THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date - 10-2-05

LESSON TITLE: "Great Lessons From The Sermon On The Mount: The Narrow and Broad Way."

WELCOME

In 1 Peter 1:3 we learn that God's, "...abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope." What a truly merciful and caring God we serve. A God who loved us enough to beget us unto His wondrous blessing and promises! It is before this Magnificent Creator which we assemble today to laud and magnify His Holy Name!

Welcome to our program and let me thank you all for joining us this day for this time of Worship to our God. It is my prayer that we are all doing our best, today and every day, to accomplish everything according to God's precious will and His eternal purpose. Won't you do your part this morning so that God may truly be praised and so that all we offer toward His throne will be done in spirit and in truth.

With these thoughts in mind, will you bow with me before His Almighty throne in prayer.

(PRAYER)

Now it's time to join in our first song of the morning. Our first hymn of the day encourages us to consider just why we love God. So, won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "Why I Love The Lord."

SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

We began this morning with a portion of a verse found in 1 Peter. Now let's consider the entire verse, there it says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." Notice what we learn about our God in this passage!

First God is happy to provide and has provided an abundant mercy to those who will believe and obey. How wonderful it is to see that God the Father was willing to go to such extremes to see that we might be happy as well.

Secondly, notice that God the Father has begotten us unto a living hope! How has He accomplished this? Through the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Again we see here the great love and mercy of our God.

Finally, notice the outcome of such a caring and active God. This verse adds that we have a living hope! Wow, does this help us to realize just how much our God cares for us? He gives us hope as those who live in Him!

And what type of hope are we talking about here? I think the next verse helps clarify what this living hope is all about, it says, "to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you," Thanks be to God for His promise of the blessing of this life and the blessing of an eternal life to come. May we all live life today and every day to affirm that we are recipient We are happy to have brother Ted Clarke with us as our guest speaker of the day. As you may remember, brother Clarke is one of the full time instructors at the Bible Institute of Missouri. We thank brother Ted for being with us this day and we look forward to him guiding our thoughts on God's Word this morning.

As far as our main study of the day, we will be continuing our discussion on the "Great Lessons From The Sermon On The Mount." Our specific lesson of the morning will deal with, "The Narrow and Broad Way." So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, brother Clarke will be leading us in our study of the day. But for now let's join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, "When We All Get To Heaven."

(SONG # 2)

LESSON

Speaker: Ted Clarke

Good morning! We're glad that you are here with us today as we continue this study of the Sermon on the Mount.

Today's lesson concerns the matter of choices. It's been properly said I think that all of like is just a series of choices that we make. Sometimes we make the right ones. Sometimes we make the wrong ones. A person is well-blessed in life is he or she makes the right choice of a mate. The years that they spend together can be years of wedded bliss and happiness and produce offspring that are a blessing to the family and a blessing to the world. On the other hand, sometimes there are choices that are made that are damaging and destructive to one's well-being as well as others around him. A man, for example, might make a choice to go out and drink and get drunk and in the course of trying to get back to his home, have an accident, maybe kill himself or kill other innocent people, or if he had family members in the car, he might kill them. And so, the matter of the choices that we make is one of the most serious matters that we're faced with in life. And of course that is true in regards to religion, also.

Jesus pointed out that one can make one of two choices in regards to the way that we live our lives religiously. One would be the proper choice, but the other would be the choice that leads to destruction and disaster.

In Matthew chapter 7 beginning in verse 13 Jesus said, "Enter by the narrow gate for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads unto 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 few there are who find it."

There are a series of choices that we can make in these regards and let's just look for a few minutes at the differences in the choices that we make. First of all, when we think about the manner of life in which we live, we have two great invitors. One is Jesus Christ, of course. Jesus said in Matthew chapter 11 verse 28 and following, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." Anyone who chooses to follow Jesus will indeed be blessed in his or her life.

On the other hand, "Satan is also walking about seeking whom he may devour," the apostle Peter said in 1 Peter chapter 5 and verse 8, and he seeks to get us to follow him. He invites us to a life of pleasure and enjoyment, but the end results thereof are disastrous indeed.

And then there are two doctrines that we can follow. One is the doctrine of truth, that which will lead us unto eternal life. In Galatians chapter 1 verses 6-9, the apostle Paul told the church at Galatia that "some of them had started out on the right foot, but had turned away from the gospel of truth and turned aside to another gospel," which Paul said, "is not another, but there are some that would trouble you and pervert the gospel of Christ." There is the gospel of truth and then there is the doctrine of error, that which is not truth. The apostle Paul said in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 and verses 21 and 22, "Prove all things, hold fast that which is good."

Then we look at what Jesus was talking about here directly in our lesson this morning and He said that there are two gates, the one is the narrow gate. The other is the broad gate. The narrow gate is the way by which we gain entry into the way that we're going to walk if we're walking after Christ. He says, "It is narrow because it is restricted. It is difficult. It is not the easiest thing perhaps that we might do with our lives to choose to become Christians and to live dedicated and consecrated lives to Christ. But certainly He says that is the gate by which we should enter into our walk of life.

