(A) Matthew 7:13-14 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it."
(A1) Luke 13:23-24 "Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” He replied, 24 “Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail."
(A2) Conclusion: Only a few go to heaven. Therefore take the difficult road.
(B) Matthew 7:15-20 "Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. 16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions."
(B1) Galatians 1:6-8 "I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News 7 but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ. 8 Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you."
(B2) Galatians 5:4 "For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace."
(B3) Acts 17:11 "And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth."
(B4) Conclusion: The road is difficult because others will deceive us. We must know the Bible well enough to watch out for and identify false teachers and false teachings so we won’t be deceived.
(C) Matthew 7:21-23 "Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’"
(C1) Luke 6:46 "So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?"
(C2) Mark 8:34-37 "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. 35 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. 36 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? 37 Is anything worth more than your soul?"
(C3) 1 Kings 8:23 "O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion."
(C4) 3 helpful quotes from John MacArthur " (1) The proof of conversion is not a past event, or a past prayer, or past experience. It’s a present righteousness. Ah, it’s not perfection, but it’s direction. " (2) "It’s what you do with Jesus' Word that gives evidence of your spiritual condition. ... What is the evidence of true conversion? What is the evidence of true repentance? It is a life of obedience, submission to the lordship of Christ. It’s not a profession. It’s not empty words. It’s obedience. ... (3) If you love the truth and you love to obey the truth, even though you fall short, those are the evidences of true conversion."
(C5) Conclusion: The road is difficult because we deceive ourselves in thinking that Jesus is our Lord when he is not. We must be giving up our lives in service and obedience to Jesus and not self-deceive ourselves in thinking we can buy God off by going to church or some religious activity.
(D) Matthew 7:24-27 "Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash."
(D1) James 1:25 "But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.""
(D2) Conclusion: The solution is to focus on learning and obeying ALL of Jesus' teachings so storms of life (including death) won't destroy us.
(D3) Do you want to build your house on the solid rock which is Jesus teaching? If yes, then click on "Your Most Important Habit".