Matthew Chapter 7:13-29

Matthew 7:13. Enter ye in at the strait gate.

It is very unpopular. The great ones will recommend to you great liberality and breadth; but enter yet in at the strait gate.

Matthew 7:13. For wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat .'

That is a rule that is very unfashionable in these times; but depend upon it, the Lord, who gave it to us, meant it for all times. That which seems narrow, which costs you self-denial — that which is contrary to the will of the flesh — that which does not seem to charm the eye and fascinate the senses — go after that "Enter ye in at the strait gate." You will not be likely to err much, or too much on that side. Let this ,be a gauge to you. That kind of preaching which allows you to indulge in sin — that sort of teaching which lowers the standard of God's Word for you, and makes you think more of your own judgment than of the teachings of Christ — away with it. Let others have it if they like. "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."

Matthew 7:14. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that of it.

It is still so. Indeed, none find it. unless grace finds them. He who made that gate must go after the wandering' sheep, and bring them through that gate. They will never choose it of themselves.

Matthew 7:15. Beware of false prophets.

Some honour and esteem all prophets. "Is not it a very high office? Is not a prophet a man sent from God?" Yes, and for that very reason there are counterfeits whom God has never sent. Beware of false prophets.

Matthew 7:15. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

They look just like sheep. They look just like shepherds, but it is only their clothing. The mere hypocrite is the goat in sheep's clothing. But a false prophet is a wolf in sheep's clothing, because he can do so much more harm, and will do, so much more damage to the church of God.

Matthew 7:16. Ye shall know them by their fruits.

They are sure to come out in their actions If you have not got the knowledge of theology, and the like, to, be able to judge their teaching, yet the simplest persons can judge their actions.. "You shall know them ‘by their fruits," which are sure to come out sooner or later.

Matthew 7:16. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Did you ever find a cluster of grapes growing upon a thorn-bush? Grapes and figs are pleasant fruit, and holy living, true devotion, communion with God — these are the things that are sweet to God and to good men. But they come not of false doctrine. They are not seen in false prophets. Such prophets despise such things as these. They are for worldly ways, and places of worldly gaiety they can frequent. Not so the servants of God.

Matthew 7:17-19. Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit: but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

That is what comes of it in the end. It may spread itself abroad, and may gather much admiration, to itself for its verdure, but there is an axe being sharpened, and a fire being kindled

Matthew 7:20. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

You cannot judge them by their bark, or by the spread of their branches, or by the verdure of their leaves, or even by the beauty of their blossoms in. spring time. "By their fruits ye shall know them." The Saviour here gives us a very earnest and very necessary warning, lest we should be deceived, for there are such who are not only deceived by their own sins, but deceived by false prophets, who are among Satan's best agents.

Matthew 7:21. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;

They were very sound in doctrine. They called Jesus "Lord." They believed in his Deity. Apparently, they were very devout. They said, "Lord." They worshipped him. They were very importunate and earnest. They said, "Lord, Lord," ewing to him again and again. But "not everyone that saith unto me, ‘Lord, Lord,' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven." External utterances, however orthodox; professions, however sound, are not enough.

Matthew 7:21. But he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Oh! dear friends, there must be holiness in us, for without holiness no man can see the Lord. It is not knowing the will of the heavenly Father, but doing it which is the mark of divine election. If God's grace has really entered into us, we, like the prophets, shall be known by our fruits; and if we are not doing the will of our Father who is in heaven, we shall not come to the heaven where he is.

Matthew 7:22. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?

Yes, so did Balaam. Was not Saul also among the prophets, and yet neither Balaam nor Saul was accepted of God, but they were castaways, "Have we not prophesied in thy name?" A man may be a preacher, and an eloquent preacher, and he may even have some blessing upon his preaching, and yet be cast away for ever.

Matthew 7:22. And in thy name have cast out devils;

Yes, and there was one that cast out devils, and he was a devil himself, namely, Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him. He went out and wrought miracles in the name of Christ, and then sold Christ for pieces of silver.

Matthew 7:22. And in thy name done many wonderful works?

Yes, and we may do many wonderful works, and yet be wonderfully deceived. It is not wonderful works: it is holy works; not works that amaze men, but works that please God, which are the proof of grace in the soul. Well, there will be some who will be able to say that they prophesied —that they cast out devils — that they did wonders.

Matthew 7:23. And then, will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

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