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Sermons and Outlines

Matthew 7:13-27


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.


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?


Principle: The nature of your tree always determines the nature of your fruit.

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?


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 standing!

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 stood strong!

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?

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