Following Christ on the narrow way

Matthew 7:13-27
1. The broad way versus the narrow way (7:13-14)
13″Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
• Jesus contrasts the way to destruction with the way to life
• The way to destruction is broad but the way to life is narrow
• Religious hypocrisy, pagan idolatry, eastern religions, secular atheism, Christian cults, Orange County materialism are all ways to destruction
• Jesus commands that we enter through the narrow gate
• Jesus Christ is the only way to life
• You first have to walk through the gate and then walk on the road; both are narrow
2. Good fruit versus bad fruit (7:15-20)
15″Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
• Jesus warns us to watch out for false prophets
• False prophets can be from outside or inside the church: 1 Tim. 3, Acts 20
• False prophets like: Mohammed, Joseph Smith, Sigmund Freud, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Donald Trump, Richard Dawkins
• Fruit is the reflection of the heart
• What kind of fruit do you see in the lives of those you are following? What kind of fruit is coming from your own life?
3. Saying versus doing (7:21-23)
21″Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
• The issue is not whether we say we know the Lord but whether the Lord says He knows us!
• There are those who profess to know Christ but in fact don’t
• The will of Christ is to believe in Him and to walk in His way (John 6, John 8, John 13, John 15)
• No amount of good deeds or religious works can commend us before God; no matter how much good we have done we are evil doers in Christ sight (Rom. 3:9-23)
• If God were to ask you, “why should I let you into heaven?” What would your answer be?
4. The wise man versus the foolish man (7:24-27)
24″Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
• The contrast is not hearers vs. non-hearers, but hearers vs. doers
• Wisdom is putting Jesus’ words into practice
• This is true in a general way but the context is the sermon on the mount and its teaching
• If we don’t put Jesus’ words into practice we are setting ourselves up for a crash
• Rains come into everyone’s life some have a sure foundation and others don’t
• The only solid foundation is Christ and obedience to His Word
• We demonstrate that we truly love God when we obey His commandments (John 14:21)