Many decisions are trivialand insignificant, and some are essential and life-changing. The most critical of all is our decisionabout Jesus and His kingdom. That is the ultimate choice that determines our eternal destiny. It isthat decision about Jesus here calls men to make.

    MacArthur hit the nail on the head.

    The most important choice you will make in your life is whether or not you are going to followJesus and give your life to Him.

    All the other important decision in life hinge on that choice!

    There comes a point in our lives where we are standing at the crossroads.

    We will be standing at the crossroads where there are two signs, one point to Jesus and eternallife and the other pointing toward a path of destruction.

    Each of us will have to make our own choice.

    In this mornings text, Matthew 7:13-14, we will look at the two paths that Jesus tells us we have tochoose from.

    This mornings message is called: Standing at the Crossroads.

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    As you stand at the crossroads of life, which way will you go? Le ts look at the contrast of the 2paths.

    Read Matthew 7:13-14 . . .

    The Entrance

    The key word for the entrance is DECISION

    As we stand at the crossroads, we are confronted by tow gates, the narrow and the wide gate.

    Lets look at the wide gate first . . .

    Wide Gate

    The wide gate is one of the choices that we have as we stand at the crossroads.

    Notice that Jesus gives us the choice as to which gate we are going to enter.

    The gate is wide and easy to enter.

    Many people can go through it at the same time.

    When we go somewhere, we would naturally choose to go through a wide passage rather than anarrow one.

    The gate is wide because more people will choose to enter in through it.

    The nice thing about the wide gate for many people is the fact that because the gate is wide, theyare able to take anything they want with them on the journey, once they enter in through thiswide gate.

    Have you ever had to take a door of the hinges to get an appliance through it because the door wasnot quite wide enough?

    Not only are wide doors easy to enter, and easy to get stuff through, they are inviting.

    On our journey through life many will want to take as much baggage with them as they can, the widegates allows for that.

    As we stand at the wide gate we peer down the path and it looks very wide and inviting also.

    Now lets look at the . . .

    Narrow Gate

    The narrow gate does not have room for anything but you.

    You must leave all baggage behind.

    Jesus tells us to take up our cross and follow Him daily; this implies that our agenda is the one

    that Jesus has.There is no room for chasing after the world and its pleasure, no room for unforgiving attitudes, andthere is no room for the self-righteous.

    The narrow gate will not be as easy for us to walk through. All the things that Jesus has talked aboutin this Sermon on the Mount, up to this point, has been to prepare us for walking through the narrowgate.

    Luke 13:24 . . . Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will tryto enter and w ill not be able to.

    Jesus tells us that we must strive, or put out a great effort to enter through the narrow gate.

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    Acts 14:21-22 . . . They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then theyreturned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, 22strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remaintrue to the faith. "We m ust go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God," they said.

    The gate is narrow because not many will chose to enter through hit.

    If you are going to enter in the narrow gate, Jesus MUST be first in your life.

    The key word here is DECISION

    God allows you to choose for yourself.Some make the choice by just doing nothing.

    When we choose not to decide, we choose to go through the wide door by default.

    As we stand at the crossroads, we are confronted by two gates, the narrow and the wide gate.

    Once we enter into the gates, there are two. . .

    (The) Paths

    There are the wide and narrow paths.

    Lets first look at . . .

    The Wide Path

    The wide path is the one most traveled.

    It is the easy path.

    As I said before, you do not have to do anything to walk this path. Apathy puts you on it.

    The path is wide because there are many ways that lead to destruction.

    Some will travel down Substance Abuse street.

    Some will walk down Pride Avenue.Others will travel down Materialism Way

    While others will travel down Sexual Sins Estate.

    Still others will take Hate Street or walk down Murder Ave.

    And many will stroll down Apathy Lane.

    The wide path has many ways that you can take and yet still stay on the path.

    Proverbs 12:14 . . . From the fruit of his lips a man if filled with goo d things as surely as the work of his handsrewards him.

    Proverbs 14:12 . . .There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

    The well traveled pat has no rules, no restraints!

    It is a path that has everyone doing right in their own eyes.

    All the great injustices of history have been committed in the name of uncheck and unbridledmajority rule.

    The last Senator James Reed, of Missouri, in one of the most forceful speeches ever deliveredbefore the Senate, observed with great truth:

    The majority crucified Jesus Christ; the majority burned the Christians at the stake; themajority established slavery; the majority jeered when Columbus said the world was round; the

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    majority threw him into a dungeon for having discovered a new world. Christ always calls us tofollow the lifestyle of the minority opinion. Dont be deceived by the loud voice of Majoritymorality.

    The wide path is the one that most people will be on.

    It is the path that most people will encourage you to walk down.

    As you stand at the crossroads looking down the paths, are you going to be swayed by whateveryone else is doing?

    The majority of people will follow the wide path and they will make fun of you for not.

    The majority is NOT always right.

    It does not matter what 95% of Americans thing about anything, if God has already told us how itis!

    The majority of people will take this path because they do not want to give up anything.

