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Matthew 7:13-29


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There's only 2 ways the Super Bowl can go next week.  You know my desire.  But it won't end in a tie.  Someone will win, there's only 2 choices.  It will be good news for my team or bad news.


Good news/bad news for a preacher:

Good News: You baptized seven people today in the river.
Bad News: You lost two of them in the swift current.

Good News: The Ladies Bible Class voted to send you a get-well card.
Bad News: The vote passed by a margin of 5 to 4.

Good News: The deacons accepted your job description the way you wrote it.
Bad News: They were so inspired by it that they also formed a search committee to find somebody capable of fulfilling the position.

Good News: Mrs. Smith is wild about your sermons.
Bad News: Mrs. Smith is also wild about "The Gong Show," "Jerry Springer" and "Texas Chain Saw Massacre."

Good News: The building committee finally voted to add more church parking.
Bad News: They are going to blacktop your front lawn.

Good News: Church attendance rose dramatically the last two weeks.
Bad News: You were on vacation.

Good News: Your deacons want to send you to the "Holy Land".
Bad News: They are stalling until the war w/ Hezbollah flares up again.

Good News: A group from your church came to your house for a surprise 40th birthday housewarming.
Bad News: They are the young couples, it's in the middle of the night and they are armed with toilet paper and shaving cream.


All our lives we face choices, usually between 2 options.  It's a fork in the road and you can either go this way or that way.  "There's only 2 choices on the shelf-pleasing God or pleasing self!"


The number two has a great significance in the Bible: [let's take a close look at the number 2...and I trust you have used the restroom before the service!]


        Two tables of stone                Two sons of Aaron

        Abraham had two sons           Isaac had two sons

        Two goats                               Two witnesses

        Two turtledoves                      Two pigeons

        Two oxen used together         Samson two pillars

        Tribulation - 2 periods            Two by two on ark

        Two sets of brothers in the 12 disciples

        Widow’s two mites                 Two thieves on cross

        Two shall be grinding             Two in the field

        Two resurrections

        Two births                               Two deaths

        Two foundations in our text   Two kinds of churches


And there’s 2 ways you can go at the end of this life, which depend upon which of the 2 choices you make now!


Satan always has a counterfeit to God’s plan.  Jesus told the disciples,

v. 15        "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."  That is Satan’s counterfeit. That “wide gate” and “broad way” is Satan’s attempt to lure millions into the fiery pits of hell.  The devil has his churches filled with his hypocrites, standing ready to lead many astray.  But God still has the real thing waiting for those who sincerely seek it!


Satan has that wide gate.

He makes the “wide gate” look very similar to the narrow one.

He paints the “broad way” religious colors.

He is very successful in his approach. Jesus Himself said, “....many there be which go in thereat.”


Therefore, my purpose is to warn each of you of what Prov 16:25 says, "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."


I want to remind you that there are two ways to heaven mentioned.  Most of the world believes in one of these 2 ways...but which is right?  Most are confused by all the mixed signals they receive from churches today!




        A. Man’s Way - Works Salvation.


Religion is founded on works.  What must I do....” Matt. 7:22, "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? (Works) and in thy name have cast out devils?(Works) and in thy name done many wonderful works?"


Man has always sought his own salvation. Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden, when they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons of covering. God did not accept their efforts, and neither will He accept yours.  Imagine seeing this sign when you die!


There are two ways of salvation: Man’s way - “works”, and God’s way - “be born again”.


But man’s way is the way to hell. God’s way is the way to heaven.


Man attempts to make himself equal with God. That’s why he tries to make his own way to heaven. That’s humanism.  If man acknowledges that God is superior, then man must submit to God.


Man says, “I’ll make my own way.”


Maybe your way is that you teach a s.s.

Perhaps you are counting your baptism as sufficient.

Your name on the roll of this church may the ticket that you hold in your hand-hoping to go to heaven.  Maybe you sincerely try to keep the commandments and be a good person.  Maybe you are a helping person. You help do things around the church. You are always working, working, doing things and your hope is that those things you do will be enough to take you to heaven.


All of these are man’s way, and all lead to hell.


Several places in the N.T. we see this phrase, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

        Man’s way is through his own works.  But it doesn’t say “to earn” eternal life, but “to inherit!”


That brings us to God’s way.


        B. God’s Way - Be Born Again.  John 3:1-7

    There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: [2] The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. [3] Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. [4] Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? [5] Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. [6] That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. [7] Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.


That’s why we can say:

Born once - Die twice.

Born twice - Die once.


If you do not submit to the new birth you will bring about your own doom to the lake of fire.  You cannot enter heaven w/ your sins.  This is the strait and narrow gate!


                1. You have been born with the sin nature. Psa 51:5  "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me."


                2. You have to be born again with God’s nature. 2 Cor. 5:21  "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."


1 Cor 15:22  "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."


Strait is the gate - narrow is the way.  Jesus is the only way!




The world gives us a lot of mixed signals…signs which lead us in the wrong direction! [slides]


        A. Man’s Way. “Give me the world


The rich man was confused about happiness.

Luke 12:16-21

    And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: [17] And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? [18] And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. [19] And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. [20] But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? [21] So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.


