Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 7:13-20
God wants us to have an abundant life. God wants us to have the best life possible. However, the way to the best and abundant life can be bumpy and difficult. Jesus said, “For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
Many people enter the wide open gate and take the easy road which actually leads to destruction. Last Sunday, I preached on the Golden Rule. Jesus said, “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.” We want to be loved and respected so we love and respect others. We want to be forgiven. That is why we forgive others. We want to be forgiven when we actually committed great sins. So we forgive people when they committed great sins.
However, that is the narrow way and it costs a lot. To forgive us, Jesus gave up his life. It would have been easier for Jesus to use heavenly power to destroy all the sinners. However, Jesus does not want anybody to be destroyed. Jesus has offered eternal life to everybody. If we die eternally, it would be our choice. So, I offered also forgiveness to the North Koreans and suggested them to repent! If they accept my suggestion and repent, they will live. Otherwise, they will be destroyed because of their own choice. It hurts me when I know that they would not choose life. God’s heart is aching also when God knows that many choose death over life.
So when we call Jesus the Prince of Peace, we know that Jesus has paid the price for peace. We also know that when we want to have peace among our family members and among our church members we have to pay the price. The price is Cross in the case of Jesus and the price would be our own crosses for us to bear. That means that we have to forgive our parents or our spouse or our children. Emotionally we would not do that. However, we will do that because we know that Jesus has done that for us and we want to please God who had given up his only begotten son.
That is the real fruits that we can bear as Christians in our lives. We want to bear fruits of peaceful relationships. If we want to say that we are Christians, we should show the fruits. We can pray, we can sing in a choir, we can work at church committees, we can do many volunteer works at church, still if we do not forgive our family, our friends, and our enemies, we still have to enter into the narrow gate. This season of waiting, let us prepare our hearts for the Prince of Peace and bear fruits!
- What would be the “narrow gate” in your life that Jesus is talking about?
- What kind of “fruits” do you want to bear at this point in your life?