BROAD & NARROW WAY

 
                   BIBLE READING: Matthew 7:12-23
 
INTRODUCTION
 
[a] THE WORLD IS ALWAYS DRAWING CONTRASTS! Especially in advertising!
You know, one washing powder washes whiter than another!
[b] One washing up liquid goes further than another.
[c] One car has got more refinements than another.
[d] One certain drink refreshes  the  places  the others can't reach.
And so we could go on!
 
JESUS DRAWS A CONTRAST
 
[a] Jesus draws a contrast here  in  Matthew  7, and it is a contrast
that men today constantly seek to blur!
[b] It is the most important  contrast  in  the world - because it is
the difference between life and death - between being saved and lost!
[c] Jesus is stating in an absolute manner, that those who are on the
broad road, are  most  definitely  heading  for  eternal destruction!
Those on the narrow  road,  in  contrast,  are  headed for Heaven and
eternal life at the end of life's journey!
[d] There are those who will  say,   "Who   are  we to judge? We
have no right to  tell   anyone   they're   lost  and  on  their  way
to  a lost eternity!"
[e] IT IS A LIE OF THE DEVIL!
IT IS NOT ONLY  THE  RIGHT  -  BUT  THE  DUTY  OF  EVERY CHRISTIAN TO
PROCLAIM THE MESSAGE ENTRUSTED TO THEM BY CHRIST!
IT IS A MESSAGE OF LOVE, BUT ALSO A MESSAGE OF WARNING!
[f] Dear friends, souls are slipping  into Hell, while Christians are
too worried about causing offence by telling them the truth!
[g] We seem sometimes to  be  happier  to  have friends slip into THE
TORMENTS OF A LOST ETERNITY, than risk making them enemies by telling
them the truth of God through which they can be saved!
GOD WILL HOLD US EACH  ONE  RESPONSIBLE  DEAR FRIENDS, BECAUSE HE HAS
ENTRUSTED US WITH HIS PRECIOUS MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL!
[h] Can we afford to neglect the  proclamation of the Gospel in it's
entirety because it is thought to  be  old  fashioned by those on the
broad road to destruction?
[i] There is a great debate  today  as  to whether patients should be
told that they dying, and that  medical  science  has done all it can
for them. THERE ARE MANY WHO FEEL  (RIGHTLY OR WRONGLY) THAT TO KNOW,
GIVES THEM  THE  OPPORTUNITY  TO  PREPARE  THEMSELVES,  AND  DIE WITH
DIGNITY!
[j] DO PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW THEY ARE HEADING TOWARDS ETERNAL
SPIRITUAL DEATH IN HELL AND THE LAKE OF FIRE?? YES! YES! YES!
A THOUSAND TIMES YES!
 
THE TWO EXTREMES
 
[a] The two extremes are often  blurred together because often people
will not follow Scriptural teaching to differentiate between the two!
[b] For example, the Bible  states  very  clearly in many places that
mankind's own good works cannot save him - so even for the person who
appears to be living like  an  angel  -  if  they don't have Jesus as
their personal Saviour - THEY ARE STILL  ON THE BROAD ROAD THAT LEADS
TO DESTRUCTION!
Tell them that, and see their angelic countenance change!
[c] The preacher of the Gospel repeats  again and again, the words of
Scripture, "By  the   deeds   of   the   law,   there  shall  no
flesh be justified in His  sight!"  and  again from Ephesians 2,
"By grace are ye saved  through  faith......  not of works, lest
any man should boast!"
[d] Once someone said to me, that a certain person was so good was it
not possible they would be saved because of it.
[e] But if it were possible  for  someone  to get to Heaven THAT way,
then there was no need for Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, if
through our good works, were able to tip the scales in our favour.
[f] Would God have caused Jesus  all  that suffering, pain and death,
if it had not been absolutely essential? Of course not!
[g] Dear friends, we  are  faced  again  and  again, with the eternal
truth, that Jesus is THE ONE  AND  ONLY WAY OF SALVATION, AND OUTSIDE
OF RECEIVING HIM AS A PERSONAL  SAVIOUR, THERE CANNOT BE SALVATION IN
A PERSON'S LIFE!
[h] He is the One who has died for our sins and is therefore the ONLY
ONE who can  give  Salvation!  THAT  IS  THE  MESSAGE  OF  THE GOSPEL
ENTRUSTED TO US! WE DARE NOT FAIL IN PROCLAIMING IT!
 
 
THE DANGER OF STEPPING OFF THE NARROW PATH!
 
