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On Solid Ground
Matthew 7:13-27

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"Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. [14] "For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it. 

[15] "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. [16] "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? [17] "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit. [18] "A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. [19] "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. [20] "So then, you will know them by their fruits. [21] "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. [22] "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' [23] "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.' 

[24] "Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. [25] "And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock. [26] "And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. [27] "And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall." 

Jesus concludes his Sermon on the Mount, and we conclude our series this morning with an invitation for His listeners to make an important choice about three things: the path they will follow, the teachers they will listen to and what they will do with His teachings.

In verses 13 and 14, Jesus advises his listeners to choose the correct path for their lives-to go through the "narrow gate." To go through the narrow gate is to go against society's grain. Most people go through the wide gate, but on the other side they find destruction. Robert Frost wrote: Two roads diverged in a yellow wood/ And sorry I could not travel both/ And be one traveler, long I stood/ And looked down one as far as I could/ To where it bent in the undergrowth/ Then took the other as just as fair/ And having perhaps the better claim/ Because it was grassy and wanted wear/ Though as for that, the passing there/ Had worn them really about the same/ And both that morning equally lay/ In leaves no step had trodden black/ Oh, I kept the first for another day!/ Yet, knowing how way leads onto way/ I doubted if I should ever come back/ I shall be telling this with a sigh/ Somewhere ages and ages hence/ Two roads diverged in a wood/ And I took the one less traveled by/ And that has made all the difference

What path are you on? Are you traveling through the wide gate on a path to destruction, or are you on the road less traveled? Are you going through the narrow gate that leads to life?

For those who've traveled through the narrow gate, Jesus gives a warning. He says to be careful who you listen to. In verses 15 to 23, Jesus says that not every prophet is from God and that believers must test them by examining their fruits. Though I would encourage you to trust your leaders, I must also say that the final authority in this church is not the teachers that serve here, the deacons or your pastor, it is God's Word! 

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