Standing at the Crossroads

Title: Standing at the Crossroads

Bible Book: Matthew 7 : 1-14

Author: Denis Lyle

Subject: Decision; Salvation; Choice; Jesus, the Door



A husband and wife prior to marriage decided, that he’d make all the major decisions and she would make the minor ones. After twenty years of marriage, he was asked how the arrangement had worked, “Great, in all these years I’ve never had to make a major decision.” Life is full of decisions and choices isn’t it? Did you ever think about the many decisions that you made just to get to church today?  What time to get up? Shower, bath or nothing! What to wear? What to eat? Which car to drive? What do the kids need to wear? Which road will I take to get here? You see, each day we are confronted with choices. Some of the choices that we make on a daily basis have very little impact on our lives such as what and where to eat? Other choices can significantly change the course of our lives such as, “Who will I marry? What career do I choose?”

My …. our lives are filled with decisions, many of which are trivial and insignificant. But the most critical of all is our decision about Jesus Christ. That is the ultimate choice that determines our eternal destiny. And it is that decision that the Lord Jesus here calls us to make. He tells us that there are two gates, two ways, two companies, and two destinations. I can well remember the day that I stood on the mountain where the Lord Jesus is believed to have preached this particular “ Sermon on the Mount.” The slope of the mountain creates almost an amphitheatre, and I can imagine how the thousands of people had gathered around. The disciples had gathered very close to the Saviour, and for the most part in this sermon the Lord address’s His disciples. (5:1) When however, He comes to the closing verses of His sermon, I can almost visualise that the Saviour lifted His eyes up from His disciples, and looked out at the larger group who had been listening to the message He had delivered, and He gave them a personal invitation to come and be saved. He says, “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. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (7:13-14)

My …. it's as if we are “Standing at the Crossroads,” and we have to decide. Moses challenged the people as to who they were going to serve. He said, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore choose life.” (Deut 30:19) Joshua upon entering the Promised Land, said to the people, “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve …. but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” (Jos 24:15) As Elijah was about to take on the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel, he challenged the people to choose. He said, “how long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God follow Him, but if Baal, then follow him.”

(1 Kings 18:21) And now here is our Lord Jesus challenging us to “enter in at the strait gate ….,”

My …. as you stand at the crossroads of life, which way will you go? I want to give you three things that I trust will encourage you to “enter in at the strait gate.”


There are only two ways. A broad way or road or a narrow way. Many in our day want to tell us that there are many paths a person can travel through life, however the Lord Jesus limit’s the choice to just two. Some may feel that this is a narrow view and I guess that they are correct. However, the Lord Jesus is right, regardless of what the world thinks. (Rom 3:4) You see, there are many who aim at neutrality. They want to walk the middle pathway. They tell us that they are not good enough for the narrow way and too good for the broad way. They say they are not good enough for heaven, but they are not bad enough for hell. But my …. there is no middle way. There are only two possible directions in life. The broad way and the narrow way. You see,


This word “broad,” means “spacious.” The Lord Jesus says there is a spacious road on which a person can walk. What does Christ mean by this “broad way?” The idea that the Lord Jesus is seeking to convey is that the broad way is wide open. In other words, anything goes on the broad way.

1. It is an INDULGENT Road

This road is both big and broad. It is easy to travel and it has plenty of room. It has few rules, few requirements and few restrictions. Here you can anything you like, you can carry all the baggage of your sins, you can live like you want to live, you can call all the shots and make all the rules. You can be King of the road on the broad way. My …. when you walk the broad way, you can be your own person and not answer to anyone. You can live life to the fullest. Go where you want, do what you will, be what you desire! You see, its an indulgent road. Anything goes and everyone is welcome. Sin is tolerated, truth is moderated, and acceptance is elevated. This is the road most travelled. A West Indian who had chose Islam in preference to the Christian faith, gave the following as his reason. He said, “Islam is a noble and broad path …. there is room for a man and his sins on it. The way of Christ is a narrow way …. The sins have to be left behind.”

2. It is an INCLUSIVE Road

For did you notice how the Lord Jesus describes it?

“Many there be which go in thereat.” (7:13) The vast majority of people stay on this road and they love it. This is the road most travelled. This is the road for people who believe in anything, or believe in nothing. They believe one way of life is just as good as another.  They believe that one religion is just as equally valuable as another. They believe that all roads lead to God …. if there is a God. For those who believe there is no God, come on along and enjoy the journey, eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we are going to die. My …. do you know who is included in the crowd called “many,”? Let me give you an abbreviated list, atheists, agnostics, humanists, communists, Jews, Gentiles, all colours. Now only those who would consider themselves “bad,” but those who would consider themselves “good.” Baptists …. and every other denomination and anyone else who has never been born again and accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour.

