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Enter By The Narrow Gate (Matthew 7:13)

Updated: Dec 26, 2019

Sermon on Sunday 14 July 2019 by Pastor Justin



Chapters 5, 6 and 7 of the book of Matthew are the beatitudes; the sermon on the mount. We are to go out to make disciples and teach them to obey all that our Lord has taught. First, we have to be disciples ourselves. How else can we go out to the nations, if we are not disciples ourselves?

Matthew 7:13-14 - "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." 


The word "enter" means you have to do so purposefully. Not many people can find the gate. It leads you to a small narrow path.  


Luke 13:24 - Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able." 


The word "strive" means you have to compete. You have to struggle and fight through difficulty. You cannot enter with a casual attitude, with an attitude of not knowing what Jesus taught, not knowing the word. The only fight the Lord wants Christians to fight is the fight of good faith. Do not fight with one another - that would mean you are exposed to the enemy. You move forward. 


The Greek word for "destruction" means total damnation. Yet, there will be people who choose to walk the broad way. It is easy and following the crowd gives you a sense of security. But if you enter by the narrow gate, it leads you to life. The Greek word for "life" is zoe. You have the Spirit of Christ. A life filled with blessings and vitality.

  

You should have three bibles. The first bible is your daily bible, your study bible. Read slowly and carefully. The second bible is one without any scribbling or highlighting. The third bible is the one in your heart. You need to memorise a verse a day. This is only possible if you walk by the narrow path. When the Holy Spirit says "go", you obey. Be a witness of Christ when the Holy Spirit leads you. Remember that every blessing you ask for, there is also suffering. The cross is a suffering cross. It is what Jesus preached, what the apostles preached.


A rich young ruler asked Jesus what he needed to do to enter life. Jesus knew this man was focused on his wealth. Matthew 19:24 - "And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."


Romans 12:2 - Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will.


The gate is our Lord Jesus Himself. His humility is our humility.


John 10:7 - Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep."


John 10:9 - "I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved."


John 10:11 - "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."


He will bring you to green pastures. You will be nourished by fruit.


John 14:6 - Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."


There are two gates (Matthew 7:13-14).


There are two kinds of trees. A bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree bears good fruit. Beware of false prophets/teachers/Christians - they have the gifts of the Spirit. They wear the robe of Christ but inside they are wolves. Look at their fruit - how they view material wealth, how they respond when they are attacked. Don't look at their gifting but observe their fruits.


Matthew 7:15-23 - "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognise them. 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. Many 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?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"


There are two foundations. If you hear the word of God and do what He teaches, you will stand firm when the end is coming. The false prophets will come and if you walk by the broad way, you will fall because your foundation is not strong.


Matthew 7:24-27 - "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. The 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. But 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. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."


Both the gate and the way to eternal life are very narrow, as described in Matthew 5 to 7. There are nine characteristics of Christians who walk the narrow way. 


Matthew 5:3 - Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. By your own effort, you cannot do anything. You are dependent on God.

 

Matthew 5:4 - Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.


Matthew 5:5 - Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Matthew 5:6 - Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.


Matthew 5:7 - Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.


Matthew 5:8 - Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. A pure heart is giving everything to God. It is different from having a clear conscience.

 

Matthew 5:9 - Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 


Matthew 5:10 - Blessed are those who are persecuted because of their righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


Matthew 5:11 - Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake. It is "when" and not "if". You will be persecuted. But if you walk the narrow path, blessings will be with you.


There are also warnings against people who walk the broad way.


Matthew 5:22 - But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever say to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.


Matthew 5:27-28 - You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.


Matthew 5:33-35 - Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not break your oath', but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord. But I tell you, do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne; or by the earth, for it is His footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great king.


Matthew 5:38-39 - You have heard that is was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you not to resist an evil person. Whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.


Matthew 5:43-45 - You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 

Matthew 6:14-15 - But if you forgive men for their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men for their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Matthew 6:21-22 -  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. If the eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.


Matthew 6:25 - Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; not about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than good and the body more than clothing?

Matthew 7:1 - Judge not, that you be not judged.

Matthew 7:6 -  Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet and turn and tear you in pieces.

Both the gate and the way to eternal life are very narrow - as narrow as the eye of the needle. To have victory over sin, you must know the word.

You must study the bible carefully. 

Don't look for miracles and supernatural gifts. The bible tells us to look for fruits.

Don't look for material wealth. Rather, focus on spiritual wealth.

Don't look for emotional excitement and strange physical manifestations. Instead, live and walk by faith.

Don't let the ministry and people become more important than their inner walk with God.

Don't look for the approval of men. Instead, look for God.

Don't let the number of people attending meetings become more important than the leaders.

Don't let building their personal kingdoms and their financial empires has become more important.


Jeremiah 6:13 - Because from the least of them even to the greatest of them, everyone is given to covetousness; and from the prophet and priests alike, all practice deceit.

God is moving mightily. Let us ride in the wind of the Holy Spirit. Find the narrow path and go by the narrow path. The opposite of Christ is called the "anti-Christ" in the new testament. Many will follow. If you are not with Christ, if you are on the broad way, you will be sucked in. 


2 Thessalonians 2:3-10 - Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come, until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God. Don't you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendour of His coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.


Lean on the Lord. Need Him. Depend on Him. Be poor in Spirit and God will direct you. Be the good that is pleasing to Him. Choose the narrow gate that leads you to eternal life.

So let us keep our faces in the dust before the Lord at all times - for it is there that we will receive divine revelation. Be converted; be like a child.


Revelation 1:17 - And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, "Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last."

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