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#1 - How to Take the Difficult Road to Heaven - Matthew 7:13-29

Session #1 - How to Take the Difficult Road to Heaven 

Matthew 7:13-29

 

Introduction

  1. At the end of the most famous sermon ever given (The Sermon on the Mount) Jesus tells us HOW to take the difficult road to heaven.
  2. There is NO more important teaching anywhere than Jesus' teaching on how to go to heaven.
  3. The page numbers are for the paperback "How to Find God" New Testament NLT that can be purchase for $3 apiece when purchased by the case from biblesatcost.com.
  4. Go slow and carefully consider each verse.  If need be, meet twice to complete this session.
  5. The questions are based on the NLT (New Living Translation) so in the rare case when the answer isn't clear look up the verse in the NLT.

 

Take the Difficult Road to Heaven - Matthew 7:13-14

  1. Matthew 7:13-14 (pg 10).
    1. How many people are going to hell?  
    2. How many people are going to heaven? 
    3. Both ways say they go to heaven.  Where does Jesus say most people who think they are going to heaven are going? (many vs. few)
    4. What are the two descriptions in v14 that the way to heaven is described? 
    5. The next verse describes the effort required to go to heaven.
  2. Luke 13:23-24  (pg 87)
    1. What must we do if we want to be saved (go to heaven)?  
  3. Mark 4:1-9, 13-20  (pg 42-43)
    1. First 3 soils in v19-22 show 6 reasons that prevent people from taking the difficult road to heaven. 
    2. In v15 what is one of reasons?
    3. In v16-17 what are two of the reasons?  How are they described? 
    4. In v18-19 what are three of the reasons?  How are they described?
    5. In v20 what are 3 characteristics of the people who go to heaven?
  4. Summary of Matthew 7:13-14:
    1. Return back to Matthew 7:13 (pg 10).  Jesus says most people are going to hell because they refuse to take the difficult road.
    2. In the next 3 paragraphs in Matthew 7 Jesus explains the 3 characteristics needed to take the difficult road to heaven:

 

How to Take the Difficult Road to Heaven

 

(1) Believe ONLY Jesus' Teachings - Matthew 7:15-20

  1. Matthew 7:15-20 (pg 10).
    1. In v15 what are we commanded to do? (beware means to watch out for) 
    2. False prophets teach false truths (including to take the easy and false way to heaven). 
    3. In v16 how can we tell if we or others are faking it and are a false follower of Jesus?
    4. Fruit is a changed life characterized by living the Sermon on the Mount.
    5. In v19 what happens to those who don’t have good fruit? 
    6. The next 3 verses describe people who did not watch out for false prophets and the the horrible end they have.
  2. Galatians 1:6-8 (pg 231) 
    1. Who did the Galatians turn away from in v6? 
    2. In v7 why did they turn away? 
    3. In v8 what will happen to those who teach a false Good News (Gospel)? 
      1. Does this include all the TV preachers that say if you give them money God will give you much more money?
    4. The next verse describes the Good News (Gospel) they were taught and believed for a while.
  3. Galatians 2:16 (pg 233) 
    1. How is one made right with God? 
    2. Can one ever be made right with God by obeying the law? 
    3. The next verse describes what happens to those who stop relying on believing in Jesus Christ and his death on the cross to make themselves right with God..
  4. Galatians 5:4 (pg 235) 
    1. What happens to those who try to make themselves right with God by keeping the law? 
    2. That is why false prophets are so deadly because what we believe determines where we go.
    3. In the next verse Jesus describes what happens to those who don't believe him.
  5. John 8:24 (pg 114) 
    1. What happens to those who don't believe the claims Jesus made about himself?
    2. What happens to those who die in their sins? 
    3. Next week we'll read what Jesus said we must believe about him.
    4. In the next verse God tells us how to protect ourselves.
  6. 1 Tim 4:16 (pg 271) 
    1. What happens if we don't stay true to what is right? 
    2. In the beginning of the verse how can we stay true? 
    3. The next verse shows how to keep a close watch.
  7. Acts 17:11  (pg 159) 
    1. How do we determine if a teaching we've been told agrees with Jesus? 
  8. Summary of Matthew 7:15-20:
    1. What will happen to those who don't actively watch out for false followers and teachings?
    2. The difficult road to heaven requires us to continue to believe ONLY Jesus' teachings until we die.  The verses we went over shows us how to do that. 
    3. Which verse do you want to remember and do the most?

