Lesson 110—April 17, 2016
The Choice is Yours
Scripture: Matthew 7:13-14
Lesson Goal: To understanding the importance of choosing the narrow gate and the narrow way.
Introduction: Please read Matthew 7:13-29.
As we begin today’s lesson, would you please take a moment to think about and write your answer to the following requests.
Please prayerfully list 10 important decisions you have made in your lifetime.
Please list 10 important decisions you have made today.
What is the greatest decision you must confront?
There are many important and critical decisions we must make in this journey of life. But the most important and critical decision we face is the decision we must make concerning Jesus Christ. Our eternal destiny hinges on this decision. Throughout time and Scripture, God has allowed man to make decisions, to choose. With man’s decisions come the consequences of such decisions.
Please read Deuteronomy 30:19; Joshua 24:13-15; 1 Kings 18:21 and Jeremiah 21:8.
What do all these verses share in common? Explain.
Please read John 6:66-69. What happened in these verses?
As Jesus nears the end of this great sermon, He once again brings His listeners to a decision. He has shared the greatest message ever preached concerning the life and character of those who follow Him. But as He draws to a close, He ultimately calls for a decision. Once again we are reminded there is no
happy “straddling of the fence” position or decision to be made. In fact, Jesus very directly, pointedly and openly calls for a decision from those who have heard His word.
One thing we must always remember, as we study the Sermon on the Mount, is that as Jesus speaks about the Kingdom of God, He describes clearly that some will enter in and some will not. The basis that determines the outcome of a person’s final destination will be the decision that person makes concerning Jesus Christ. In this closing section, Jesus speaks of two gates and two ways.
But Jesus cuts across our easy-going syncretism [combination of different forms of belief and practice]. He will not allow us the comfortable solutions we propose. Instead, He insists that ultimately there is only one choice, because there are only two possibilities to choose from (Stott).
Please give careful thought as John Stott farther expounds:
One way is easy. The word means “broad, spacious, roomy.” There is plenty of room on it for diversity of opinions and laxity of morals. It is the road of tolerance and permissiveness. It has no curbs, no boundaries on either thought or conduct. Travelers on the road follow their own inclinations, that is, the desires of the human heart in its falleness. Superficiality, self-love, hypocrisy, mechanical religion, false ambition, censoriousness—these things do not have to be learnt or cultivated. No effort is required to practice them. That is why the broad way is easy.
The hard way, on the other hand, is narrow. Its boundaries are clearly marked. Its narrowness is due to something called “divine revelation,” which restricts to the confines of what God has revealed in Scripture to be true and good. It is a fact that revealed truth imposes a limitation on what Christians may believe, and revealed goodness on how we behave. The gate leading to the easy way (broad way) is wide, for it is a simple matter to get on to the easy road. We need leave nothing behind, not even our sins, self-righteousness or pride. The gate leading to the hard way (narrow way) is narrow. One has to look to find it. The entry into it has to be entered one by one.
We are told that the one gate (broad) and one way (broad) lead to the place of destruction. We are told that the one gate (narrow) and one way (narrow) lead to life.
The broad way is heavily traveled and leads to destruction. The broad way is death. The narrow gate (hard way) leads to life. This journey takes us the way of eternal life, not to death and destruction.
Which way (road, path) are you traveling? Please do not avoid or skip this question! Which way are you traveling?
Jesus taught truth and that truth rings forth in 2016. Jesus spoke with compassion and understanding that His followers would be a despised minority.
The underlying truth of verses 13 and 14 is that Jesus makes it plain and clear that all who travel have been presented with an opportunity to choose a gate and a road. When a person chooses the gate, be it narrow or wide, he must travel the road that the gate opens to, and the destination is determined by the decision made standing before the gate.
Today, do we stand before two gates? Which gate will you choose? One leads to death and the other leads to life.
The choice is yours! Choose wisely, for you will live and die with your choice. And your choice determines where you will spend eternity.