Do you see the Lord Jesus is talking about “the majority?” My …. the majority doesn’t rule, the majority ruins. If you go the way of crowd, you won’t go to heaven. The strange thing is that most people think they are on the High Road to Heaven, when really they are on the Low Road to Hell. One of the most fascinating creatures in the animal kingdom is the Lemming. A Lemming is a rodent, a little animal, and they have a habit that is very strange. Lemmings begin to go on a journey. They start travelling in a certain direction headed toward the sea. They go over mountains, swim across rivers, they go through marshes, they go through woods, and valleys and dales, until finally they get to the ocean. Do you know what they do when they get to the sea? They jump into that water, swim as far as they can and drown. Do you know something? Most people in the world are just like the Lemmings. They are doing everything they can to get to the good life, building, battling, buying, trying to get ahead, and all the while they are headed for a sea of death. For the Bible says, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Prov 14:12) My …. are you still on “the broad way?” The way that leads to destruction?


Christ says “Strait is the gate and narrow or difficult is the way.” (7:14) You see, Christ continually emphasised the difficulty of following Him. Do you recall His words? “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” (16:24)

The contrast between the broad and narrow way is apparent. It’s the difference between restrictions and no restrictions, it is the contrast between go as you please and go as He pleases. Do you remember what was recorded of Enoch before his translation? We are told that “before his translation, he had this testimony that he pleased God.” (Heb 11:5) What an age Enoch lived in. A day of sexual permissiveness, a day of awful corruption, a day of social disorder. Yet in that awful day he walked with God, he pleased God. He maintained a distinctive and separate testimony. It is becoming more and more common for the world to accuse Christians of being “narrow.” But we should never be afraid, or ashamed of being dubbed “narrow,” for Christ says it’s a narrow way. Who ever said that living for the Lord would be easy? Who ever said that living a separate, holy life, would be as fun as having a life that gratifies the flesh? But remember it’s the narrow way that leads to glory!


All roads lead somewhere. There used to be a saying about 2,000 years ago that went, “All roads lead to Rome.” Well, all roads lead somewhere and the same is true with these roads. They lead somewhere, and since everyone here is on one or the other, we need to find out where we are going! You see,


Do you see what the Lord Jesus says? “Broad is the way that leadeth to destruction.” (7:13) The word speaks of total and absolute ruin. Let me put it simply, the broad road ends in hell. Every person who continues on the broad way will eventually find themselves in the fires of hell. Now it may surprise you to know that the Lord Jesus talked more about hell than any other person in the Bible. This Christ who spake as never man spake, time and again in His ministry spoke about hell. Christ spoke about the danger of hell fire. He cried to the Pharisee’s “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell.” The Saviour spoke about the place where there would be “weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth.” (Matt 5:22 13:42 23:33 25:41 25:30) Its amazing that some who believe the passages in the Bible about heaven, utterly reject the references to hell. But I am here to tell you that hell is a real as heaven. Robert Ingersoll a famous lawyer and atheist in the latter part of the 19th century once delivered a blistering lecture on hell. He called hell, “the scarecrow religion.” He told his audience, how unscientific it was and how all intelligent people had decided there was no such place.

A drunk in the audience came to him afterward and said, “Bob I liked your lecture. I liked what you said about hell. But Bob, I want you to be sure about it because I am depending upon you.” My …. I am depending on the Lord Jesus this …. and He tells me that hell is real. You see, if you are not on the road marked Grace and you are driving in the vehicle called Faith in Christ, you are on the broad road that leads to hell. An agnostic made an appointment one time to see a pastor. He walked into the pastor’s office and said, “I have a deep philosophical question.” The pastor said, “What is it?” He said, “Where is hell?” Expecting a long theological discussion the pastor simply said, “At the end of a Christ-less life.” My …. if death knocked at your door this day, would hell be your lot? Would you lift up your eyes in hell being in torments?


For the Saviour says, “Narrow is the way that leadeth unto life.” (7:14) Not just life down here, but everlasting life in the realms of glory. My …. if hell is a place of horror, heaven is a place of happiness, if hell is a place of judgement, heaven is a place of joy, if hell is a place of separation, heaven is a place of reunion. Everything that hell isn’t heaven is! Do you ever think of the “no more’s” there will be in heaven? No more sea, death, sorrow, crying, pain, sin? Do you what heaven is going to be like? It’s going to mean the presence of all that is good and the absence of all that is evil. It’s going to be all that the loving heart of God can conceive and all the omnipotent hand of God can prepare. So what if we walked a bit of step down here?

