Have you ever wanted to join a very special group you admired but found it difficult?
For example, a sports team, a working group, a holiday tour group, a special project, a social group, a school, university or training course?
What made it difficult for you to join the group?
How did you react to the difficulties?
What are some of the requirements for joining a special group?
[Must show interest, be eligible, be invited, comply with the expectations, keep up]
Special group we will be discussing here are those who are going to heaven. Is this a group you'd like to be part of? (!)
Why is this group so very special?
1. Matthew 7:13-14
13 "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Recap the message.)
Why do only a few find the narrow road to heaven?
2. John 6:44-45
44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.
45 It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.
What is Jesus telling us here?
[God must invite you but everyone willing to listen and learn is eligible]
How does God draw people to listen and learn from him?
[Bible, Church, Bible discussions, Bible Studies, etc.]
How were you drawn? How easy did you find that?
How willing were you to listen and to learn? Why? Why not?
3. Romans 10:14-18
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"
16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?"
17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: "Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world."
(Recap the message)
What does it mean to call on the name of the Lord? Does it mean to just believe in Jesus as Lord and then to ask him for something? Or does it mean more than that?
What more is required to be saved?
[To learn the message, to live the message]
Why do most people who hear the message, fail to respond?
[Too difficult, Too busy elsewhere, Can't see the short-term benefits]
What are some of the worldly benefits?
[Security, Self-confidence, Fulfilment, Fellowship, Fun]
Let's look at another benefit and a warning.
4. Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
(Recap the message)
What is God's purpose?
[To draw everyone who is willing to listen and to learn]
What is our purpose?
[To be God's agent, his representative, his voice in drawing willing people to Jesus]
Doing this is an important part of taking that narrow road that only a few find.
So what is the extra worldly benefit we said that God has promised?
[If we put God first, he will help us succeed in all we attempt]
And the warning?
[If we put God second in our worldly priorities, he may frustrate our best efforts]
If we want to be part of the super privileged group that is going to heaven, we must listen, learn and live God's message and invite others who are willing to do the same to join us.