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The Strait Gate (20 of 21)
Series: THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT
INTRODUCTION: In our lesson last week, we talked about prayer, "Asking and Receiving." This evening, we will exam the Lord's comments concerning the strait gate or the narrow way that leads to heaven. Jesus said, "Enter ye in at the strait gate" The word strait means narrow. In this lesson the Lord contrasts the narrow way to heaven with the broad way that leads to destruction.
The reason few find this gate is because Satan deceives people with false religion and human effort. Most will enter the wide gate and follow the path that leads to destruction.
Please consider three things:
I. The Wrong Gate
II. The Wrong Fruit
III. The Wrong Plea
I. THE WRONG GATE (VV. 13, 14)
A. The wide gate
POEM: We all remember the famous poem by Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken...
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
1. The narrow or strait gate is represented by the road less traveled. The wide gate and the broad way is the road more traveled. We are reminded of Proverbs 14:12, There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
B. The narrow gate
1. The way to heaven is a narrow way, isn't it? Satan has deceived the world by a lie. The lie is that there are many ways to heaven. What did Jesus say: I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6).
ILLUS: Mother Teresa, the Catholic nun who impressed the world with her concern for the poor and her work among the downtrodden, said, "I love all religions. ... If people become better Hindus, better Muslims, better Buddhists by our acts of love, then there is something else growing there."
On another occasion, she was quoted as saying, "There are many ways to God. All is God--Buddists, Hindus, Christians, etc., all have access to the same God."
ILLUS: In a June 1997 report written by Richard Scheinin for the San Jose Mercury News, he told of a meeting of world religions held in Stanford, California. His piece was entitled "Interfaith Meeting Gives Birth to United Religions."
Nearly 200 delegates wrapped up a week-long interfaith meeting at Stanford on Frid ...
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