by Claude Thomas

Matthew 7:13-20

Introduction: In the children's story, "Alice in Wonderland," Alice comes to a junction in the road. She asks her friend, Cheshire Cat for advice. "Cheshire, can you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?"

"That depends a good deal on where you want to go," said the Cat. "I don't care," said Alice. After a brief pause, the Cat replied, "Then it doesn't matter which way you go."

Transition Statement: We do have choices to make. If the consequences of the choice are unimportant and insignificant, then the choice doesn't much matter. But, if the consequence makes a difference between life and destruction, then the choice is very important.

Jesus set before His hearers the matter of life, and encourages us to:

I. Choose the Way of Life, vv. 3-13-14

Explanation: Jesus described the entrance and experience of life in a "play now, pay later, or pay now, play later" concept.

The Goal: "Life: - v. 14. "Leads to life".
The Gate: "Narrow."
The Guidelines: "Restrictive"
Life = full, meaningful, fulfilling life now and heaven when you die
Entrance = narrow
Experience = restrictive = compressed from tribulation, pressure
One entrance - "faith in Jesus"
One experience - "obedience to Jesus"

Transition Statement: By faith in Jesus, we choose entrance to life and by obedience to Jesus, we choose to experience life.

Application: Involves knowledge of God's provision, and choosing it!

Illustration: A West Indian chose Islam over Christianity. The reason: the way of Islam is a "broad, noble path. There is room for man and his sins. The way of Christ is too narrow."

Application: To enter and experience life begins with the knowledge that the into and way of life are restricted to God's way.

Application: Involves a decision. If life and having it are unimportant and insignificant, then choices are many. If you want life, decide!

Illustration: In a cathedral in Milan, thr ...

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