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Two Roads That Lead to Eternity
Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
We read in Joshua 24:15 that Joshua demanded that Israel make a choice of whom and which God they were going to serve. Would it be the One eternal God that their fathers served, or would it be the many idol gods of the Amorites whose land they were now passing through. This is the choice that Jesus presents us with today. Will it be the strait and narrow way that leads to life everlasting, or will it be the broad way that leads to death and destruction? These are the only two choices that we have and we must choose one or the other. One way is austere and demanding and the other lets you do your own thing and party to your heart’s content. Which way are the majority of people going to pick? How much human wreckage do we see everyday of people who made the wrong choice? Among individuals: Drugs, alcoholism, poverty, ruined health, violence, untimely deaths, etc. For countries who have served false gods: Wars unending, genocide, aids epidemics, starvation, etc. etc. And this is only for the here and now. The result of the path that they have chosen is hell fire destruction.
Yes, the strait way is restricted and confining. When we enter the gate we start on a journey upon the highway of holiness. Not our own holiness, but the holiness of God that has been given to us because of our faith in Christ Jesus. Not a holiness of man made inconsistent standards, but a holiness that comes when we determine to live by the principals that God has laid down in His word.
Isaiah 35:8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it [shall be] for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err [therein].
We enter the strait gate by recognizing that we are a sinner bound for hell and in need of a Savior. When we heard the gospel which promised that the blood of Jesus would wash our evil hearts and make us able to stand before God without condemnation, we believed it without reservation. Recognizing that we had believed the gospel, somebody told us that it was necessary for us to repent of our old ways. We asked, “Just what do you mean by repentance? Simply a complete 180 degree turnaround, leaving the broad way of destruction and following Jesus on the narrow road to eternal life. Somebody showed us what Peter commanded an inquiring mob to do on the day of Pentecost. They had been convicted by his preaching of the cross and resurrection of Jesus and asked what was necessary for them to do? Peter recognized their new found belief and faith in Jesus and gave them implicit steps to follow. They didn’t argue, they obeyed and God filled them with His Spirit and added them to His church. They had been transformed by the renewing of their minds and translated from the road that led to hell to the road leading to heaven (Ro. 12:2).
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
When they entered the strait gate they remembered that Jesus had said that He was the door to the sheepfold. If we choose to enter in we will be saved (John 10:7,9). Jesus emphatically said that He and He alone is the Truth the Way and the Life. No man can come to the Father except by Him (John 14:6). In this day of political correctness, some would label Jesus as a bigot and demand an apology to all the world religions that he had offended.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Perhaps some in the crowd had heard Jesus preach at the Sermon on the Mount, or other places, where He made some bold radical statements and demands. In Luke 14:25-35 Jesus urged the crowd to count the cost involved if they were inclined to follow Him. Things wouldn’t always be glorious as when He fed the crowd with a little bread and fish. There would be difficult times ahead. First of all, if we want to follow Jesus, we have to forsake self and family and take up our cross to follow Him. We don’t hear much about cross bearing from churches located on the broad way to destruction, do we? The crowd knew exactly what Jesus meant. Crucifixion was an everyday event in that time and the condemned man would have to carry his cross to the place of execution. Jesus was saying, “You can’t be my disciple, if you’re not willing to die for Me” I’m sure there were some who turned back when they heard that.
Jesus gives us the example of the man who started building a tower but didn’t have the necessary funds to complete it. He became a laughingstock. Likewise, a king does not decide to go to war unless he is confident of success. He’ll ask for terms of peace if he is not confident of winning. We find ourselves in the same position as this king, we must forsake all to follow Jesus.
Luke 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
Jesus demands self-denial, period. You won’t hear this preached at Broadway Tabernacle either but it is an absolute necessity. No wonder this one weapon of satan gives us so much trouble. It’s hard to give up the wisdom that we have accumulated throughout our life. Of course if it is the wisdom of the world, it’s useless isn’t it? Jesus invites us to take His yoke and learn of Him (Mt. 11:29). It’s surprising how much we thought we knew, isn’t it?
Matthew 16:24 ¶ Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
In Luke 18:17 Jesus said, “…. Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.” You won’t hear that preached at Broadway Tabernacle, either!
Jesus said that we won’t be the most popular people in the world. Why? Because when we entered the Strait Gate, we left the world behind. They don’t consider us as one of them anymore. In fact, our citizenship is in heaven (Php. 3:20). We are pilgrims and strangers, in the world but not of it (Heb. 2:13; 1Peter 2:11). Jesus reminds us to expect persecution and tribulation in our journey. We are no better than He. If the world persecuted Him, how can we expect a bed of roses?
John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
What I’ve presented may seem rather grim, but I’ve only presented one side of the picture. We’ll continue in Matthew seven next week.
2Timothy 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with [him]: if we deny [him], he also will deny us:
A religion that costs nothing is worth nothing! A cheap Christianity, without a cross,
will prove in the end a useless Christianity, without a crown. - J.C. Ryle
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Last modified: 03-19-2018
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