Friday, March 3, 2017

The Narrow Door

I listened to such a great podcast by Matt Walsh today.  If you aren't familiar with him, you may want to check out his Facebook page or follow his Soundcloud podcasts.  (You can click on the link on the video below.)

This is just TOO important to be "too busy" for!  PLEASE don't be  distracted by the world, enthralled by the same things as unsaved people are, fooling yourself into thinking that you're "good" with God--He CANNOT be fooled.  (Gal. 6:7-9) Saving faith results in a changed life, otherwise it is not true faith and it cannot save.  (Jam. 1:21-27, 2:14-26)  And Christians, STOP calling others who want to live to please God "self-righteous!" We are not meant to persecute each other - the persecution was expected to come from UNbelievers...

For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign youbut they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 1 Peter 4:3-5

You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness,  my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.  Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 2 Timothy 3:10-13

As for this applying to Americans, Jesus warned us about this.  It's almost impossible for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven!  (Matt. 19:23-26)  The rich man loves his riches and he has everything he needs--he trusts in his own strength and abilities.  He doesn't want to give them up or admit that there is something he can't get for himself.  Even the poorest person in our country has so much more than poor people in other countries.  That is not to say we should try to bring down this country in a [sure to fail] attempt to build them up.  We should be generous and help people in need, but that is not the point.  The POINT is that we are wretched sinners and we NEED Jesus.  Let's not think we can save ourselves with our wealth or strength.  Let's not think that we can trust the advice of people who are BLIND to the truth. (Matt. 15:13-14, 1Cor. 2:14)

"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:  'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.  So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.  Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.  He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'" Revelation 3:14-22

Let's also NOT PRETEND to believe in Jesus and yet live like unsaved heathens. God can see inside our hearts!  (Rom. 8:27, Rev. 2:23)  We might be able to fool mere humans with our EMPTY confession of faith, but even most of them can recognize a hypocrite when they see one.  (Jam. 1:21-27, 2:14-26, 1John 3:17-18)  That makes it all the more unconscionable for supposed Christians to live like the world.  Our behavior reflects on our Father in heaven!  (Matt. 5:16, Phil. 2:12-16, Eph. 2:10)  He has prepared wonderful things FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.  (1Cor. 2:9)  He defined "love" as OBEYING Him.  (John 14:15, 21)  We do that OUT OF love, BECAUSE we know what our salvation cost our beautiful, victorious, faithful, worthy Savior, and out of RESPECT, because we know how mighty and utterly awesome He is.

How great are your works, O LORD! Your thoughts are very deep! The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this: that though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever; but you, O LORD, are on high forever. For behold, your enemies, O LORD, for behold, your enemies shall perish; all evildoers shall be scattered. Psalm 92:5-9

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7  The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all. Psalm 103:19

We will each be accountable for ourselves.  (Rom. 14:12, Heb. 4:13)  Saying we thought that "the gate is narrow" meant that looking around us and mistaking the broad path that the unsaved masses are on for the ONE WAY isn't going to cut it on judgment day. Now is the time to get serious about LOVING God, serving His Son and being READY for His return (or our own personal appointment with Him).  (Heb. 9:27-28, Matt.25:10-13)

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." Matthew 7:13-14

And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them,  Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.  When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’  Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’  But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!" Luke 13:23-27

If the thought that someone would ask you to examine yourself (2Cor. 13:5) and make adjustments if your faith in and love for the Lord is found to be lacking in light of the truth of the Bible is OFFENSIVE to you, then there is most certainly a problem.  (Rev. 2:4-7, 3:2-5)  This life is short.  Anyone who cares enough about your soul to tell you the truth is your real friend.  Those who tell you what you want to hear are NOT your friends.  (2Pet. 2:19)  Let's each humble ourselves and accept correction from our Lord.  (Jam. 1:21, Heb. 12:5-11)  There is no place in Christianity for pride, which God hates.  What good is it to gain the whole world if you lose your soul?  (Matt. 16:24-26)

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