In this sermon, Greg address the differences between the wide and the narrow ways, and explains how we can embrace the life that comes with the narrow path.
In this sermon, Greg offers a brief explanation of Matthew 7:12, which speaks about doing to others as you would have them do to you. This is one of the most famous statements in the Bible, and is also found in many other religions.
The primary emphasis of the sermon lays on the teaching regarding the two ways from Matthew 7:13-14. There are two paths, one that is wide and easy and the other difficult. The narrow way is the way of walking with the person of Jesus. Jesus is the only way, truth and life. However, if all other roads lead to destruction, then this sounds profoundly unfair and unloving. Traditionally though, this is what the church has taught. But we must be honest, how loving is it to condemn someone to destruction when they have never had the opportunity to hear about the way of Jesus?
As we discussed a few weeks ago, 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 tells us that all of humanity is made alive in Christ. While most don’t know it, all humans are part of a new creation, a new humanity, reconciled to God and to one another.
God’s end game in changing everyone’s status on the cross was to have everyone living for Christ and thereby acquiring a Christ-like, other-oriented loving character. But God cannot force people to accept this truth. It must be received.
This leads us to this question: If the cross changed everyone’s default from being dead in Adam to alive in Christ, why did Jesus say that the road to salvation was narrow and few find it, while to road to destruction is wide, and many find it? How do we reconcile these seemingly conflicting teachings?
The teachings that as all were in Adam, so all are now in Christ, only conflicts with Jesus’ teaching that few choose to walk the narrow, hard road that leads to life if Jesus is speaking about people’s final state of affairs when he says the wide road leads to destruction. God brings destruction on people for the purpose of redeeming them. The most radical example of this is found in Revelation 19.
In Matthew 7:14-15, Jesus is saying the way to find eternal life here and now is narrow and hard because it involves following Jesus and striving to develop a Christ-like character. All on this road begin to fulfill Paul’s teaching that Jesus died for all, so that we might live for him. But most people, here and now, would rather live life with the goal of having their best and most convenient life, rather than arduously striving to develop a loving character. This road leads to destruction because whatever about us that is inconsistent with God’s love and truth has got to be destroyed so that we can live for Christ and reflect his love in the eternal Kingdom.
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