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Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

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The Sermon On The Mount

The Gates Of Eternity

Matthew 7.13-14

More Resources On Salvation


[I once started a series of sermons that focused on the Parables of our Lord entitled “The Road Less Travelled” with this message.  I feel that the parables are largely mistreated by preachers in our day.  Many teach the parables in such a way so as to remove all of the power of the conviction actually conveyed by the parables of our Lord.  I believe that the parables are intended by our Lord to challenge the Church and the people of our Lord to be sure that they are who they think that they are, the Born Again children of Almighty God.] 

[This message, “The Gates OF Eternity,” is a natural threshold for such a series.  For this text asks the all important question that every religious individual and organization needs to answer with honesty and integrity.  The question being asked is, “Are you absolutely certain that you are walking with God?”  Our Lord brings each of us face to face with the possibility of pharisaical religion versus a true walk with God when He calls us in this text to ensure that we are entering through the Narrow Gate of salvation.] 

[Placing this text within its context, our Lord follows this call to enter in through the Narrow Gate with a warning concerning deceivers (wolves in sheep’s clothing, vs 15-20) and a warning that many who call Jesus Lord will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven (vs 21-23).  Hence, the context of this discourse shifts from the conversion expressed in the beatitudes, and the conviction expressed in chapters six and seven, to warnings about hypocritical religious practices that miss the New Birth while presenting a convincing imitation of the redeemed.] 

[When I preached that series of messages on the parables. Some years ago, I had a deacon approach me following one service.  He said, “In listening to these messages you have been preaching, you have caused me at times to think that I might not be saved.”  In response to his comment, I said, “If there is anything that I could ever say that would convince you that you are not saved, then you had better get your relationship with Christ right.  If that means you need to get saved, then you had better accept the Lord Jesus Christ immediately.”  Folks, born again Christians are not perfect sinless people, but they are undeniably born again.  They love the Lord Jesus Christ.  They have personally asked Jesus to come into their hearts and lives.  They have received the indwelling Holy Spirit of God.  They desire deeply to walk with, and live for their Heavenly Father.  Heaven is already their home and they know it.] 

[Religious people may be born again Christians, but religious people can look like born again Christians and not be saved at all.  These lost religious people have learned to walk the walk, and talk the talk.  They go to Church, they carry Bibles, they pray, serve, and lead, but they are not saved.  Throughout the Bible people are warned time and again to be sure that they belong to God.  Understand that religious practices will not gain you an entrance into the presence of God.  Only the salvation offered by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ will gain you the gift of eternal life.]

[Now notice the words of our Lord in this text,] 

The Gates of Eternity: 

A.    The Wide Gate (Rom10.13) [– In this text our Lord notes two gates that represent the gates to eternity.  You are standing upon the threshold of one of these two Gates.  Spiritually speaking, you are but one heart beat away from stepping through one of these two gates.  These gates are distinct from one another and the result of entering either of these two gates is distinct as well.  The narrow gate leads to heaven and eternal life.  The broad gate leads to hell and eternal torment.]

[Notice, also that you do not actually enter either of these gates at your death.  You must choose to enter one of these gates prior to your death as a decisive act of your will.  The sense of a gate here expresses a definite entrance following a decided decision to go that way.  In other words, you will never find your way into Heaven and God’s glory by mere accident.  You must decide to be saved and to enter in through that narrow gate.]

[From this discourse we discover that salvation, or the New Birth, is a definite and decided event in our lives.  Salvation is as much an event as our physical birth was or as a wedding is.  You know you were born, and your mother, knows the moment you were born.  Your physical birth was an historic event that took place at a specific moment in a definite place.  Likewise, you know you are married because you stood with your spouse in front of an officiating agent, with witnesses and said “I Do.”  The New Birth is just as definite, you know you are Born Again or Saved because you realized that Jesus Christ is God, He died for your sins, He physically rose from the grave, and you asked Him to be your Lord and Savior.] 

[Romans 10:13 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.]