    They want to trust in their own judgment and goodness.

    According to a 2001 Barna study, half of all adults (51%) believe that if a person is generally good, ordoes enough good things for others during their life, they will earn a place in heaven. (2001)

    People are blinded to the truth

    2 Corinthians 4:4 . . . The god of this age has blinded the m inds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the lightof the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of G od.

    Will you choosing the wide path? If you make no choice you are already on it.

    Now, lets look at . . .

    The Narrow Path

    The way is narrow, or restricted.

    Luke 13:24 . . . "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enterand will not be able to.

    The word for narrow means: difficult to be entered.

    Access is not denied to people, they keep themselves out.

    It is difficult to walk this path because it takes discipline and desire.

    Jesus has been telling us what is required of us.

    It requires us to allow Jesus to change our life, in which in turn will cause us to change our behavior.

    Many people will not choose this path, because it is not easy.

    A little boy caught in mischief, was asked by his mother: How do you expect to get into heaven?

    He thought a minute and then said: Well, Ill just run in and outand in and keep slamming thedoor until they say, for goodness sake, come in or stay out. Then Ill go it.

    There is only ONE way to God. There is only ONE path to God. There is only ONE truth thatleads to God.

    That way, path and truth is Jesus!

    John 14:6 . . . Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father exceptthrough me.

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    There is a growing tendency to believe that all good people, whether or not they have make JesusChrist Lord of their lives, will live in heaven after they die on earth.

    The key words for the path is . . . DESIRE & DISCIPLINE.

    If we are going to walk on the narrow path we must have the discipline not to be drawn off the path bythe majority who are not on it.

    How many times have people tried to drag you off the path so that you could participate in thingsyou know are not pleasing to God?

    It takes desire to walk the path, the desire to see further than the moment, desire to please Jesus andnot others.

    Not only do we need to look at the Entrance and the paths themselves, we need to look at . . .

    The Destination

    Where are these paths leading to?

    The End of the Wide Path

    The wide path ends in destruction.Many people do not think this will happen

    3 in 10 adults (31%) see hall as an actual location: a place of physical torment where people maybe sent.

    4 in 10 (37% say hell is not a place, but it represents a state of permanent separation from thepresence of God.

    2 in 10 (19%) describe hall as merely a symbolic term, not referring to a physical place.

    Philippians 3:18-19 . . . For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live asenemies of the cross o f Christ. 19Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory isin their shame. Their m ind is on earthly things.

    Some people, who believe in the passage in the Bible about heaven, reject the references to hell.

    Robert Ingersoll, a famous lawyer and atheist in the latter part of the nineteenth century, oncedelivered a blistering lecture on hell.

    He called hell a scarecrow of religion and told his audience how unscientific it was, and how allintelligent people had decided there was o such place.

    A drunk in the audience came up to him afterward and said, Bob, I liked your lecture; I liked whatyou said about hell.

    But, Bob, I want you to be sure about it, because Im depending upon you.

    We do not like to talk about hell, but it is as real as heaven.

    It is a reality.

    Do you want to trust the Bible, or do you want to trust the Bible, or do you want to trust what otherpeople who are on the wrong path say?

    The End of the Narrow Path

    Read Matthew 7:14 . . .

    The narrow path leads to life. That is Eternal life.

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    Simply put this is the ONLY road that leads to eternal life in heaven.

    Yes, we are often told that teaching this is being narrow minded. That we are not allowing for otherfaiths to be right.

    In John 6 Jesus tells the crowd that unless they eat His flesh and drink His blood, that they will nothave eternal life.

    In response to this, according to verse 66, many of the people who were following Jesus withdrewfrom Him.

    Jesus then turns to his disciples and asked if they are leaving also, since they were struggling withwhat He had said to the crowd.

    Jesus get his answer in . . .

    John 6:68-69 . . . Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.69We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."

    To who shall you go?

    Jesus is the only path to God.

    Only at the end of the narrow path will you find eternal life.


    Life is about choices and life is about the freedom to make choices.

    God loves us so much that He did not take that ability to choose away from us.

    God does not send people to hell; we choose to go there by the way we respond to the grace of Godthrough Jesus.

    In Deut 30, God told Moses to tell the people that they needed to choose who they were going toserve.

    God said that life would be found in obeying Him.In Joshua 24, upon entering the Promised Land, Joshua told the people to choose this day who theywould serve.

    In 1 Kings 18, as Elijah was about to take on the prophets of Baal at Mt. Carmel, he told the people tochoose to either follow God or Baal.

    God has never forced people to follow Him, he give us a choice!

    The question is, when you are at the crossroads of faith, which way will you go?

    Many have chosen to go the wrong way.

    Are you going to let the majority take you with them?

    Do you love the majority enough to stand as an example and share with them the faith that iswithin you?

    God loves you enough to give you a choice. If that choice is the wrong one, God loves youenough to let you make that choice, but it is with a heavy heart.

    As Joshua said in Joshua 24:15 . . .

    No matter what the rest of the world chooses to do, as for me and my house, we will servethe Lord!


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