Opening Prayer - Heavenly Father we thank You for the opportunity to learn about Your Word. We pray that you will help us to understand these verses in Matthew so we can fulfill our purpose in life. May everyone who tunes in this evening receive a blessing and learn from your Word and be able to apply what we have learned in our daily lives. We're eternally thankful for this ministry, and we pray that we can share these websites with others and many people can begin to have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Worship music - Please click the links and sing along if you know the words (You can also click skip ad to go straight to the songs) -
For Wednesday evening services, the Lord has lead me to do a Bible study for practical Bible verses in Matthew. Please come back to these Bible lessons in order to review them and learn them. Whenever we have learned the meaning of Bible verses and think about them throughout each day, we will be in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3). Not only that, but when we are in a situation in our daily lives and are tempted to sin, we can think back to what we have learned from the Bible and say to ourselves, "The Bible says to not do what I am tempted to say, think, do, and/or desire right now, so I am going to refuse to give in to this temptation." This is what Romans 12:2 means, and it says, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." This is also the pattern that Jesus used when the devil tempted Him to sin in Matthew 4:1-11.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW
Matthew chapters 5-7 are Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 4:17 means if someone wants to go to Heaven, they need to be willing to repent (change the way they live and think) from this moment on and for the rest of their life. Matthew chapters 5-7 explains how someone needs to be willing to live and think, from this moment on, if they want to repent and go to Heaven. Also, if someone wants to become a Christian, they need to be consciously or unconsciously willing to follow (imitate and obey) Jesus "from that moment on and for the rest of their life". If someone is not willing to live the way Jesus' Sermon on the Mount explains, they are not willing to follow (imitate and obey) Jesus. Therefore, that person is not ready to become a Christian by trusting Jesus' death on the cross and His shed blood to erase their sins and let them into Heaven. For more information about being willing to follow Jesus and it's relationship to salvation, please see these websites - http://chriswaug5.wix.com/nocontridiction and http://chriswaug5.wix.com/theanswer
13Enter 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: 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
There are two types of people -
1. Those who are on the broad road spend more of their time doing what they want to do and not what God wants them to do, even if they have already prayed or made a decision to become a Christian. They still practice sins on purpose, control the way they handle their money (see this website - http://chriswaug5.wix.com/giving), plans of each day, future goals, physical safety (Matthew 10:28), and enjoy someone or something more than witnessing to and/or helping others and spending time with the Lord. They spend more of their time thinking, saying, watching, listening to, going where, and doing what they want instead of what the Lord wants.
2. Those who are on the narrow road have prayed or made a decision to become a Christian, and as a result, they try to spend more of their time helping or witnessing to people, and when they aren't doing that, they try to do things such as study the Bible and try to do what it says to do and don't do what it says not to do (James 1:22), think about things the Lord would want them to think about (Matthew 6:9-13; Philippians 4:8), try not to have sinful actions,
try to let Jesus become the Lord of their life (2 Corinthians 4:3-5, Romans 10:9, Acts 2:36) by taking over every area of their life (the way they handle their money (see this website - http://chriswaug5.wix.com/giving), their plans for each day, future goals, physical safety (Matthew 10:28), thoughts, conversations with people who will listen, what they watch and listen to (see this website - http://chriswaug5.wix.com/tvandmusic), and where they go), try to do what the Holy Spirit gives them thoughts to do no matter who or what tries to stop them (Ephesians 4:30), try to have Jesus' character traits in Galatians 5:22–23 and 2 Peter 1:3–11, and do these things because they love Jesus more than anyone or anything and are thankful that He died on the cross to erase their sins (Psalm 139:23,24).
Jesus said, "broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction", so if you are on the broad road you need to be willing and want to “from this moment on and for the rest of your life” live the way the narrow road just described. After that, your heart is prepared to receive Jesus, and you are ready to tell God that you believe Jesus died on the cross to erase your sins so you can go to Heaven and believe He arose from the dead. Please realize that once you start down the narrow road, your life will be loaded with trials, suffering, persecution: "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Timothy 3:12), possible loss of friends, and the temptation to spend your time thinking about, talking about, watching, listening to, and doing what you wanted to do before you made a profession of faith. Luke 13:22–24 says, "And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able." If people are not willing to live the way that was described in the previous paragaph and this paragraph "from this moment on and for the rest of their life", they are not ready to believe and be saved (become a Christian). Literally the man asked Jesus, "Are there few that are being saved?" So, the reason that few people get saved (become a Christian) is because they don’t strive to enter in at the straight gate - They need to be very willing to get on the narrow road and live the way it describes from that moment on, no matter who or what circumstances tries to stop them, then they are ready to believe and be saved.
Many people also have the idea that they will pray or make a decision to become a Christian and not get in a hurry to do the type of things Jesus did and think the way He thought while He was on the earth. Jesus didn't take that kind of approach (see Luke 13:22-24). Again, the reason that few people become a Christian is because they don't strive to enter in at the straight gate (Luke 13:24). They make a decision to believe in Jesus' work on the cross, and they say things such as, "Well I might go to church Sunday morning, and I could read a little bit of the Bible today." As a result, these people keep living and thinking this way and believe they are living the Christian life. Tradgecily, they get their assurance that they are a Christian because they prayed a prayer to believe in Jesus' death on the cross. They basically ignore 2 Corinthians 5:17 and the first part of verse 18 which says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God," Similarily, Colossians 3:1-4 says, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." This is assurance of salvation; Jesus takes over every area of someone's life and every moment of each day.
If you have prayed or made a decision to trust Jesus’ death on the cross and His shed blood to erase your sins and let you into Heaven, but you have not been living the way that was described in this message, please follow this website - http://chriswaug5.wix.com/makingsure
If you have never prayed or made a decision to trust Jesus’ death on the cross and His shed blood to erase your sins and let you into Heaven, you need to be willing to live the way that was described in this message. Please follow this website - http://chriswaug5.wix.com/howtogotoheaven
If you have prayed or made a decision to become a Christian, but you are not sure that you are really a Christian (Hebrews 11:6, Matthew 21:18-22, 1 John 5:14, and Hebrews 11:1), you need to be sure - please follow this website - http://chriswaug5.wix.com/howtogotoheaven