The Easy Way or the Hard Way?

Matthew 7:13-14 ESV

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

The Wide Gate

There are many people out there in the world and in the gatherings of what is called “church” who are teaching what is false and who are leading many people astray. Many of these people are well renowned politicians, pastors, religious rulers and leaders, family members of famous preachers, and “Christian” book authors. And so many people assume that if they say something that it must be the truth, but that is a lie of Satan.

These people are teaching or they were teaching the wide gate and the easy way that leads to destruction, and many people are following them and their false teaching because they are not testing what they are hearing against the Scriptures (in context). But the Scriptures give us many warnings against false teachers and wolves in sheep’s clothing, and so we need to heed those warnings and we need to test what we are hearing and reading.

[Matt 7:15-23; Matt 24:11-14; John 10:1-15; 2 Peter 2:1-22; 1 Tim 1:3-7; 1 Tim 6:3-10; 1 John 4:1-6; Jude 1:3-23]

Some of these teachers are part of a global ecumenical movement toward a one world religion who are pushing for the people of the world to break down everything which divides us as the people of the world and to all unite as one people with one voice and with one mind. All of this is preparation towards the rule of the beast of Revelation and a one world order which will be a totalitarian regime the likes of Hitler’s regime only on a global scale.

Only the persecuted in this case are followers of Jesus Christ. And it is the gospel of Jesus Christ which is greatly under attack right now from many of these prominent people in our society and in the world and in the church (institutional) who have large followings of people. The gospel of Christ is being demonized while the teachings of these false teachers are being raised up to acceptable status, and the masses are following them.

What is under attack are these critical elements of the gospel message: Repentance, the forsaking of our sins, obedience to God and to his commands (New Covenant), and submission to Christ as Lord and Master of our lives. But Jesus said that if anyone would come after him he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. And the Scriptures teach that Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (Lu 9:23-26; 1 Pet 2:24).

The false gospel (wide gate) many are teaching is totally absent of repentance, obedience, and submission to Christ as Lord. In fact, many are vilifying these by calling them “works salvation.” And so they are even discouraging their adherents from repenting of their sins and from walking in obedience to their Lord and from honoring Christ as Lord (Master) of their lives. And they are giving them carte blanche to continue in deliberate and habitual sin by telling them that God’s grace covers it all.

To them, their faith in Jesus Christ is more like fire insurance so that they can escape hell and be guaranteed heaven when they die regardless of how they live their lives on this earth. Their faith is more like an acknowledgement of who Jesus is and of what he did for us on that cross, only they are only getting half the reason he died for us. It is an outward profession of faith which makes no requirements for repentance, obedience, or submission to Christ as Lord. So it is fake, not genuine faith.

But those who follow this wide gate and path, which is easy, will find out the truth one day that it does indeed lead to destruction and death and not to eternal life. Those who follow it will not inherit eternal life with God because they are still in bondage to their sin, still habitually and deliberately sinning against the Lord and against other humans while refusing to forsake their sins and to follow him in obedience and to honor him as Lord (Master).

[Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 1:28-32; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:3-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Jn 15:1-11; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23]

The Narrow Gate

But the narrow gate is the one we are to enter. And the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few because the masses are entering through the wide gate that promises eternal life with God but which is a lie and which leads to destruction. For Jesus said if anyone would come after him he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him (Luke 9:23-26).

In Romans 6 we read that by faith in Jesus Christ we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him (not like our old lives). Our old self is crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we will no longer be enslaved to sin but to God and to his righteousness. For sin is to have no more dominion over our lives. Thus, we are to not let sin reign in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions but we are to obey Christ Jesus.

In Romans 8 we read that the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit, for if we live according to the flesh it will end in death, not in life everlasting. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the body, we will live.

And in Ephesians 4 we read that we are to no longer live like the ungodly. We are not to give ourselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. For that is not the way we should have learned Christ. The truth in Christ Jesus we should have learned teaches us to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

In 1 John 1 we read that if we say we have fellowship with God while we walk (in conduct, in practice) in darkness (sin, wickedness), we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as God is in the light, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. And in 1 John 2 we read that if we say we know God, but we do not obey his commandments (New Covenant), we are liars and the truth is not in us.

And then we read in 1 John 3 that whoever practices righteousness (the righteousness of God) is righteous as God is righteous. But whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for no one born of God makes a practice of sinning. Therefore, whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God. And we read in Gal 5:16-21, Eph 5:3-6, 1 Co 6:9-10, 2 Co 5:10, etc. that if sin is what we practice that we will not inherit eternal life with God.

So, we need to take this all to heart. The narrow road instructs us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts (passions) and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return (Tit 2:11-14). And the narrow road teaches that we must turn from our sins and follow Jesus in obedience and honor him as Lord of our lives or we don’t have eternal life with God. For Jesus died on that cross to deliver us from our slavery to sin so that we might now walk in his holiness and righteousness.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13]

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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