Intro: Often, we face "either or" decisions as me move through life. A
moment of decision when there are but two choices to make. A lot of folks
shrink from those decisive moments, but they come nonetheless. Some
people have a "either my way or the highway" mentality. They are so
narrow minded that you are either right or wrong, in their humble opinion.
The spiritual realm is no different. In this passage, Jesus offers us no
less than three "either or" situations. In these areas, there will be no
compromise. You will either be one way or the other, there is no middle
ground! Now, we do not like to be forced to make decisions. We want to
approach them and decide about them in our own way, in our own time.
Sadly, in the three areas that I will point out this morning, you have
already made your decision. Now, you may have the opportunity to change
that decision, but it has been made nonetheless. Allow me to point out
these three "Either Or" situations that Jesus discusses in these verses. Let
me encourage you to listen to the Word of God, look deeply into your own
heart and do whatever you have to do to ensure that you will end up on the
Lord's side of each of these issues.
I want to present each of these "either or" situations with both a life
principle and a question raised by the situation. Let's allow the Lord to
speak to our hearts this morning. Your eternal destiny hinges on your being
found on the same side as Jesus in each of these "either or" situation.
I. V. 13-15 THE EITHER OR OF YOUR FOOTSTEPS
Principle: The Road you travel always determines your destination.
A. A Description Of Each Path - One path is described as being wide.
This speaks of a path that is easy to navigate with plenty of room.
Their other is described as being narrow. This speaks of it being
more constrictive, with far less room.
B. The Destination Of Each Path - The broad path leads to
destruction (Hell). The narrow path leads to life (Heaven). Friends,
there are but two destinations for the soul of man! Every person in
this room will either go to heaven or to hell. It is another of those
"either or" situations!
C. The Demands Of Each Path - The broad path is accessed through
a broad gate. In fact, everyone in this room was on the broad path
when they came into this world, Rom. 5:12; Rom. 3:23. To continue
on this path to destruction requires you to do nothing! You are born
into this world headed in that direction and since this is a broad way,
you can carry all the baggage you want to with you! There is plenty
of room for you and for all your sins. On the other hand, the narrow
path is accessed through a narrow gate. There is only one way to
get on this path, Jesus - John 14:6; 1 John 5:12. He narrow gate,
salvation God's way is a very exclusive process! Passing through
the narrow gate is going to require that you lose the excess baggage
in your life. You cannot bring your sins along! You cannot bring
your other gods. You cannot bring the things of the old life through
the narrow gate! (Note: This does not imply that those who are on
the narrow path are perfect and do not sin. This we know is not true!
However, it does mean that they have repented of their sins. They
have made an intentional break with their past manner of life. They
have embraced Jesus and His plan for their lives. Do they fail? Of
course! But, failure is not their way of life! Do they sin? Sure! But,
sin is not a way of life for them either! They have committed their
lives to the Lord Jesus Christ and they sincerely want to please Him,
walk with Him, and be like Him. They have changed, 2 Cor. 5:17; 1 John 2:3-5; 1 John 3:9. Is that your testimony?)
Question: Did your profession of faith cost you anything?
II. V. 15-20 THE EITHER OR OF YOUR FRUIT
Principle: The nature of your tree always determines the nature of your
A. How The Fruit Is Described - Jesus says there is only two kinds of
fruit that can be produced: good and bad. Good fruit is that which
pleases the Lord and that which glorifies Him before a lost and dying
world. It is fruit that is produced as the result of the work of the Holy
Spirit in a person's life, Gal. 5:22-23. Bad fruit is that which is
produced by man naturally. It is the works of the flesh. It is evil and
it is offensive to God, Gal. 5:19-21.
B. How The Fruit Is Determined - Jesus says that the nature of the
fruit is determined by the nature of the tree. An apple tree yields
apples. An orange tree yields oranges. The only way to change the
nature of the fruit is to change the nature of the tree! That is why
Jesus told Nicodemus that a man "must be born again", John 3.
