Simple, not Easy

June 13,  2021 | A Better Treasure | It’s Simple, not Easy | Matthew 7:13-14

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.  For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:13-14 (ESV)

Jesus is describing the path of the Kingdom versus the path of this world.  Jesus is bringing us to a crossroads and a moment of decision. The Sermon on the Mount is coming to the conclusion and Jesus is wanting us to understand that a decision has to be made and which path we will choose…the path of the Kingdom or the path of the world.

Everyone will spend eternity somewhere | Every person is on a path and that path has a definitive destination. It will either be destruction or life. Destruction: A place called hell, eternal separation from God. Life: A place we call heaven, God’s Kingdom forever. Every person all over the world is either going to go to heaven or to hell.

Following Jesus will not be easy | Jesus makes it very clear: following me is costly! There is no fine print with Jesus. If you want to follow Jesus, it means a hard path, a narrow path, a lonely path, a persecuted path, a path of self-denial, a path that demands that you die to yourself. In American Christianity, we have made following Jesus into praying a prayer and occasionally attending church or reading your Bible or being a good person. But Jesus says, in Matthew 16:24-25: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” The Kingdom Life is a life that is radically different. Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, joy in suffering, going the extra mile…these require us to relinquish everything that comes most naturally.

Jesus is the only way to life | Verse 13 says: “Enter by the narrow gate.” Not gates plural. ”The” which is a definite article, is a reference to Jesus. Jesus is the only entrance into the Kingdom life. He is the only way to heaven. Now the world would say this is offensive and not inclusive. They say, ‘there has to be more than one way! Jesus is only one of many ways…” The wide gate leaves room for everyone. This is the philosophy of this world: all roads lead to God. It’s a convenient road and a road allows your own way, a path that feeds the ego. Many choose that path because it’s easy and convenient. But Jesus says, “I am the way.” Jesus says, “He that has the son has life.” Jesus says, “For God so loved the world…”

The Gospel demands an urgent response | “Enter by the narrow gate. Aorist Active Imperative: Jesus is demanding a decision…enter! Make a choice! You have to choose!” Matthew 7:14 (ESV) All of us are born on the wide road to destruction but Jesus invites us to a different path, a path that though lonely, hard and narrow is a path that leads to life. It’s a path that He has lived for us and now will live through us. But it demands a full and complete surrendered life in the Kingdom.

Are you on the right path? Will you choose life and be saved and baptized?
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