Robert Frost wrote a poem entitled "The Road Not Taken." It is brief - four stanzas, twenty lines - but in that space, he reminds us of an important truth.
I think we understand that Frost was writing about more than a walk in the woods. He was telling us that there are opportunities in life, and that we should choose our way carefully. Two thousand years before Robert Frost ever put pen to paper, Jesus spoke concerning the same thing. But the difference is that where Frost couldn't see where the roads would lead, Jesus tells us exactly.
Mt 7:13 -14 "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."
Jesus spoke of the way 'less traveled' and challenged us to make that choice. For 3 ½ years while He ministered here on this earth Jesus pointed us to the Way. The Way was not a path, but a Person. Jesus calls us to come unto Him in faith. Only then can we have the life that He promised. Consider a recent survey taken.
Yet Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Jesus was saying that not everybody that thinks they are going to heaven when they die, are going. There are Two gates; Two ways; Two groups; and Two destinations
In our text, Jesus spoke of two roads, one was broad and well traveled, but it leads to destruction. The other is narrow and less traveled, but it leads unto life…abundant life now and eternal life later! We are each on one of those two paths. Where we are going will be determined by the path that we choose in this life.
I. The Way of Sin or the Way of Salvation.
A. We don't like to admit that we are sinners.
1. Sinner = bad person…evil person…wicked person.
2. We cannot be sinners; because we aren't so bad…we aren't evil…we try to do good.
3. But the Word of God declares us ALL to be sinners.
Ro 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Ro 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
B. We would like to think that we can approach God as we are.
1. We do not get to choose how to get to Heaven.
2. God has shown us the only way to approach Him is through faith in His Son, Jesus.
3. Some folks don't like that, to them that is too narrow…
4. So they choose another way, but it will lead to eternal separation from God.
5. Multitudes of people think they can approach the Almighty God of the universe on their own terms…but that will never happen!
(Proverbs 14:12) There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
C. Only faith in Jesus makes it possible for us to approach God.
1. By faith we come to Christ, and then we have access to the Father.
2. I am talking about salvation…that means eternal life and heaven.
3. No one can get to heaven, have eternal life, or salvation without faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ!
Ro 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Romans 10:10, "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
II. The Way of Death or the Way of Life
A. We are under the sentence of death.
Ro 5:12, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"
1. The man in this verse is Adam.
2. When he sinned against God, it brought about the consequence of death.
3. The Lord warned him, but he chose to disobey…to not believe what God had said.
Ge 2:16-17 "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
B. Now that sentence of death passed upon all of us '…for all have sinned'.
1. That death sentence is not conditional upon who we are or upon what we do…all have sinned so all will die.
2. There is only one way to escape death…through belief or faith in Christ.
John 8:24, "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins."
Luke 13:3, "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."
3. To repent is to change our thinking.
4. To turn from thinking we are alright the way we are…
5. To realizing that we need to place our faith in Jesus Christ.
C. The good news is that Jesus died in our place.
1. Faith in Jesus Christ is truly a matter of life or death.
2. The life or death is not physical, but spiritual!
3. When we believe in Him we have life…
4. If we choose to ignore Him we remain under the sentence of death!
John 5:24, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."
5. There is no other choice - no other option.
John 3:36, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."
III. The Way of Hell or the Way of Heaven.
A. Most people think they are going to heaven.
1. 90% of Americans believe in life after death.
2. Only ½ of 1% believe that they will go to hell.
3. I am convinced that most people want to go to heaven.
4. I have only had one person ever tell me that they wanted to go to Hell, and he was simply ignorant of what Hell will be like.
B. We all were created with a God-sized hole in our lives that cannot be satisfied with the things of this earth.
1. Go anywhere around the globe and you will find in every culture that man is seeking to find God.
2. The problem is our hearts are deceptive…if we follow our heart…it will lead us wrong!
Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
3. We must commit to following Christ if we want to go to heaven!
4. And that requires a decision on our part!
C. Most folks don't want to think about it.
1. For many it is like discussing funeral arrangements.
2. We think that if we don't talk about it - it won't happen!
3. But we know better than that don't we?
Hebrews 2:3 "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;"
4. The answer is that we cannot escape the judgment of God upon sin, if we neglect to embrace God's simple plan of salvation.
1. Faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
2. Faith to live our lives for Him and to share the gospel with others.
3. Faith to serve Him with our lives.
All of us are traveling on a road that we have chosen this morning, but unfortunately we will not all arrive at the same destination. If you have chosen God's way…Faith in Jesus Christ alone ... the destination is Heaven. If you have chosen another way…the destination in Hell … separated from God for all eternity.
Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.