An International Center for Fellowship and Learning

The Sermon on the Mount Pt. 2 – Lesson 11: The Straight Gate

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” —Acts 4:12

Scripture Reading: Matthew 7:13-14; John 10:1-10

Introduction:

There’s only one gate into the Kingdom of God—Jesus Christ. Entering into that gate requires the blood of Jesus Christ, the only way of salvation for mankind. But, walking in the way of the gate goes much farther than the conversion experience. The “way of the gate” is the way of Jesus Christ and it’s not only doing what He did but being what He was.

Jesus described the gate into His Kingdom as narrow and strait. The world tells us there are many gates, and even modern Christianity has broadened the gate and turned it into an experience rather than a life. Having a broader gate seems beneficial on the surface because more people will make a commitment to Christ; we’ll have more conversions; we’ll see fuller pews. What we’ve ended up with is less disciples and more pew warmers. The broad gate has been decorated to resemble the narrow gate, and in the process many who’ve been truly converted never stop drinking from the bottle.

The way of the broad gate can be blatantly obvious, as is the case with Satanism or spiritualism or Hinduism. Disguised they aren’t. For most Christians, it’s easy to recognize the pure forms of false religion. It’s disturbing when we see false religion for what it is but don’t see rebellion and apathy and carnality for what it is. In the eyes of God, rebellion is just as evil as witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23). Apathy is worse than never making a commitment to Christ (Revelation 3:15-17). And carnality leads to everlasting destruction (1 Corinthians
6:9-10).

The broad gate includes false religion, but more important for the Christian, it includes self-serving attitudes, rebellion, apathy, and carnality. We may have entered into the gate of Christ by conversion and we may no longer be drinking milk. Our call, though, is to live in the way of the narrow gate, not simply take the first step in.

Lesson Questions:

  1. What is the straight gate referred to in Matthew 7:13? John 10:1-10; 14:6; Romans 5:1-2; Ephesians 2:18; 3:11-12; Hebrews 10:19-22.
    Note: “In the immediate context of Jesus’ day it could be assumed that His way was presented as that which is narrow and the way of the Pharisees as that which is broad.” —Liberty Bible Commentary, Jerry Falwell
  2. Why is it important that we recognize Jesus Christ is the only way to eternal life? Acts 4:8-12; John 8:24; 1 Corinthians 3:11; 2 Corinthians 5:15; Hebrews 2:1-4.
  3. Are there conditions to receiving eternal life? John 3:14-16; Ephesians 2:8-10; Luke 18:28-30; John 4:35-36; 12:24-26; Galatians 6:7-9; Matthew 13:44-46; 19:16-22.
  4. Why will our works never be enough to achieve eternal life? Romans 3:20-31; 4:9-16; Galatians 2:16-21; 3:1-3, 11-14.
  5. What is the broad way referred to in Matthew 7:13? Romans 3:10-18; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Ephesians 5:1-6; Proverbs 14:12; Psalm 1:1; Isaiah 59:1-15.
  6. How will God deal with those who enter the broad gate? Romans 6:23; Philippians 3:18-19; 1 Peter 4:17-18; Psalm 37:38; Proverbs 24:20; Revelation 21:8.

Life Application:

Which path are you on? Review the scriptures from question five of this lesson each day this week and examine your own patterns of living. Also, review the scriptures from question three of this lesson to catch a greater vision of what God is calling you to do.