Lessons Of A Lifetime

SUNDAY AUG. 18, 2019

Scripture To Consider:
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7.13-14

Something To Consider:
Down through the centuries there has been the illusive idea and false hope that there are many ways to God. The great number of religions in the world is physical proof to the fact that the human heart desperately desires and seeks to reach out to God in an attempt to know Him. Someone has suggested that every human occupant of earth has been created with a spiritual vacuum that only God Himself can satisfyingly fill.

It stands to reason that Jesus would speak on the subject of this spiritual search of mankind, this journey for the truth of life, in order to satisfy our thirst and hunger for God. Therefore, Jesus boldly proclaimed the truth without sugar coating any aspect in an attempt to make the truth much easier to accept or to believe.

In doing so He answered an age-old question. Is there more than one way, more than one gate, more than one entrance point into heaven? He faced the question of whether there is more than one passage or right of way to reach God. His age-old answer cries out to all both loud and clear from our Scripture to consider today!

Jesus instructed all humankind when He declared; “Enter by the narrow gate…” Notice that the word gate is singular. Also notice that the gate is narrow. The gate that leads to God, according to Jesus, is narrow. The gate that leads to God is not broad! Many have and will continue to argue that to suggest there is only one way, one gate, one passage-way to God, is old fashioned and narrow minded. And that is precisely the point Jesus is boldly declaring.

Later in John’s gospel Jesus will also announce for all generations of God seekers to hear, read, and hopefully believe; “I [Jesus] am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” The gospel records declare that eventually Jesus was crucified and killed by jealous and envious religious leaders because of statements like this one. Nonetheless, His message never changed because of opposition or pressure to become more accommodating or more user-friendly as some suggest.

Something Else To Consider:
Jesus, in our Scripture to consider, continued His warning to mankind, by also proclaiming, “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life [eternal life], and there are few who find it.” In the original language, the word difficult is defined as constricting! And yet, also according to Jesus elsewhere in John chapter 8; “If you abide [continue] in My Word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

And so, some might ask, how can something be constricting and at the same time also make someone free? And yet, that is exactly the spiritual outcome of our finding the right gate in life that leads to eternal life in and through Jesus who is the Word of God come in the flesh.

Therefore, is the gospel of enduring to the end according to Jesus narrow? Yes! Is that same gospel message constricting in its demands for holiness and conditional commands? Yes! And yet, does our obeying the gospel of Christ and our abiding or continuing in Christ’s Word also make us free from sin, spiritual death, and the fear of both death and the grave? The answer is of course Yes!

Something More To Consider:
As important as it is to know that the gate leading to God is narrow and or constricting, is our understanding that broad and vastly wide is the way that leads directly to destruction. And worse, many are those who fall prey to that deception which leads to eternal destruction. Be assured, Jesus admitted that the passageway that leads to eternal life is not easy. But rather, it is difficult and very few ever find it, according to Jesus.

The path that led Jesus to the cross was not easy. The pain filled path that divinely led Jesus to a hill called Calvary was not easy. But He endured the shame and the pain in order to draw attention to the only way of salvation, the only path that leads to the eternal gate and to God. Jesus endured to the end of His earthly life as our divine example of His requiring us to do the same in order to be saved. And that is according to Jesus in Matthew 10.22, Matthew 24.13, and Mark 13.13.

And yet, that gospel message of Jesus Christ is not being proclaimed from many of the pulpits of user-friendly mankind pleasing, false message repeating religious hirelings. And according to the Word of God, the blood of many is indelibly stained upon their hands! But, there is always a remnant, there is always a few among the so many who have asked God for a discerning spirit, and who have found seeking God’s truth to be Christ’s command to obey.

Therefore, let us be found by Jesus continuing to ask, seek, and to knock upon the open door of God’s vast wisdom of His Word for His divine direction. Will we be found by Jesus at His second coming to be among His few obedient and enduring to the end narrow gate followers? Will we be found finding the right gate that leads to eternal life? All of eternity hangs in the balance! We must be found believing and obeying that which Jesus has declared as the truth.

A Few Final Words:
The apostle John, banished to the prison Island of Patmos, in closing his prophecy and Revelation of Jesus pronounced in Revelation 22.14; “Blessed are those who do His commandments [practice Jesus’ commandments], that they may have the right to the tree of life [tree of eternal life], and may enter through the gates into the city [eternal city].”

But to those who refuse to become the few faithful among so many unbelieving followers of lies, John proclaimed in verse 15 of Revelation chapter 14; “But outside [outside of eternal life with God] are dogs [unbelievers] and sorcerers and sexual immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.” Therefore, Jesus warned all who have spiritual ears to hear beginning in Matthew 24.4, “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I [Jesus] am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.”

The many false prophets of these end times will have much to be punished for because of their proclaiming lies such as the pre-tribulation rapture, once saved always saved, the health, wealth, and prosperity propaganda, and the your OK, I’m OK, we’re all OK foolishness. Therefore, Jesus declared in our Scripture to consider; “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.”

Our Father in heaven, open the eyes of our understanding that we might see the truth of Jesus pointing us all to the true and eternal gate of God. In Him Always, Amen!

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