Matthew 7:13-14 NIV
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
There is only one way to heaven and to eternal life with God, and that is by way of the cross of Jesus Christ. Not just in his death to sin and in his resurrection, though, but in us dying with him to sin and in us being resurrected with him to newness of life in him, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; Lu 9:23-26).
The way of the cross, in death to sin and in living to God and to his righteousness, is this narrow gate and the narrow road that leads to life, but that only a few find. Only a few find it because most people are looking for the easy way, the comfortable way of the flesh that puts no restrictions on them, and that permits them to keep living in sin without guilt.
Those who continue living in sin, and who do not submit to the cross of Christ, in death to sin and living to God and his righteousness, have chosen the broad road that leads to destruction. Yet, many of them are convinced they have chosen the way to eternal life with God. So, they are deceived, for we must die with Christ to sin if we are to live with him eternally.
Matthew 7:15-20 NIV
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”
There are many false teachers in our world today teaching all sorts of stuff which is unbiblical. Some of it is just made up off the top of their heads or it is based in other false religions which have been around for many generations. But a lot of it has its foundations in Scripture, but they take Scriptures out of context and twist them to mean something else.
These false teachers who are trying to deceive Christians, or those showing interest in Christianity, will pretend to be followers of Jesus, and they will convince many people to follow them and their lies. So, that is why we are being warned here to be on the lookout for them so that we are not captivated by their lies, and so we are not led astray.
So, how do we recognize them? We won’t recognize them if we are filling our minds with the philosophies and entertainment of this world and if we are not diligent in studying and in obeying the Scriptures. We must be in the word daily, listening to our Lord speak to our hearts, and then we must follow our Lord in obedience to what he teaches us.
The way in which we will recognize them is by how they live their lives, by the words they say, by their attitudes, and by testing what they teach against the word of God (in context), in prayer, and via praying for divine discernment to separate the truth from the lies. For, the lies are disguised as truth and are very subtle, in most cases.
Matthew 7:21-23 NIV
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”
The “Cheap Grace” Gospel
The primary false teaching today that is deceiving the church, in general, and that is producing many false confessions of faith in Jesus Christ, is what is commonly referred to as the “cheap grace” gospel. For, it cheapens God’s grace, and it turns his grace to us into a license for lasciviousness.
What they do is they take certain Scriptures out of context, and they build their doctrine of salvation around them, while they ignore the bulk of teaching in the New Testament on the subject of the gospel of our salvation from sin and our eternal life with God.
So, whereas the Scriptures teach a faith in Jesus Christ that results in dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness, they are teaching that the gospel requires NO death to sin on our part, and NO obedience to Christ, and NO submission to Christ as Lord.
So, those who believe in the “cheap grace” gospel have not been crucified with Christ in death to sin, so they have also not been resurrected with Christ to newness of life in Him, so they are not living to God and to his righteousness, but they are still living in their sin.
Thus, when they come before God one day, they will be convinced he is going to welcome them into his heaven, but he is going to tell them, instead, that he never knew them. He will say to them, “Away from me, you evildoers.” For only those who do God’s will enter the kingdom of heaven.
The Fruit that It Bears
Because so many people have now bought into the “cheap grace” gospel, the vast majority of those calling themselves Christians, at least here in America, are living their lives not much different at all from the people of this world, and thus the church at large has become very worldly.
Christian conversations don’t sound much different from non-Christian conversations, for they pretty much talk about the same stuff, only maybe with less vulgarity and filthy language. And this is because they entertain themselves with the same stuff, too.
Most, it appears, are continuing to live in sin (habitual sin, in sinful addiction), for they are convinced all their sins are now under the blood of Christ and therefore they believe they will not be judged by God for their sinful practices. And they are convinced victory over sin is impossible.
But Scripture teaches that it is only those who obey the Lord, who do the will of God, who put the word of God in practice, and who walk according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh, who are the ones who will inherit eternal life with God (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9).
And Scripture teaches that those who continue to walk (live) in darkness (in sin) will not inherit eternal life, but they will die in their sins. So, don’t buy into the lies. Your eternity depends on you believing and living the truth of God’s Holy Word.
[Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 2 Co 5:10; 1 Co 6:9-10]
An Original Work / November 5, 2019
Pitter patter, what’s the matter?
Life is full of empty chatter.
Wishful thinking, lights are blinking
While men’s lives are deeply sinking.
Throes of idols all asunder
While men’s anger sounds like thunder.
World a turning, fires burning,
While men’s hearts are barely churning.
Much confusion, lacking vision,
Christians not on holy mission.
Worldly matters makeup chatter
And will end in much disaster.
“Holy mission” not God’s vision,
But of man and television.
Do you notice? Look at lattice,
And then you’ll see what’s in practice.
God’s not silent when you’re violent
He is speaking, and He’ll triumph!