"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 (confined) is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7:13,14
Two of the world's anthems to my generation proclaiming the way of eternal life; one, the highway that leads to death and damnation, and the other, a minstrel song of ascending the stairway to Heaven. Both songs portray a path leading to eternal life, the question being, which one are you on?
You can take a poll among your friends, relatives, associates and even strangers walking down the street and ask them if they think they will go to Heaven when they die, and unless they are born again, Spirit filled believers they will almost always say, "I hope so!" Their response is because tradition and false teaching has taught them that being good will reward them with eternal life in the glorious portals of Heaven, but that couldn't be farther from the truth or even biblical as this message will attempt to explain. People just like to think that they are good and justify their deeds as something God will someday approve, but they are in for a very rude awakening!
Being good moral upstanding citizens, working hard, being benevolent, attending church one day a week, looks good to the world and your peers, but isn't worth one red cent to purchase your ticket to the stairway that leads to Heaven! Jesus spoke of a broad way and a narrow way that led to eternity, and He was very direct and to the point of how it was to be obtained. First of all there are no good people in Heaven, only saved people who were washed in the blood of Jesus and forgiven of their sins and transgressions. Jesus said that He was the way, the truth and the life and no one comes before the Father (God) but through Him!
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8,9
BEWARE OF FALSE PROPHETS
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves." Matthew 7:15
Jesus warned that in the last days there would be many false prophets and so this has truly come to pass with cults and deranged leaders such as David Koresh, Jim Jones and so on, but the ones we are to worry about are those who look like sheep! Men who proclaim they know Jesus, but pervert His word and the way of eternal life! The world of modern day Christianity is full of false prophets, self help gurus, and false teachers who water down the Way of salvation so they can build their kingdoms of flesh.
Super Stars, best sellers, mega church pastors and the list goes on and on, of men and women who are using a false, perverted gospel to deceive the multitudes into following them! Who, you say, you know, you listen to them daily on radio and TV begging for money, promising a better life, prosperity and endless wealth if you will only give to them. Millions of unsuspecting sheep have been led to slaughter by their cheap preaching and seductive ploys to gain your heart and as the scripture says, they look like sheep, but inwardly they are wolves!
My people perish for lack of knowledge the Word says, and because people are following men and not Jesus they don't know what His word says, and so they become deceived and a deluding influence blinds them to the truth that is able to set them free! If Jesus, the apostle Paul or even some of the past preachers of old would be allowed to preach today in our comfortable cathedrals of complacency they would empty them with their message of repentance and scare the big tithers to death. Compare the gospel of Jesus to the gospel of today which only asks a simple prayer, when Jesus demanded total allegiance, death to self and a life of submission to the leading of His Spirit!
"I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings. Jeremiah 23:21,22
THE NARROW WAY OF TRUTH
"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3
Jesus was approached by a religious leader of the Jews named Nicodemus who came by night for fear he would be seen by his peers and was obviously convicted by the Holy Spirit. Jesus told him that he must be born from above in order to see the kingdom of God and Nicodemus asked Him how he could be born a second time when Jesus explained that he would have to have a spiritual birth. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." John 3:6
The new birth has several components necessary for one to be saved, the heart must be convicted of sin or be desperate for a life change drawn by the Holy Spirit, confession of sin and repentance in order to receive forgiveness, and by faith one receives the benefit of the shed blood of Jesus to wash away his sin, iniquity and transgressions. As Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected, so we too must be crucified with Him, baptized into His death and resurrected into a new creation in Christ! Being born again allows God's Holy Spirit to indwell a person's spirit and to lead them in a new and living way of righteousness, no longer by the works of the law or good deeds but by grace through faith in Him and the finished works of the cross of Christ.
Thousands of people came to Jesus as they do today, looking for signs, wonders, miracles, healing and provision, but only a very few surrender to follow Him in obedience to His Spirit by dying to self and being crucified to the world. By praying the "Sinner's prayer" they hope to receive the benefits of salvation, believing their ticket was punched for Heaven, when in actuality they only muttered a worthless oath never intending to follow Jesus, just as it was in His day when He only had a few hundred sold out believers. So, after hearing this message of having a new life in Christ, what road are you on, the Highway to Hell or the Stairway to Heaven? The choice is yours!
"I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin
Note: The famous "Sinner's Prayer" that we see in Romans 10:9,10 was actually taken from Deuteronomy 30:14-20 that requires a total sell out and not just a prayer to punch one's ticket!