COMPASS: ONE WAY OR ANOTHER
Pastor Jonathan Falwell
Matthew 7:13-29 (NKJV) is the conclusion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. In a way, this was the invitation to the sermon. Jesus was giving the hearer an opportunity to decide. This final passage doesn’t contain teachings or doctrines, it simply points to a point of decision; choose to believe in and follow Christ or face the consequences.
1. The Most Important Choice
Vss 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. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult isthe way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
- Jesus brought His sermon to a conclusion by giving the listener a choice
- Only two ways out of this thing called life; one leads to eternal life, one leads to eternal destruction
2. Distractions Are Everywhere
Vvss 15-20 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
- Jesus used metaphors to paint a picture of people who are seemingly doing the right thing, but are leading people astray
- Some distract with good intentions, some with evil intentions, all with the same result
3. You Better Make Sure
Vss 21-23 Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
- Jesus made a clear declaration against the idea of a works-based salvation
- One can never do enough to get Heaven, it is through believing in Christ alone
4. The Wrong Choice Has Terrible Consequences
Vss 24-27 Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.
- Following Jesus is a lifelong journey which will be marked by many challenges along the way, but building your life on Him is all the protection you will ever need
- Any other path leads to destruction. This is another nod to verses 13-14.
5. He Is The Only Source
Vss 28-29 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
- Matthew ends his recording of this sermon with a statement of Christ’s authority
- He was making a clear delineation between the self-righteous religious leaders and the Son of God