So what if we as Christians were misunderstood? So what if we did without some of the things the rest of the world indulged. My …. will it not be worth it all when we “see Jesus,?” The past will be behind us, the glories of heaven with Christ will be unfolding before us and we shall be “forever with the Lord.”


For Christ said, “Enter ye in at the strait or narrow gate.” A gate, just like a door, is meant to be opened and meant to be entered. For that to happen, you must decide to open it and then you must decide to enter it. My …. many of the decisions we make in life are monotonous, but one decision we make is momentous, and that is the decision that we make about Jesus Christ! Your decision about Christ will determine your destiny. What is the choice? Well, there is,

A. A Wide Gate which you can Choose to Enter

Did you know that you can enter a football ground by more ways than one? You can go in by the turnstile, that just allows one person at a time. In fact it so narrow that there are certain things you cannot take with you. Its just like the narrow gate. But there is another way into a football ground. You see, sometimes the visiting team’s fans arrive in a coach and the big gate is opened. Its just like the wide gate. You see, this gate is easy to enter. Many go through it at the same time, and you are able to take with you anything you want. All the baggage of sin that you want to bring with you, the wide gate allows for this. But remember the wide gate leads to the broad way and the broad way leads to destruction.

B. A Narrow Gate which you can Choose to Enter

The word “narrow,” literally means “to groan,” (stenos) because of being under tremendous pressure. It was a word that was used to represent a constriction. Its gives us the word stenography, which is writing that is abbreviated or compressed. We call it today “shorthand.” My …. because the gate is so narrow you can only get through it empty hand. You can’t bring anything with you. If you are going to enter in by this gate, you’ve got to leave your pride, your prestige, and your position behind. In effect, you’ve got to go through this gate stark naked. Do you know why? Because this gate is Christ! You see, the question is not, “What is the way of heaven?” The question is, “Who is the way to heaven?”  For the Lord Jesus said, “I am the door by me if any man enter in he shall be saved.” (Jn 10:9)

My …. Jesus Christ does not need anything that you can bring whether it be money, morals, materialism, in order to put you on the Highway to Heaven. On the other hand, He wants everything you have got. That’s why He goes on to say that not only is the gate “strait or narrow,” but the way is “difficult.” My …. Christianity is simple but its not easy. You don’t have to pay anything for salvation, but on the other hand salvation will cost you everything you have. Do you know why so few enter this “narrow gate?” Its not because the gate is too small, its because the people are too big. The Lord Jesus said, “Except ye be converted and become as little children ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (18:3) My …. when you come to God as a sinner, He receives you as a saint. But if you come to God as a saint He will reject you as a sinner! Tell me this, are you prepared to come to the Lord and acknowledge that you are a sinner? Are you ready to say, “Nothing in my hand I bring simply to Thy cross I cling?”

As you stand at the crossroads of life this which way will you go? Make no mistake. According to the Saviour there are only two gates  - narrow and wide, there are only ways - easy and difficult, there are only two crowds - the many and the few. There are only two destinations - heaven and hell. There is no third alternative.

Gertrude Stin, the famous American writer owned two Picassos. Each painting was worth a fortune. She told a friend of hers one time, “If this house ever catches on fire, and I can only take one picture that I own it would be those two.” But my …. you can only choose one. So the question is, which road are you on? Which crowd are you in? Which gate have you entered? If you stay on the road you are on right now, where are you going to be when it ends?


Max Lucado is one of the best-selling Christian authors in the world. One day he arrived at the airport for an early morning flight and made his way to the gate. The hour was early, he was tired, and he soon found himself dozing off while waiting to board the plane. He was aroused from his sleep by the noise of a crowd moving toward the aircraft. Lucado gathered his belongings, and found his seat on the plane. As soon as he sat down he slipped off into another catnap. When he awakened to the bright morning sun that was pouring through his window, he heard a strange message. A flight attendant said, “Raise your seats to their upright position, and make sure your seatbelts are securely fastened, as we make our final approach to Houston, Texas.” There was only one problem. Lucado was headed to Denver, Colorado. What had happened? Because he fell asleep at the gate he missed one flight, and it caused him to join the wrong crowd of passengers, and he boarded a plane that was headed in the wrong direction.

My …. following the crowd that seems to be going in the right direction will take you to the wrong place, hell. But trusting and following Christ, who is going in the right direction, will take you to the right place, heaven.

The decision is yours to make. Will it be the low road to hell, or the high road to heaven?

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