Listen to me young people, Satan will cause you to believe that happiness can come only with “THINGS AND THRILLS”.  He will tell you that if you don’t have CREDIT CARDS, NEW CARS, a DVD player in every room, and the latest fashion in clothes that you cannot be happy.


Let’s look to the Bible for God’s way to happiness. As we do this, remember Satan’s way.


        B. God’s Way. “Give Me your life


Deny self and follow Christ.

Luke 14:33 "So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple."


You want to be happy?  Follow the Lord.


Title:  Where is Happiness?


Not in unbelief -- Voltaire was an infidel of the most pronounced type.(He tried religion to its fullest.) He wrote: "I wish I had never been born."


Not in pleasure -- Lord Byron lived a life of pleasure, if anyone did. He wrote: "The worm, the canker, and the grief are mine alone."


Not in money -- Jay Gould, the American millionaire, had plenty of that. When dying he said: "I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth."


Not in position and fame -- Lord Beaconsfield enjoyed more than his share of both. He wrote: "Youth is a mistake; manhood, a struggle; old age, a regret."


Not in military glory -- Alexander the Great conquered the known world in his day. Having done so, he wept, because, he said, "There are no more worlds to conquer."


Where, then, is happiness found? The answer is simple: In Christ alone. Jesus said in John 16:22 I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you."


Eccl 2:10  "And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour."

Eccl 2:11  "Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun."


The wisest man that ever lived said, “Happiness doesn’t come from things.”



v. 24-29  [read]


1 Cor. 3:11-15

    For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. [12] Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; [13] Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. [14] If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. [15] If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.


        A. Man’s Way Sand / Wood, hay, and stubble.


This is talking about your Christian life. It is speaking about what you do after you get saved. Everyone will build one of two buildings. If you live for “THINGS AND THRILLS” then you are building wood, hay, and stubble, and it will burn, and there will be nothing left.


You will have nothing to show for your Christian life. There will be no crowns to place at the feet of Jesus during the Judgment Seat of Christ. You will stand before Him, as a Christian, naked and ashamed.


Don’t build with wood, hay, and stubble.


        B. God’s WayRock / Gold, silver and precious stones.


This is talking about Service; Sacrifice; Soul-winning; Submission. It is talking about making your life a holy life. A life patterned after the Word of God, and the holiness of God. A life surrendered to God.


Vance Havner said:


Christianity is not a happiness cult; it is not a success cult. At heart it is the process by which God makes saints out of sinners. We are predestinated to be conformed to the image of God’s Son. We are not on a glorified picnic, a sanctified hayride.

We are afflicted nowadays with a cheap Christianity, a kind of religious popcorn diet - no cross, no discipline! We receive the Word with joy, but we have no root nor depth and are soon offended. There are too many religious hobos trying to go to heaven as cheaply as possible, with just enough prayer, Bible reading, and service to get by. Such lives will go up in smoke at the judgment. Paul tells us that the only sure foundation is Jesus Christ and that we should build on that foundation with gold, silver, and precious stones if our lives are to stand the fire test. Alas, we mix wood, hay, and stubble, and there is something wrong with that mixture!


        So, there’s 2 ways to live your life…




        A. Rich Man. In Hell - Without Christ. It is a matter of fact that you will die.  [Luke 16]


You will die one of two ways: with Christ or without Christ. If you ignore the teaching of the Bible about God’s sacrifice made for the atonement of man’s sins, then you will die without Christ and go to hell. An unsaved person dies twice. The first is physical, and the second is spiritual. Rev. 20:14-15.


        B. Lazarus. In heaven. With Christ and Without Fear. He died and was carried to Abraham’s bosom. He didn’t die the second time.




You have reached a certain point…a fork in the road!


        A. Choose The Broad Way And Go To Hell.


The broad way is religion - tradition - ceremonies - personalities - hope - lifestyle - good works - all these are the broad way. All lead to hell. Continue on this way and you will miss heaven and land right in the middle of hell.


Man says, “God will not send man to hell.” That’s right, God doesn’t, but you choose to go there when you choose not to get saved!

        God has done everything possible to keep you out of hell.


        B. Choose The Narrow Way And Go To Heaven.


Jesus’ own words about the “narrow way”

John 8:24  "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins."


John 3:18  "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."


Every unsaved person in this room has already done all that is necessary to go to hell. You need do nothing else.


        C. Only Those Who Have Done The Right Thing Will Go To Heaven.


What is the right thing?  Not living right, but BEING right!


                1. Place your faith in the shed blood of Christ upon the cross.

                2. Accept that as full payment for your sins.

                3. Repent toward God. That means that you are turning everything about you over to God. He’s in charge. You are no longer in charge.


                4. Rom 10:13  "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."


        D. There Are Some Here Today Who Stand At A Crossroads. The Crossroads is marked with two arrows:


One arrow points to  “The Broad Way.” That’s the way to doom and destruction.


The other arrow points to “The Narrow Way.” That’s the way to heaven.


You must choose one. Which road?


There are huge warning signs standing before that “Wide Gate”. They are crying out to you, “Take the Narrow Way!!”  “Enter in at the strait gate”. “Go the other direction.”  Which will you choose?




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