“The Narrow Gate” – An Important Message for Homeschool Families
A few weeks ago I was invited to guest preach at a largely homeschooling church. I chose a sermon on Matthew 7:13-14 & 21-23:
Matthew 7:13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
No matter how many times you read theses verses, they say the same thing: many people are going to hell, and few people are going to heaven. This is why it is so important to examine our faith and ask, “Am I saved?”
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
I think these are the most terrifying verses in all of Scripture, because they aren’t discussing unbelievers or atheists. We expect unbelievers and atheists to be kept out of heaven. They aren’t discussing people in false religions. We expect people in false religions to be kept out of heaven.
These verses are discussing people who call Jesus, “Lord.” These are people who thought they were going to heaven. Their response communicates their shock. They say, “What Lord…? Didn’t we…? How can this be…?” They were deceived about their salvation, and Jesus said “many” people are in this category.
The reason I think this sermon is so important for homeschooling families is the children have been immersed in a Christian culture from the earliest age. It’s easy for them (and adults!) to think they’re saved simply because they’re religious and have grown up in the church. I don’t want your children (or you) deceived about salvation. I hope this sermon encourages all of us to examine our faith.
Please listen to the sermon as a family. If you have any questions or I can pray for you in any way, please contact me!
Lesson 1: Even ______________________ __________ won’t get you into heaven (Matt 7:21-22; Rom 10:1-3; 1 John 2:9; Eph 2:8-9).
Lesson 2: The question is: “Does the Lord ________ ______?” (Matt 7:23a cf. Gal 4:9).
Lesson 3: Lack of ____________________ keeps you out of heaven (Matt 7:23b; 2 Tim 2:19).
Lesson 4: ______________ ________________ to see whether you are in the faith (2 Cor 13:5; 1 Pet 1:6-9).
Tests to Administer:
- Have I experienced godly sorrow that produces repentance?
- Has my repentance produced fruit?
- Has my faith persevered through trials?
- Is my life characterized by obedience?
- Do I practice sinning?
- Do I have a spiritual hunger and thirst?
Family Worship Guide
Memory Verses: Acts 4:11-12
Day 1: Read Matthew 7:21-23 & discuss: What reveals the ‘sincerity’ of those standing before Christ in verses 21 & 22? Why do you think (i.e. what is implied in Scripture) people will urgently try to convince Jesus that they are true Christians? What does this reveal about them – that is – what are they counting on as the reason they think they are saved?
Day 2: Read & discuss Matthew 7:21-22; Romans 10:1-3; 1 John 2:9; Ephesians 2:8-9: Are works important? Why? Why not? What other Scripture can you bring to bear on this question? What is salvation based on – works or something else? Whose works do matter in regards to our salvation?
Day 3: Read & discuss Matthew 7:23; 2 Timothy 2:19; 2 Corinthians 13:5; 1 Peter 1:6-9: What can keep you out of heaven? Why is repentance hard? What does a lack of repentance reveal about a person? In which one of five tests of salvation mentioned at the end of the sermon do you most desire to grow?
Suggestions for prayer:
- Your pastors and elders: those who lead, feed, and care for the flock, and their families (Col 4:3, 2 Thes 3:1).
- Church members in need (1 Tim 2:1, Eph 6:18, Col 1:9).
- “Kings” and those in authority: President Trump, Vice President Pence, Governor Inslee (1 Tim 2:2).
- The spread of the Gospel: Missionaries and unreached people groups (Matt 9:37-38).
Would you consider sharing this sermon with others?
The sharing buttons on this page make it easy to pass this along to people over Facebook, Twitter, or through email. Do you have loved ones that you’d like to hear this message? if so, please let me know so I can pray for them too. I’d also be glad to hear from you to answer any questions or pray for you in any way.
Leave your answers in the comments section!
Scott LaPierre is the senior pastor of Woodland Christian Church, an author, and popular speaker at homeschool conventions. He and his wife, Katie, grew up together in northern California, and God has blessed them with seven children.
Pick up a copy of Scott’s excellent book, Marriage God’s Way: A Biblical Recipe for Healthy, Joyful, Christ-Centered Relationships here. It is a favorite of the Schoolhouse Rocked team!