Fight for Joy! Blog
Where Jesus Changes Everything
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it”(Matthew 7:13-14). Why is the Gospel so hard to believe? There are probably a myriad of answers to that question. However, the truth of the matter is, it is probably human pride and spiritual blindness that prevent most people from believing the true Gospel. Jesus said it plainly: “The gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction. The gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life.” His point was that when it comes down to believing the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, far more people will reject it than believe and far more people will believe they have believed it when in reality they have not. They have been spoon fed the devil’s disinformation which leads to false assurance, and unless they truly believe, will one day lead to empty words.
Disinformation: it is the deliberate dissemination of false information in order to mislead. False assurance: it is believing you have something when in reality you do not. Empty words: they are just that, empty words. So the question is do you want to be forgiven of your sins, given the gift of eternal life, and have the settled and sure hope of glory when you die? Do you want to be freed from the power of sin and blessed with every spiritual blessing Christ has to offer? Most people would answer yes! However, know this: Many people who say yes will never realize salvation. Jesus made this clear. You can want all the blessings salvation offers and never receive a single one. How so? It’s simple, really. Most have believed a lie, which has led to false assurance and will one day result in empty words…unless they fix it this side of eternity.
I have absolutely no use for the so called “seeker-sensitive movement” that seems to be sweeping the land these days. There are several reasons why, but two are always at the forefront. First of all, the Bible is clear that there is only one seeker and His name is Jesus. He said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10). Furthermore, the Bible makes it clear no one seeks after God: “There is no one who understands, no one who seeks God” (Romans 3:11). Secondly, the seeker-sensitive movement is nothing but a watered down, let’s all get happy and feel good about ourselves, version of the Gospel, which is really no Gospel at all. For the most part, I believe it is the devil’s disinformation program. It sounds good. It looks good. But it’s not good! It’s no wonder, when speaking of salvation, Jesus said, “There are few who find it.” This movement, I believe, has given false assurance to hundreds of thousands of people. They think they are on their way to heaven, when in reality; they are traveling fast down the wide and broad way that leads to destruction. And one day, they will utter empty words, the words, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?” (Matthew 7:22). Tragedy of tragedies, Jesus will declare to them, “I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23).
There are a lot of things in this life we can get wrong, but not this. Either we get it right in this life or we miss out on the eternal blessings of eternal life with Christ. The alternative is eternal separation from God and everything that is good. The Bible further describes the alternative as eternal torment from which there is no escape. So there are no second chances after death. We get it right this side of eternity, or we do not get it right at all. The true Gospel is a call to self-denial. It is not a call to self-fulfillment or higher self-esteem. Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). That’s pretty clear cut. If you want to be a follower of Jesus and enter the kingdom of God—if you want to be a Christian—then you must face three commands: You must deny yourself, take up your cross daily (death to self), and follow Christ. This does not sound too seeker-sensitive to me. However, it is the truth that Jesus taught consistently and repeatedly.
So who then is saved? Who will spend eternity with Jesus in heaven? The answer is obvious: only those who have believed the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Bible gives us markers that help identify who these people are. First of all, check the list in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. If you are on it, you are not saved and will not be spending eternity with Jesus, unless you are willing to repent and believe the Gospel. A second marker that is used to identify those who are truly saved, is found in Matthew 7:21: “He who does the will of My Father in heaven,” will enter the kingdom. This is the Word of the Lord! Therefore, these are true words. But most will not believe. Perhaps it is because most people “loved the darkness rather than the Light” (John 3:19). Therefore, they readily grasp onto disinformation, they cling to false assurance, and will one day utter empty words.
“It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it” (Zechariah 12:3). “So, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door”(Matthew 24:33). People have always been interested in what the future holds. Astrologers, soothsayers, palm readers, psychics and other self-proclaimed prophets have always claimed the ability to see the future. These folks don’t even come close when it comes to predicting future events. Sadly, many people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year seeking out and listening to these deluded and satanically inspired future-tellers. However, the Bible bats one thousand when it comes to predicting future events. It doesn’t tell us everything. But it does tell us enough to confirm the truthfulness of Scripture and to remind us that God is sovereign over history and will wrap everything up according to His will and in His time.