[a] If you are walking along  a  narrow   path, if you didn't keep an
eye on where you're going you could easily go off it.
[b] I remember as a child, I used to enjoy walking along the footpath
of the river Lagan in Belfast.  In  places it became very narrow, and
you had to keep a careful watch, in case you went too near the water,
which at the bank was hard to see, due to the grass and reeds growing
up. To fall in, could have spelt disaster, as sadly for some had been
the case.
[c] Many have not been vigilant in  their walk along the narrow path,
and have felt that perhaps  it  could  be  a  little wider, with some
compromise  here,  a  little   sin   there,   and  perhaps  a  little
disobedience to the Bible or the leading of the Spirit.
[d] There are those who  find  to  their  cost  that they cannot walk
along that narrow path with an unbeliever as their partner.
They ignored the warning  of  the  Bible  not  to  be unequally yoked
together with someone who is not a Christian.
WE CAN ONLY WALK ALONG THAT  PATH  IN  SINGLE FILE, AS AN INDIVIDUAL,
WITH NO OTHER THAN THE LORD BY  OUR  SIDE. IT IS A PERSONAL WALK WITH
HIM!
[e] It is a NARROW path! It  is  GOD'S  path, and we have no right to
try to change it's parameters, and widen it for our purposes!
How often people  say  to  the   one   trying   to  follow  the Lord,
"You're too narrow!"
[f] If someone says  that  to  you,  it  is  probably  meant  to be a
CRITICISM, but actually, little do  they  know  that it is actually a
COMPLIMENT, and a CONFIRMATION that you are indeed walking the NARROW
WAY!
 
DESTINATIONS
 
[*] London is a devastating  place  in  which  to  drive a car - talk
about the survival of the fittest! One of the problems I have found -
when you're not sure where you  are  and are dependant on road signs,
is that by the time  you  see  one,  telling  you for example to turn
right, you've got to get across four lanes  of traffic to do it - and
no-one will let you in!! You get carried along with the stream ending
up in places you don't want  to  go!!  HOW  LIKE SO MANY ON THE BROAD
ROAD - CARRIED ALONG!
[a] The broad and the narrow way  may  not appear to be far from each
other! Indeed one can cross from the  broad to the narrow way in just
the moment that it takes, to accept Jesus as your Saviour!
[b] And as I explained a little earlier, those who would try to widen
the narrow path soon find themselves on the broad road again.
[c] But although that may  appear  to  be  true, the destinations are
very different indeed!
[d] The broad road, is the  one  that  carries the most traffic - the
SPIRITUAL MOTORWAY, along which the lost souls rush headlong to their
eternal doom! Jesus makes it  clear,  this  is  where the majority of
people are walking.
[e] IT'S A BIT LIKE DRIVING ALONG AT BREAKNECK SPEED DOWN A MOTORWAY,
AND AS YOU GO ROUND A BEND,  SUDDENLY THE ROAD FINISHES LIKE THE EDGE
OF A CLIFF - AND YOU PLUNGE HEADLONG TO YOUR DESTRUCTION!
[f] So often we hear of the awful motorway pile-ups, where everyone's
driving too fast, not being able  to  see where they're going because
of dense fog. I SEE A FEARFUL SPIRITUAL PARALLEL!
[g] Would you feel secure  and  safe  in  a vehicle hurtling down the
motorway in a pea-souper fog? You might as well have a blind driver!
YET IS THAT THE RISK YOU'RE TAKING WITH YOUR SOUL IN THIS MEETING??
[h] The BROAD road,  Jesus  said  leads  to DESTRUCTION, your ETERNAL
DESTRUCTION!
[i] The NARROW road  on  the  other  hand,  leads  to ETERNAL LIFE in
Heaven. He says that it is only a MINORITY who will find that road!
So never be mislaid into thinking that most people will get to Heaven
somehow - THEY WILL NOT!
 
CONCLUSION
 
[a]  It is my solemn  duty  tonight  as  a  minister of the Gospel of
Christ, to challenge you, and ask you to face up to what road you are
travelling along!
[b] IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO SEEK THE LORD TONIGHT!
[c] God has through His word,  and  the  various forms of ministry in
this meeting, brought you face to face with the truth!
[d] You cannot avoid it, and  at  this moment, you must either decide
for or against Christ!
[e] You have no option  but  to  decide  in these moments whether you
will continue to walk  the  broad  road  which  leads to your eternal
ruin, or whether you will turn and  walk with Christ along the narrow
road which leads to Heaven.
[f] The choice is yours alone -  and  if  you go out of this building
without asking Christ into your life, you are deciding to walk on the
broad road leading to the damnation of your soul for all of eternity!
[g] WILL YOU TURN NOW, FIND THE  CHRIST  WHO LOVES YOU, AND WALK WITH
HIM, ON THE NARROW ROAD?
 
 
SALVATION ARMY SONG BOOK
Prayer Chorus numbers for appeal:
109 "TO THY CROSS I COME LORD."
57  "WHERE HE LEADS ME I WILL FOLLOW."
 
 
SONG           TUNE
334            681
Prayer chorus number 105 "Teach me how to love Thee."
462            448
758            814