[Our Lord, in giving this discourse, is challenging you to be sure of your salvation.  You need to know, that you know, that you know that you are saved.  This is the most important decision that you will ever make in your life.  It is more important than your choice of a spouse, your choice of a house, your choice of a car, or any other choice in life.  This choice, whether you are saved or not, will bear upon you for all eternity to come.  You are going to live forever, whether you spend your eternal life in heaven or hell is the choice that you must make when you come face to face with the Lord Jesus Christ and these two gates to eternity.] 

[I Choose Not To Choose – Someone might think, “Well, I will just choose not to choose.”  Choosing not to choose is to choose to reject the Lord Jesus Christ.  If you do not choose to decisively enter into God’s family by entering in through the narrow gate then you have chosen to enter in through the broad gate.  There is no third gate.  There are only two, and you must choose one or the other.] 

[Illustration – It is like driving through Atlanta, Georgia on the expressway.  Where every car is barreling along at 10 to 15 MPH over the speed limit and you are coming up on a fork in the road.  Your choices are, left fork, right fork, concrete wall, or concrete divider.  Any choice other than left fork or right fork is a life threatening choice.  Stopping in the road is especially perilous.  You must make a choice.] 

[Here are the choices that God says you have to choose from.  You can choose the wide gate or the narrow gate.  Here is our Lord’s description of this Wide Gate.] 

1.      The Roll Call For Entrance. This gate is: 

a.      The Gate of the Majority (vs 13) [- ". . . and many there be that go in thereat:" – If popularity and being in the “in crowd” is important to you then this is likely the gate you have chosen.  For this is the way of the multitudes.  Many have chosen to go in at this gate. If you mistakenly think that if most of the people are doing it, then it must be right, then this is where you will end up going.  This is the course that most people will choose to follow.] 

b.      The Gate Of Moral Goodness (vs 13, Prov 30.12; Eph 5.3-10) [-  . . . for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, . . . – The strange thing about moral goodness is that it is clearly broad in its scope.  What is morally good to one is not morally good to another.  If moral goodness is weighed by ones acts of benevolence then there would be many adulterers and fornicators who have given greatly to help many a good cause.  Are they moral just because they give generously?  Ask a homosexual what moral goodness is and his answer would be distinctly different from the answer you might receive from a devote Muslim or Jew.]

[Many people, of a myriad of different belief systems would comfortably fit in this way of life.  They can walk together, they can walk in spite of each other and still find that they can all fit upon this path of life at the same time.  This is truly a very broad way.  Those that weigh themselves by their good deeds, kindness, and personal virtue are represented here.  Those that would not discomfort others in the slightest have walked through this gate.]

[In this broad way you will find many who will tell you that you are just fine the way you are, even if they don’t agree will all of your positions, but just because you are walking in their broad way of “live and let live” they will congratulate you for your tolerance and understanding.  These are they who are spoken of in,]

[Proverbs 30:12 12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.]

[In thinking of this broad “anything goes” way I am reminded of,]

[Ephesians 5:3-10 3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. [These are not God’s Children] 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: [Worthless Words, Broad Words] for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. [Don’t go in their way] 8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.]

[This broad way is the way where anything goes and everything fits.  Watch out for the broad way.]

c.       The Gate Of The Misinformed (Judges 21.24-25; Prov 12.15; 16.2; 3.7) - [-  . . . for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, . . . – We continue to recognize this very broad way that extends through this wide gate as we now consider the many signs of misinformation along the wide way. ]   

[One of these road signs says, If It Feels Right, Then It Must Be Right. This broad road is replete with varying degrees of righteousness and varying ideas of righteousness.  As a matter of fact nothing is wrong if the majority endorses it.  These hold the same standards that many in Israel held in the time of the judges.  The Bible states,] 

[Judges 21:24-25 And the children of Israel departed thence at that time, every man to his tribe and to his family, and they went out from thence every man to his inheritance. 25In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes. ] 

[Some would call this way the Burger King way.  These are those that would "have it their way," as an old Burger King commercial used to say.  The Bible warns,] 

[Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.] 

[Proverbs 16:2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits.] 

[Proverbs 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.] 