 

(2) Serve ONLY Jesus as Master - Matthew 7:21-23

  1. Matthew 7:21-23 (pg 10).
    1. In v22 what did these people call Jesus?
    2. In v22 what did they do in Jesus' name?
    3. Did these people believe Jesus was God? (they did miracles in his name and were not surprised to see him in heaven)
    4. In v23 did these people (who called Jesus Lord, did works in his name and believed in him) go to heaven or hell?
    5. In v21 who are the only ones who will go to heaven?
    6. Good works and obedience do not bring salvation.  But good works and obedience are the result of and the proof of Salvation.  
    7. The next verse shows what those who call him Lord must do. 
  2. Luke 6:46 (pg 73) 
    1. According to Jesus what must you do if you call him Lord?  
    2. In the next verse Jesus tells us a key characteristic of those who will go to heaven.
  3. John 8:31-32, 34, 36, 51  (pg 115) 
    1. In v31 when speaking to those who believed him who did Jesus say were his true disciples?
    2. In v51 who did Jesus say will never die spiritually? 
    3. In v32 what will those who obey Jesus' teachings experience?
    4. In v34 and v36 what will they be set free from?
    5. So if you want to be set free from the power of sin in your life what must your life be characterized more and more by?
    6. In the next verse Jesus teaches about who our master and lord should be.
  4. Matthew 6:24 (pg 8) 
    1. Can you faithfully serve more than one master? 
    2. Besides money and desires what are other masters that people serve instead of Jesus?  (security, comfort, TV, hobbies, job, family, etc.,)
    3. In v24, how much do we need to serve, love, and be devoted to Jesus?  (much more than to ourselves or our past masters)
    4. In your life, what other masters do you sometimes serve, love, and are devoted to?
  5. Matthew 4:10 (pg 4) 
    1. Who is the only person we are to serve?  
    2. The next verse let’s us know who we are serving. 
  6. Matthew 6:31-33  (pg 9) 
    1. If Jesus is our master what must be dominating our thoughts and time? 
    2. If we " Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously" what does God promise to do? 
    3. Do you agree with this statement "If the goal of your life is not the advancement of the Kingdom of God through making disciples (Matt 28:19-20) and to live in the way God instructs us to do then God does not necessarily have to provide everything, He may withhold some things to discipline us". 
    4. This next verse also let’s us know who we are serving. 
  7. 1 Peter 4:2 (pg 311) 
    1. What is the description of those who do not have Jesus as their real Lord?
    2. And what is the description of those do you have Jesus as Lord?
    3. Which one describes you more?
    4. Which one do you want to describe you?
    5. This next verse is probably the best verse on how to make Jesus your Lord and Master. 
  8. Mark 8:34-36 (pg 50)
    1. In v34 what 3 things MUST one do to become a follower/disciple of Jesus?
    2. What do each of those 3 mean?
      1. Give up your own way is how one denies themselves so one can follow Jesus. 
      2. Take up your cross means to be willing to suffer for following Jesus.
      3. Follow me means to follow all of Jesus teachings.
      4. Can one follow Jesus if they don't give up their own way and pick up your cross?
    3. What is verse 35 saying?
    4. In v35 what person and what cause are we to give up our lives for?
    5. If we don't give up our lives for Jesus and the Gospel what will happen to our souls in v36?
    6. Does Mark 8:34-35 explain what it means to have Jesus as your Lord and Master?
    7. This is what was missing for the people in Matthew 7:21-23.  They called Jesus Lord but didn't follow his commands nor serve him as their master.
    8. Are you willing to give up your life for Jesus and spreading the Gospel?
    9. If yes, what do you need to stop doing so you'll have time to give up your life for Jesus and spread the Gospel?
  9. Summary of Matthew 7:21-24:
    1. What happens to those who don't have Jesus as their real Lord?
    2. The difficult road requires us to stop serving ourselves (financial security, job, hobbies, desires, etc.,) and to actually serve ONLY Jesus as our only master. 
    3. Besides going to heaven what are some of the other benefits to serving Jesus as our master?  (set free from the power of sin - John 8:31-36, being given everything we need - Matthew 6:33).
    4. Which verse in this section do you want to remember and do the most?
    5. The next and last characteristic is crucial because it will actually help us to do the first 2 characteristics.