In Luke chapter 13 and verse 24, Jesus said, "Strive to enter in by the narrow gate." That word "strive" there means to labor with difficulty. So even though the way that Jesus tells us to walk is difficult to enter, it is indeed the best. The broad gate that Jesus mentions here is the easy way. That is, one does not need to take much time to consider what he or she wants to do with his or her life. If they choose the broad way, they simply go about and live the way they want to live without any concern for the consequences thereof for themselves or for others or for here or eternity. The broad gate is the gate that people walk when they're determined to live according to their own pleasures and their own desires.

In 1 John chapter 2 and verse 15, John said, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world, for if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in Him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father, but of the world and the world passes away with all the lust thereof, but he that doeth the Will of God abides forever." Jesus points out that "He is the way, the truth and the life." It's only if we enter the proper path of life through Christ that we can hope to gain eternal life when this life is through.

Our faith in Jesus as God's son, our willingness to repent of our sins, our confession of Jesus as Lord and our immersion into Christ, the waters of baptism, confessing that faith in Him is the avenue by which we pass through the narrow gate and enter into the path that leads to eternal life. Again He points out that the broad gate is purposefully broad and many people will go in there at. If you stop and look about you in the world today, you see the majority of people simply going along and living the way they want to live. That's sad, but it's true. Jesus' invitation to come unto Him and to receive rest is not received by the majority of the world, but then there is this broad way which leads to destruction. One might enjoy the life or think that he or she is enjoying the life that they choose if they enter through the broad gate, but Jesus said, "that way leads to destruction."

In Hebrews chapter 11, it is said of Moses that he chose to suffer affliction with the people of Israel rather than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin. Sin may be pleasurable but those pleasures are passing. And then there are the two ways in which people walk. After one passes through the gate, either the narrow gate or the broad way, there is the way that is wide that leads to destruction. There is the difficult or the narrow, more restricted way that leads to life.

In the Old Testament book of Jeremiah, in Jeremiah chapter 6 and verse 16, Jesus or Jeremiah pointed out to the Israelites that there was a way which God had chosen and he said, "Stand in the ways and ask for the old paths and where the good way is and walk in it and there ye shall find rest for your soul." But they said, "We will not walk in it." How sad it is when people have the invitation directly from God to walk in the way that He has directed and His divine Word of course gives us all the direction that we possibly need.

The apostle Paul in 2 Timothy chapter 3 verses 16 and 17 says, "All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God might be complete, furnished completely unto every good work."

How wonderful it is to know that we can turn to God's Word and find there the path, the map that God has charted the course that we should follow.

So there are two groups that Jesus talks about here. There are those that enter in through the narrow gate and follow the difficult way. And then there are those that enter the broad gate and walk in the wide way. But there are also two destinies. The destiny of those that enter in through the narrow gate is defined as eternal life. I'm confident that nearly everyone listening to this program this morning enjoys life and enjoys the blessings that they have in this life, but this life is just a foretaste. We're here on this earth, the Psalmist said in Psalm 90, for maybe 70 or 80 years, but then we die and it's a universal thing. There is no one that will not see death, but there is a promise of eternal life when this life is through if we are willing to walk in the narrow way and follow the direction of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But then there's also the broad way, a way that leads to destruction. That destruction that Jesus is talking about there is not just physical death, but it's eternal death, separation from God and from the glory of His life.

When Jesus was speaking about the judgment parables in Matthew 24 and verse 46, He said, "These shall go away into everlasting life, but the wicked unto eternal punishment." And so there are two destinies, two invitors, Christ and Satan, two directions that we can follow, either the direction of truth or the direction of error, two gates through which we must pass, either the narrow gate or the broad gate, two ways on which we'll walk, the narrow and restricted way or the more bountiful in the sense of direction, the broad way in which leads to destruction. Two destinies and that is eternal life or eternal condemnation.

Which path will you choose this morning? I trust that you're concern and your interest is for your spiritual soul. Jesus teaches us it does make a difference what we believe and what we practice in religion. In verse 21 of this very chapter, Jesus said, "Not everyone that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the Will of my Father who is in Heaven." He goes on to mention the fact that many people who have a form of a religion will plead with Him in that day to allow them to enter into the heavenly home, but the fact of the matter is that Jesus will say to them, "I never knew you."

So it does make a difference what we believe, what we practice, what we teach, and we encourage you today to turn to God's divine Word. Never let a man, any man, determine what your doctrine or your faith is, but turn to God's Word and we at the Kansas Expressway church of Christ would be delighted to study with you at any opportunity that we have to do so. All you have to do is call and let your desires be made known and arrangements will be made for us to get with you and study about your eternal destiny, to see whether or not you are indeed walking in the straight and narrow way.

We're thankful for your listening this morning. We trust that we have said something that will be beneficial to you in some way. If you need information about any of the services, please call and someone will be delighted to help you. Thank you again.

(SONG # 3 - "Have Thine Own Way Lord!")

CLOSING COMMENTS

As always it was great to have you join us this morning. I hope our time together has been uplifting and profitable to all. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this worship to God!

But for now let me ask if you have any questions or comments about today's lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:

The Living Word 2540 N. Kansas Expressway Springfield, Mo. 65803

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We have many grave choices in life which affect our very eternal salvation. Therefore, may we also choose the way of God that we might receive the ultimate reward after being found as pleasing in His sight!

(Program closing)