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Decisions Determine Destinies - Matthew 7:13-27

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A. Matthew 7:13-14; Matthew 7:24-27

1. Life is full of choices

2. The most important ones are those of a spiritual nature

a. We can choose the narrow way or the broad way

b. We can choose to be like the wise man who built his house on the rock or like the foolish man who built his house on the sand

B. Daily choices have an accumulated effect

    1. One choice is added to another, and another to another, until eventually an established way of life is formed and an eternal destiny is set




A. The narrow way consists of following Jesus and Jesus alone - John 14:6; Acts 4:12

1. We dare not choose Mohammad, the prophet of the Muslims, the Islam religion

2. To follow Mohammad is like following a broken cistern - Jeremiah 2:13

a. Years ago, many in the Arab nations left the fountain of living waters (Jesus Christ), and chose broken cisterns (a mere man, a so-called prophet by the name of Mohammad)

b. When one chooses someone besides Christ, he severs himself from the only means to reach God

B. We need to choose the true wisdom and not worldly wisdom - Proverbs 23:23; Psalm 119:130; Psalm 19:7-11

1. To seek only worldly wisdom, as opposed to the spiritual wisdom, is a vain pursuit - Ecclesiastes 1:13-18; Ecclesiastes 2:15-16

a. A certain amount of worldly wisdom is necessary to survive in this world, but it should never be pursued to the neglect of spiritual wisdom

b. Often, those who pursue worldly wisdom have a very selfish view in mind

C. We need to choose the gospel and not man-made gimmicks

1. Romans 1:16

a. The gospel way is the narrow way, the right way

b. It is the power, not a power, as though it is one among many

c. The gospel is God's only drawing power to save mankind

D. We need to choose the Lord's church as revealed in the New Testament and not denominational churches which have been built by man

1. In the New Testament, local churches had a particular organization, work, and worship

2. We need to pattern ourselves after what God ordained for His church

    a. Let us learn about it, and strive to build and maintain it

E. We need to choose God's family values and not the ways of modern man

1. God's way promotes marriage and the home - Proverbs 18:22; 1 Timothy 5:14

2. Modern man promotes divorce and live-ins

a. One young couple who were live-ins said, marriage was nothing but a piece of paper and so they chose not to get married, just live together

b. However, consider - Hebrews 13:4; Proverbs 6:32



A. Jesus said that the wise person is the one who hears His sayings and does them - Matthew 7:24

1. It involves reasoning and making a response as to what Jesus taught

B. President Lyndon Johnson had a favorite Bible verse that he would often recite. It is found in the first part of Isaiah 1:18, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord..."

1. He thought that if anyone would sit down and talk to him on a one-on-one basis he could sway them to his position

2. He was using the passage as though it encouraged "men" to reason together - "Come and let us reason together (people reasoning together) - says the Lord."

3. However, the reasoning together in the passage is men with God

C. Consider Isaiah 1:18-20 in its context

1. The context shows that God's people were very sinful at that time - Isaiah 1:4-6; Isaiah 1:21-23

2. This passage is not indicating they were to reason with God, in the sense of changing His terms of forgiveness

a. The "reasoning together" was man coming to God and learning from Him how to be forgiven

b. God is saying, more or less, "Come and let your hearts be open (use reasoning) to what I am saying to you."

c. It carries with it the need for sinful man to return to God

    (1) He earnestly desires His fallen children to return to Him

D. Consider what is said to them

1. The word used here for "scarlet" literally means, "double dipped cloth." Not only had it been dyed once, it has been dyed twice

    a. This would make it even harder to bring back to its original state

2. Crimson was the deepest, darkest color of red known to ancient man

3. Snow and wool are used because of their pure white color

a. Wool, which is first sheered from sheep, is oily and matted together, but after it is put through a process called "scouring," it is beautiful snowy white

b. Thus, the picture God is giving is: "though the sinner be exceeding evil (double dipped in iniquity), he can be wholly and completely cleansed."

4. Isaiah 1:19

a. If they would obey His will, they would be blessed

    (1) Indeed, it is like the wise man who built his house on the rock

b. If they refused to obey, they would be punished

(1) Jesus said regarding the collapse of the foolish man's house, "and great was the fall thereof."

(2) This indicates the calamity and ultimate destruction of those who choose to not obey the Lord



A. Thus, our day to day choices are important

1. We can choose the narrow way which leads to life, or we can go in the broad way which leads to destruction

2. We can choose to be wise by obeying the Lord, or we can choose to be foolish by not heeding his commands

B. John 1:10-13

1. Notice that those who receive Jesus have a right to become children of God

2. In the state of Ohio, as in most states, when a person turns sixteen, the state grants them the right to become licensed automobile drivers. Just because they are sixteen does not automatically confer the privilege of driving upon them. There are certain conditions that must be met to take advantage of their right

a. They must pass the state's written exam

b. They must pass the state's driving exam

c. They must pay a certain fee to obtain their driver's license

3. Just as a person who turns sixteen has the right to become a licensed driver, the person who receives Jesus, has a right to become a child of God

a. Just as the one who wishes to become a licensed driver must meet certain conditions, the one who receives the Lord must meet certain conditions to become a child of God

b. Those conditions are:

(1) Hear and Believe in Jesus - John 1:12

(2) Repenting of one's sins - Acts 2:38

(3) Confessing the Lord - Romans 10:9-10

(4) Being baptized into Christ - Galatians 3:26-27

4. Are you making wise choices today?


Have you decided to turn to Jesus, the risen Christ, for your Salvation?

Have you decided to be a Christian?

Are you saved?


-- Don Treadway, March 2011 --


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