C. What The Fruit Declares - According to Jesus, the fruit your life
yields says a lot about your life! If you are producing good fruit,
things spiritually acceptable in the sight of the Lord, then you have
a good tree. However, if you consistently produce bad fruit, then
your tree is bad as well! The only solution is the new birth! (Note:
I realize that you cannot always tell the quality of the fruit by the
outward appearance. I recently purchased a watermelon that looked
great on the outside, but when it was cut open, it wasn't fit to eat.
However, as a general rule, if it walks like a duck, looks like a duck
and quacks like a duck, then it is probably a duck! A life that is lived
in sin, disobedience and rebellion to God is a life that is producing
bad fruit. Bad fruit suggests a bad tree. A life that consistently
exhibits the fruit of the Spirit is a life producing good spiritual fruit.
Good fruit suggests a good tree. Neither can duplicate the other for
very long! The nature of the tree will come out in the fruit! The good
tree draws its life from Jesus, John 15:5. As a result, it produces a
life like His. The bad tree draws its life from the world, Eph. 2:1-3,
as a result, it produces a life like that of the world.)
Question: Did your profession of faith radically change your life?
III. V. 24-27 THE EITHER OR OF YOUR FINALE
Principle: How You start always determines how you finish.
A. A Word About Buildings - Jesus tells us about two houses. No
doubt, outwardly, these two houses looked alike. They may have
even been made from the same materials. The only difference in
the two was the kind of foundation each house rested upon. One
was built upon sand, while the other was built upon a rock.
B. A Word About Beatings - Each house was subjected to the same
kinds of abuse. A storm came. Rains fell, winds blew and savage
floods wrapped themselves around these houses. One house fell in
the storm, but when the storm was over, one house was still
C. A Word About Builders - These men were pretty much alike. They
both wanted houses and they both built them. Both watched as the
house they had built was attacked by the same vicious storm. One
watched in horror as the house he had built succumbed to the storm
and fell in the raging flood waters. The other watched in satisfaction
has his house weathered the storm and came through it standing
tall. Jesus looked at these men as proclaimed one a fool, but the
other He called wise. (Note: Did you know that every person in this
room is a builder this morning? Your life is like a house. It looks
pretty much like all the other houses around it. It is made from the
same materials. It is also attacked by the very same storms.
Storms of sickness, storms of sin, storms of temptation and storms
bearing any of 10,000 other names all attack the house you are
building. The greatest storm our houses face is that of God's wrath.
Some houses in this room are going to weather the storm, others
are not! Some builders here can be called wise while others are
fools. Some houses will stand in the judgment and others will fall
away into Hell. What makes the difference? The quality of the
foundation upon which the house stands! The foolish man took no
time to plan or to think about his house. He just built it where he was
and left everything to chance. He built upon the sand! The other
man took the time to dig into the soil, exposing the bedrock. There
he built his house and when the storm came and washed away the
sand from the foolish man's house, the bedrock never moved, but it
Friend, how you start always determines how you finish! If your
life is build upon the sands of this world, your religious experience,
your family connections, your good works, or any of 10,000 things
you want to name, you are a fool an d your house will not stand. It
will utterly fall when it is judged by God. However, if you have
looked away, beyond yourself and placed your foundation upon the
Lord Jesus Christ and Him alone, then your house will stand the
storms of life and it will stand the judgment too! What are you
building on this morning? It matters! Acts 4:12; Rom. 10:9; Rom.
5:9. Remember, it isn't about what you "do"; it is all about what He
has "Done"! John 19:30!)
Question: Has your profession of faith weathered every storm?
Conc: Remember the three principles we have encountered in this passage:
1. The road you travel always determines your destination.
2. The nature of your tree always determines the nature of your fruit.
3. How you start always determines how you finish.
Remember the three questions I have asked you to ponder as well:
1. Did your profession of faith cost you anything?
2. Did your profession of faith radically change your life?
3. Has your profession of faith weathered every storm?
With these principles and these questions fresh in your mind and heart,
please look at verses 21-23. These verses tell us of some a false people
who will stand before the Lord at the Great White Throne. These persons
all have a profession of faith, but these people all have a false profession!
Be sure you are not in that number! Be sure that you are truly saved by the
grace of God this morning! Be sure that when you meet Him He says,
"Enter in my child", not "Depart from me! I never knew you!" Friend. It
is "Either Or". Which is it for you?