Tale of Two Lives

Matthew 7:13-23 is Jesus’ altar call. Jesus comes to the end of His sermon not wanting applause or an award for an amazing speech. He wants us on our knees deciding what kind of disciples we will be. It’s decision time!

The famous preacher Soren Kierkegaard told a parable about ducks gathering for duck church. They waddled into their duck pews, sang from their duck hymnals, and listened to their duck preacher. The duck preacher exclaimed, “Ducks, you don’t have to waddle. You have wings like eagles to fly. You can fly ducks! You can fly!!” The ducks replied, “Amen! Amen!” When the service was over all the ducks got up and waddled home. The church says “Amen! Amen!” to the gospel, and then walks away unchanged. Who will accept the challenge of the narrow road?

The Fork in the Road

Two roads- 7:13-14.

1. Many Christians have taken this scripture out of context and believe that the wide road is the world, and the narrow road is Christianity. However, the context of the Sermon on the Mount is not about pagans vs. Christians; it is about legalistic workers of righteousness, a.k.a. casual believers vs. true Jesus followers. Both of these people claim to know and follow God.

2. There is one decision to be made about Jesus. The decision is about which gate one will enter to follow a road to a destination. This is the ultimate fork in the road. Imagine coming to the end of a road. There are only two choices ahead of you: one choice is a gate leading to a narrow trail that looks a little dangerous, and the other choice is a gate leading to a path that is wide and seems to pose no danger. That is your only choice!

3. In John 10:9, Jesus states, “I am the gate; whomever enters through me will be saved.” Jesus is the gate leading to the dangerous, narrow path. We must assume that satan is the gate leading to the wide and welcoming path.

4. The gate leading to the wide path has a sign on it that reads “self-indulgence.” These are the people whom Jesus has described as “religious leaders.” They are selfish, greedy, lustful, arrogant, dishonest, hateful, vengeful, and impure. But they know how to wave the “God banner.” They can put on a show, tell people that God’s love doesn’t demand any accountability, and God’s highest priority is the happiness of His followers. However, some of them will use the Bible to shame others and place the burden of the responsibility of “living right” on people. They use God and religion as their platform to get rich and powerful. In the name of God, they sell religion like a vacation cruise, but they leave a trail of hurting and abused people who dare cross their agenda. Religion is their tool for self-indulgence.

5. The gate to the narrow path has a sign on it that reads “self-sacrifice.” It is the Jesus gate. These are the Kingdom people who have died to their self-indulgence and have committed to Jesus as their King and leader. Their lifestyle is described in the “Sermon on the Mount.”

6. There are two groups of travelers on these paths. The narrow path is littered with a group of people called “the few.” They are the few people who count the cost of following Jesus and commit their lives to Him. They die to their own fleshly desires in order to push forward the agenda of King Jesus. They have an intimate relationship with God. The wide path is populated with a group of people called “the many.” They are popular, well liked, and offer religion without self-sacrifice. In their group, a follower can indulge his flesh and still be religious. Their followers can “have it all.” Jesus is simply a means to an end.

7. These paths lead to two destinies. The narrow path seems hard and dangerous, but it leads to eternal life. The wide path seems fun, popular, and safe. However, it leads to a place called destruction. It’s time to choose- which gate will you walk through?

Two things to consider when making your decision- 7:15-23.

Predators- 7:15-20. There are predators out there who are false teachers. They appear to be like sheep (the people of God), but they are wolves (followers of satan). They are not easy to identify. They claim to know God, but they do not manifest the attitudes and actions of Jesus. They dress up like true believers, but they will seduce you in order to destroy you. They make the wide path look attractive. Don’t listen to their words! They are seductive. Watch the fruit of their lives. Pay attention to their actions. Their actions will reveal their identity.

Pretenders- 7:21-23. There are pretenders out there who claim to love God, but they don’t walk in obedience. They use religious words and even have some of the attributes of a true believer, but their hearts are not given to Jesus. They believe their salvation is dependent on their external works of religion. They think they deserve heaven because they are “pretty good people,” but their hearts are not given to God. They will end up in hell.


Heavenly Father, I am observant when it comes to my spiritual life. I know that the devil is on the prowl, looking for an entrance into my life. Therefore, I am very sensitive about where I go, what I do, and whom I see. I guard my heart carefully because nothing is more important than my spiritual life. I know you expect me to put distance between myself and anything that will potentially cause negative spiritual ramifications in my life.

I love Jesus more than I love anything else. Therefore, I have chosen to walk the straight and narrow path, surrounding myself only with people and activities that edify my spirit. I will build close fellowship only with those who are like-minded about following Jesus Christ in a spirit of holiness!  Because of my watchfulness, I know that I am growing strong in faith, and the fruit that is in my life brings glory to You.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Pastor Peter Henneberry

Peter Henneberry,

EMIC Groups Pastor
 Office: 817-252-2925
E-mail/ Group questions