ANSWER/SEARCH for TEACHERS: Unit 12 - The Sermon on the Mount

Answer-Search Teacher Guide 155

ANSWER TITLE: The Wrong Way

SEARCH TITLE: Two Ways

TEXT: Matthew 7:13-14; Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Psalm 1:1-6

supplemental scriptures

Psalm 37:1-11; Proverbs 14:12

objective

The students will be able to explain that there are two ways—the narrow way to Heaven, and the broad way to Hell. It is vital to make sure that we are on the right way.

key verse for answer

Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. — Luke 13:24

key verse for search
reference information

The dictionary defines strait as being “narrow, limited in space, closely fitting.” When Jesus admonished people to strive (make real effort) to enter in at the strait gate, He made it known that only a few would succeed. Those who find the Gospel too confining, too restrictive, obviously are not striving to enter in at the strait gate. God’s Word is full of examples of choices that people can and do make. The wise person will choose the safest course. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12). This Scripture lets us know that people can be deceived into thinking they are on the right way, but in actuality they are on the broad way that leads to destruction.

When heaven is spoken of, one of the following may be meant: 1. In the physical sense, heaven is the expanse over the earth and, above that, the firmament which contains the stars and planets. 2. Heaven, as a place where there are no imperfections or impurities, is the dwelling place of God and His angels.

Hell is the place prepared for the devil and his angels, a place of banishment, a place where many people will be who have not a love of the truth. It is a place of terrible punishment, of fire and brimstone, and eternal separation from God.

questions

There are but two ways—right and wrong, good and evil—the way to Heaven and the way to Hell. We are all walking in one way or the other; there is no middle way now and no middle place hereafter. The difference between the saint and sinner, the godly and ungodly, is revealed by the way in which they walk. The narrow way leads to life, and the broad way leads to destruction. 

  1. In Luke 13:24 Jesus encouraged His listeners to “strive to enter in at the strait [confined or narrow] gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” Immediately preceding this statement, one had asked a question of the Lord. Write the question and explain Christ’s response.

    Response: The question was, “Lord, are there few that be saved?” The students will note that Jesus did not answer this question directly. What is a more direct answer that Jesus could have given? The students should understand that there are not many who are willing to take the strait way of holiness and be saved. What does strive mean as used in Luke 13:24?
     
  2. Why is no sin allowed on the narrow way? Use Deuteronomy 25:16, Isaiah 59:2, and 1 John 3:8 to support your answer.

    Response: Looking at the Scriptures given, we see that God looks on sin with no degree of allowance. If the narrow way allowed sin, what would differentiate it from the broad way? What is the alternative to a godly nature? The answers to these questions reveal why sin is unacceptable on the narrow way. The way through the strait gate is by repentance for sin and then conversion.
     
  3. Galatians 5:19-21 lists characteristics found in the lives of those on the broad way. Identify three of these characteristics that you are aware of in the world today and be prepared to cite specific examples.

    Response: The words mentioned in Galatians 5:19-21 are: adultery (sexual relationship outside of marriage), fornication (sexual relationship prior to marriage), uncleanness (morally impure), lasciviousness (lustful desires), idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance (lack of agreement), emulations (ambitious rivalry), wrath, strife, seditions (rebellion), heresies (opposition to religious beliefs), envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings (boisterous festivity). Let the students discuss the meanings of these sins and cite specific examples of their prevalence today. What do these verses say will be the end for the partakers of these sins? Would one want to spend eternity with that type of person?
     
  4. As we travel through life, there are many temptations that would draw us to the broad way. How can we best resist these allurements?

    Response: Suggest some hypothetical situations to your students. For example: What do you do when someone asks to copy your answers during a test? What do you do when your employer instructs you to tell a caller he is out when he isn’t? What do you do when your boss asks you to purchase a package of cigarettes for him? Discuss ways to resist, including how to answer one who attempts to draw you away from the right way.
     
  5. The first Psalm contrasts the two ways—godly vs. ungodly. What is the delight of the godly, according to the Psalmist?

    Response: The students should recognize the necessity of having a love for God’s Word that they might stay on the right way. Discuss the importance of daily private devotions.
     
  6. Staying in the right way will take effort. What can we do to improve the quality of our devotions?

    Response: Some thoughts might be: study topically, have a planned course, involve the family in the preparation or presentation, take on a prayer project. Follow up these thoughts by concluding that effective, consistent Bible study is an important part of keeping us on the narrow way. See Psalm 119:11 and Romans 10:17.
     
  7. According to Psalm 1:1, what three things are to be avoided by the one who wants to be blessed? Put in your own words what these mean.

    Response: Help your students see the progression—from walking in the counsel of the ungodly, to standing with sinners, to the point of sitting with the scornful, thus being a full partaker of their evil deeds. Ask for examples of walking in the counsel of the ungodly—to whom do they go for advice? Discuss how choosing a close association with sinners, or “standing in the way of sinners,” can be detrimental. The students should understand the importance of rejecting the philosophies that lean toward the broad way. The lesson to be learned is that sin is progressive: one evil propensity or act leads to another.
     
  8. Moses set before the people a choice between life and good, and death and evil. Today, man is offered the same choice. If one decides he doesn’t want either the narrow way or the broad way, what is his alternative?

    Response: The students should understand that there is no alternative. They should be aware that everyone is on either the narrow or the broad way. Did Moses offer an alternative? Did Jesus offer an alternative? Refer to Matthew 6:24.
class activities

Draw a maze, or find one in a child’s activity book. Give each student a pencil and a copy of the maze, and tell them how many seconds they have to complete the maze. The copies should be kept face down until you say, “Start.” Then the students should turn them over and go as far as they can in the given number of seconds. When the time is over, count how many failed to complete their maze before the allotted time ends. Compare this to the great percentage of people who choose to travel on a wrong road in life, and will thus fail to reach Heaven.

Materials needed: chalkboard, chalk, and yardstick. Ask a student to assist you. Give him a piece of chalk and ask him to draw a straight line from left to right across the chalkboard (as straight as he can). Now have him use a yardstick as a guide and draw an exact line. Lesson: We all want to live perfect lives, but if we depend on ourselves we will fail. God has rules to keep us on the narrow way. They may sometimes seem hard, but it is the way we must go to get to Heaven.

Using Psalm 1 as a springboard, have your students suggest a list (write on chalkboard) of actions or attributes that will be evident in the life of one who is on the narrow way. Let students look up the following verses (assign each student a verse): Psalms 2:12; 32:1; 33:12; 34:8; 41:1; 84:4; 84:5; 112:1. You may add others of your own choosing.

Materials needed: two large sheets of paper so all can see, and a pencil. Make a parallel between traveling to a vacation spot, and traveling to Heaven. Pretend you are going on a trip to Hawaii and are packing and getting ready for your trip. Have the students help you decide what you must do to prepare yourself. Now make a parallel between this situation and the preparation we have to make for our trip to Heaven.

Bring two suitcases to class to represent two travelers on the way through life. In one suitcase put comic books, a cheap novel, advertisement for movies, picture of a package of cigarettes, etc. In the other suitcase put a Bible, Sunday school quarterly, a picture of Jesus, and a flashlight (depicting Light that might help others find the way). Present these two suitcases to the class to illustrate the two very different roads we can choose to take and the two very different “suitcases” we could take with us through life.