FOUR LANES ON THE BROAD WAY
Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning, April 11, 1999, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia:
FOUR LANES ON THE BROAD WAY
By Michael D. O’Neal……Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church……Albany, Georgia
Scripture Reading: Matthew 7:13-23
Text: Matthew 7:13
Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Introduction: Many times religious people will downplay the differences between denominations by saying something like, “Well, you know that we are all working to get to the same place; we’re just going by different paths.”
According to the scripture reading for today, there are actually only TWO paths. One is a broad path that leads to destruction. The other is a narrow path that leads to life. On which path are you traveling? The truth is, those who are all working to get to the same place — heaven — are actually on the wrong path, the path that leads to destruction. I want to mention to you today four of the main paths people take in an effort to get to heaven, which in reality will take them to the eternal fires of hell. A highway may have two lanes going in the same direction. This highway is so wide and so well traveled, that it has at least FOUR lanes, which I want to mention today:
I. WATER BAPTISM FOR SALVATION LEADS TO DESTRUCTION
Matthew 27:24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
A. Salvation is received through FAITH – Eph. 2:8-9
B. The Spirit of God is received through FAITH – Gal. 3:14
C. The saint’s baptism in water FOLLOWS his faith,thereby following his salvation! – Acts 10:47
Pilate could not literally wash away his sins in water, and neither can you!
II. WORKS FOR SALVATION LEADS TO DESTRUCTION
Acts 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
A. Works for salvation are just dead works
Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
B. Works for salvation are as dung
Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
C. Works for salvation are dirty
Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
III. WISHFUL THINKING FOR SALVATION LEADS TO DESTRUCTION
Proverbs 16:2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.
A. About sin’s penalty
1. Most lost people have an inadequate view of their own sin.
2. Although they know that they are sinners, they don’t think that their own sins are too bad, and certainly not as bad as the sins of So-And-So.
3. They think that their goodness will outweigh their badness on the scale of God’s judgment in the last day.
B. About “sliding in” to salvation
1. Some people go to church long enough that they expect to get to heaven and bypass the new birth. WRONG!
C. About starting over
1. Many lost folks think that they will one day turn over a new life, make a new resolution, and get a fresh start.
2. The REAL start they need is a new BIRTH.
3. They don’t need a reformation; they need regeneration!
4. They don’t need to turn over a new leaf; they need to get a new life!
IV. WAITING FOR SALVATION LEADS TO DESTRUCTION
Acts 24:25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.
A. Satan will delay you
B. Sin will deceive you
C. “Slowness” in this matter will DAMN you
The “strait and narrow” way to heaven is not a road of doing good deeds to earn God’s forgiveness. The ONLY way to heaven is JESUS CHRIST Himself. John 14:6. The way to heaven is the way of sinlessness, sacrifice, and suffering … not on YOUR part, but on HIS. HE paid the price. HE bought your salvation. HE now offers it to you as a free gift (Rom. 6:23), to be received by faith (Acts 16:29-31). Trust Christ today!