[Don’t make the mistake of believing that if the majority of people think something is right then it must be right.  Multitudes are misinformed about God and heaven.] 

d.      The Gate Of The Mimic (Luke 18.10-14) [-  . . . for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, . . . - The devoutly religious will be found on this busy road.  Don’t think for a minute that just because someone is sincere in their religious beliefs that they are right.  Many sincere Muslims permeate our world today, yet they do not believe in Jesus, and they refuse to receive the Lord Jesus Christ.  We often hear about how sincere they are in their beliefs as many are willing to give up their lives for their faith.  Yet they are sincerely wrong and sincerely lost.] 

[Just finding a religion, learning it principles, and following its creed is not enough to get you into heaven.  Jesus said,] 

[Luke 18:10-14 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. ] 

[Those that would work diligently for the praise of their fellow church members are upon its threshold.] 

e.       The Gate Of The Merging (John 14.6; Acts 4.12) [-  . . . for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, . . . - Many ways converge upon this threshold. We hear it often said that there are many ways that lead to Heaven.  But the Lord Jesus Christ, who physically rose from the dead, said, . . . and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, . . . Our Lord reveals that the many roads to heaven that have been imagined by mankind all lead to eternity, they just do not lead into heaven.]

[John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. ] 

[Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. ] 

2.      The Results Of Entrance (vs 13) [- Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:]

a.      It is the way of Separation (Isa 64.6-7) [- The presumptuous religious principles and perceived morality if lost people will not bring them into the presence of God, instead it will drive them far away from God.  The Bible states,] 

[Isaiah 64:6-7 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. 7And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.] 

b.      It is the way of Destruction (vs 13) [ - "that leadeth to destruction."- Fail to realize where your course is taking you and let it take you out of this world at the end of your life, and you will find out where your sin has taken you.  It will take you to eternal destruction.] 

B.     The Narrow Gate [- While the wide gate is the more prominent gate, and is far easier to find, for its path is well traveled and trodden.  There is another path that you can take in your life’s journey.] 

1.      The Roll Call For Entrance [- This gate is:] 

a.      The Gate Of Salvation (vs 14; John 10.7-9) [- Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. - Those that find themselves unworthy of its passage apart from God's Gift, Jesus Christ, are upon its threshold.]

[The way of a remnant or a minority - ". . . few there be that find it." (vs 14) – This is far different than the wide gate and the broad way.  This pathway is less worn and harder to find.  It is a lonely path that many seem to have a hard time finding.  It finds its way through a narrow and restrictive gate.  Jesus said,] 

[John 10:7-9 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.] 

[Therefore our Lord Jesus Christ is the only way for one to be saved.  Jesus is the narrow gate that leads all who will walk through him onto this starit road to heaven.  Once one receives the Lord Jesus Christ and enters through this gate they become a child of God and are eternally secure.] 

b.      The Gate Of Purification (vs 14, Isa 1.18) - . . . Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. – I ascribe this narrowness to purification because this is the only cleansing that can make us righteous in the eyes of Almighty God.  It is the cleansing that the Lord Jesus Christ gives us when we are saved.  Isaiah wrote,] 

[Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. ] 

[But understand that you do not get to choose the means or method of this cleansing.  It is narrow, prescribed by God and God alone.  You must come His way and only His way if you would receive this precious cleansing.] 

[This narrowness also speaks to us of the righteousness of God and our sanctification and consecration in Him.  We must live God’s way and by His standard.  Our righteousness must be God’s righteousness.  Our feelings and our ideas must yield to the revealed righteousness of God.] 

[The way is narrow and strait, for it is God’s way and God’s way is the only right way.] 

c.       The Gate Of Glorification (2 Thess 1.11-12) [- There is no glory in life like the glory Jesus places upon you when you receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.  The Bible says,] 

[2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: 12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.]

[These verses state that our Lord is glorified in you and through you when you choose to walk down this narrow way.]

2.      The Result Of Entrance. 

a.      The Way Of Everlasting Life (vs 14; John 3.16) [- "which leadeth unto life."] 

[John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ] 




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