Current events in our world have caused many people to ask questions about the future as never before. For this reason, biblical prophecy is being discussed more than ever before. In fact, I would suggest that many of the biblical prophecies concerning end-times events are coming true before our very eyes. In other words, the stage is being set for the final act of world history. Furthermore, unlike the self-proclaimed prophets of today, the biblical prophets did not issue vague and general predictions that could be adjusted to any situation. Biblical prophecy is detailed and carefully interwoven throughout Scripture. Interpretation over minor points may vary, but the overall picture is amazingly clear.
Speaking of the end-times, the prophet Zechariah, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, looked far into the future and said, “It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples.” Think about the significance of this prophecy in light of current events. Jerusalem and the tiny nation of Israel seem to be at the forefront of the news everyday. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to pick up a newspaper or watch the evening news, and not read or hear something about Israel. It’s everywhere. The Israeli-Palestinian problem, terrorist attacks, rockets being launched into Israeli cities, peace talks, land for peace, looming war with Hezbollah and Hamas, Iran pursuing nuclear weapons and threatening to “wipe Israel off the map,” and all the major leaders of the world seem to be involved in some way. The United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations, which have come to be known as The Quartet, have been feverishly working with Israel and the Palestinians to bring about a “final solution” for peace between the two. Furthermore, now the Arabs have presented their own plan for peace which they claim will bring about a permanent peace between Israel and her neighbors only if Israel will comply with certain requirements.
Why all the fuss over a nation no bigger than the State of New Jersey? Why is Israel so important? It’s simple. Israel is the key! As one scholar said, “Israel: History proclaims its past. Headlines proclaim its present. Prophecy proclaims its future.” The whole world seems to be interested in Jerusalem, Israel and the Middle East. The radical Islamic world wants to destroy her. The Quartet, if they were honest, would just prefer she go away. After all, wouldn’t that solve the problem? The whole world is focused on that tiny city and that tiny nation right in the center of the Middle East…right in the center of the world, really. And what does God say? “It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.” And Jesus said, “When you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.” Although it is impossible and foolish to try and interpret prophecy to fit every headline, it is not impossible to see that things are happening in our world, the Middle East, and Israel in particular, that are setting the stage for what the Bible describes as the final act of history. And this leads me to believe that Jesus is coming soon for His Church. Are you ready to meet the Lord in the air? If not, your time is running out.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved” (John 10:9). Every so often I will read about or hear someone assert something to the effect that all roads ultimately lead to God. Occasionally, I will hear these sad assertions from the pulpit. Such occurrences never cease to amaze me and I am always reminded of Paul’s words to Timothy: “[They have] a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these” (2 Timothy 3:5).
Obviously, we live in an age of remarkable theological and biblical confusion. It should be no surprise when we hear such nonsense coming from the world. But it absolutely amazes me that someone can call themselves a Christian minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and yet espouse such utter foolishness. Newsflash: All roads lead directly to hell except one! But how can one be so exclusive? Because Jesus was so exclusive: He said, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). Furthermore, He said this about those who would suggest multiple ways to heaven: “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matt. 7:15). These are Jesus’ words, not mine.
The Gospel is unique. It is distinct. It is exclusive. The reality of the Gospel is that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15:3), that He and He alone is, “The way, and the truth, and the life.” Clearly, “no one comes to the Father,” unless they come through an informed, deliberate and calculated decision to believe exclusively in Christ and Christ alone as the only way to salvation. With such an exclusive Gospel, one might very well ask, “Who then, can be saved?” Apparently, not many: “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” No wonder it is so hard for most to believe. But this is the clearly revealed and settled truth of holy Scripture. This is the Word of the Lord! We would do well to listen and those who speak from the pulpit would do well to preach it in all its fullness and truth! Anything else is anathema.
The Gospel which clearly stresses Jesus as “the way, and the truth, and the life,” as the only true “door,” through which all who enter, “will be saved,” is irrefutable and non-negotiable! It is our only hope for the forgiveness of sin and gift of eternal life. So my question to you is simple: Can you say with absolute certainty, you have believed the Gospel message, been forgiven of your sins, and given the gift of eternal life? Your whole eternal future depends upon your answer to that question…right now. “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”
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