 

(3) Obey ALL of Jesus teachings - Matthew 7:24-27 

  1. Matthew 7:24-27 (pg 10).
    1. Does everyone, including Christians who build on the rock, experience storms?
    2. What do we need to do to survive these storms (including the final storm on Judgement Day, v22)?
    3. In v24 what two things does Jesus say one must do to build on the rock?
    4. What does Jesus say will happen to those who don't obey his teaching?
    5. We build a little bit every day.  Yesterday did you build on the rock or sand?
    6. In the next verse Jesus tells us how many of his commands we need to obey.
  2. Matthew 28:18-20 (pg 38) 
    1. How many of Jesus' commands are we to obey?
    2. How many of Jesus' commands are we to teach? 
    3. In the next verse Jesus tells us what we should be living on. 
  3. Matthew 4:4 (pg 3) 
    1. Does Jesus want us to live on some of or all of God's words?
    2. Are you willing to learn EVERY word and then live by EVERY word that comes from the mouth of God?
    3. The next verse shows some of the wonderful results of obedience.
  4. John 15:10-11 (pg 125) 
    1. In v10 what do you need to do to experience God’s love (which includes his care and protection)?  
    2. How did Jesus remain in God's love?
    3. In v11 what does Jesus also want us to experience as a result of our obedience?
    4. The next verse shows us what is at stake.
  5. Matthew 18:8-9 (pg 24) 
    1. In v8 what did Jesus tell his disciples to do so that they don't get thrown into eternal fire (hell).
    2. Do you agree with this statement  “Jesus used hyperbole (which means exaggerated statements not meant to be taken literally) to impress on us that we must do EVERYTHING we can to not sin.”
    3. The third session goes over how to not win your battle against sinning.
    4. In the next verse Jesus tells us what the goal of our lives should be.
  6. Matthew 5:19 (pg 6) 
    1. Which one of these two do you want to be called? 
    2. What will you be called if you ignore even the least commandment and teach others to do the same?
    3. How much are you willing to work for this? 
    4. This study is designed to cover ALL of Jesus' teachings in the Sermon on the Mount which is a great place to start learning, obeying, and teaching Jesus' commands.
    5. One teaches BEST by asking questions because it causes the listener to stay focus and determine for themselves what the scripture says.  Then it becomes what Jesus is saying, not what the teacher is saying.
    6. Show them this list of questions so they see how easy it is to lead by asking questions. 
  7. Matthew 5:1-2 (pg 5) 
    1. If Jesus thought the Sermon on the Mount was important enough to teach shouldn't we also teach it? 
  8. Matthew 28:19-20 (pg 38) 
    1. What are we commanded to do in v19?
    2. How did Jesus command us in v20 to make disciples?
    3. Are you willing to obey Jesus and start making disciples by teaching them to obey all?
    4. Who will you start teaching this Sermon on the Mount to in the next two weeks?  (spouse, children older than 10, co-worker, friend ...)
  9. Summary of Matthew 7:24-27:
    1. What will happen to those who don't build their house on the rock by obeying Jesus' teachings?
    2. Which verse in this section do you want to remember and do the most?
  10.  Conclusion
    1. Take the Difficult Road to Heaven (Repent & Believe)
    2. How to Take and Stay on the Difficult Road to Heaven
      1. Believe ONLY Jesus' Teachings 
      2. Serve ONLY Jesus as Master
      3. Obey ALL of Jesus teachings
    3. Memorize the 5 words for the outline of Matthew 7:13-27 - Take, How, Believe, Serve, Obey.
    4. What happens if you stop doing even one of these three?
    5. We take the difficult road to heaven by deciding to believe, serve, and obey Jesus.  In other words repenting and believing (Mark 1:15).
    6. We stay on the difficult road to heaven by growing in our belief, service, and obedience to Jesus.  In other words living a life of repentance and belief (actually following Jesus, not just claiming to follow Jesus).
    7. Can you commit to spending 10 minutes a day reviewing the verses and asking God to help you to do them better?
    8. Put the Table of Contents page (not this page) on your phone's home screen so you can easily access the Sermon on the Mount Study. 

      Apple: View that page in the Safari browser, then press the share icon, select "Add to Home Screen", and name it "Sermon Mt".

      Android: View that page in the Chrome browser, then press the 3 horizontal lines, select "Add page to", select "Home Screen", and name it "Sermon Mt".

 

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