[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
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.
must decide to be saved and to enter in through that narrow gate.]
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.]
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be
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.]
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.]
– It is like driving through
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.]
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.]
The Roll Call For Entrance. This
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.]
The Gate Of Moral Goodness (vs 13,
Prov 30.12; Eph
. . for wide is the
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
[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,]
12 There is
a generation that are
pure in their own eyes, and
yet is not washed from their filthiness.]
thinking of this broad “anything goes” way I am reminded of,]
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,
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
walk as children
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.]
The Gate Of The Misinformed
(Judges 21.24-25; Prov 12.15; 16.2; 3.7) - [-
. . for wide is the
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
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
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.
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
These are those that would
"have it their way,"
as an old Burger King commercial used to say.
The Bible warns,]
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that
hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.]
All the ways
of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord
weigheth the spirits.]
Be not wise
in thine own eyes: fear the Lord,
and depart from evil.]
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.]
The Gate Of The Mimic (Luke
. . for wide is the
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.]
finding a religion, learning it principles, and following its creed is
not enough to get you into heaven.
[Luke 18:10-14 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the
other a publican.
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
fast twice in the week,
tithes of all that
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
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
The Gate Of The Merging (John
14.6; Acts 4.12)
. . for wide is the
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, . . .
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.]
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. ]
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
and many there be which go in thereat:]
It is the way of Separation (Isa
[- 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;
iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
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.]
It is the way of Destruction (vs
[ - "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.]
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.]
The Roll Call For Entrance [- This
The Gate Of Salvation (vs 14; John
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.]
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.
Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I
say unto you,
I am the door of
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.]
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.]
The Gate Of Purification (vs 14,
Isa 1.18) - . . .
is the gate,
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.
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. ]
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
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.]
way is narrow and strait, for it is God’s way and God’s way is the only
The Gate Of Glorification (2 Thess
[- 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,]
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.]
verses state that our Lord is glorified in you and through you when you
choose to walk down this narrow way.]
The Result Of Entrance.
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.
CrossRoads Baptist, May 24, 2009