Command of Christ # 19

My mom told me that Oregon had the coldest weather in the U.S. today (I am guessing not including Alaska)...not Maine? Not Washington? O well, I can handle a little rain. In everything give thanks..Anyway, back to the topic!
This week's command is 'Choose the Narrow Way.' Jesus said, 'Enter ye in at the strait gate, because wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction and many there be which go in thereat; Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life and few there be that find it" (Matthew 7:13-14).

Many people today believe that there are many ways to heaven or that there are many religions that are right. However, logically when we die there is going to be one scenario. Some people aren't going to be reincarnated to mice while others will go to purgatory based on what they believe. One thing is going to happen when we meet eternity, so it is best if we make sure we have the facts before we die; we must make sure we have chosen the right 'path.'

Jesus said enter in the strait gate; He didn't say 'Enter in whatever gate you like best, because they all lead to heaven!' There is a specific gate and path that leads to life and this is what it looks like:

1) It is narrow: "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me" (John 14:6). There is not room for all the religions on this path, just on the one Way, Jesus Christ. All other philosophies that are contrary to the Bible are on the path of destruction, and consequently, that way is very broad to accommodate all the beliefs.

2) It is not crowded: "...and few there be that find it" (Matthew 7:14). God's path requires us to give up our rights, our fleshly desires, and even our life for the sake of Christ. It takes someone who is truly committed to the Lord Jesus to follow on this path.

Adoniram Judson grew up in a Christian home in the late 1800's, but in college was swayed by a fellow student atheist to believe that God did not exist, and they became good friends. Judson's life soon became desolate and on one particular night the only place he could find to sleep was in a shared room with a dying man. Judson was awake all night while the man on the other side of the curtain groaned and moaned. Judson was flooded with thoughts about death and the after-life, but realized how foolish his thoughts would sound to his atheist friend. In the morning he asked about the man and heard not only that he had died, but that it was his atheist friend from college! Thoughts of his friend who would be lost for eternity consumed him and he gave his life to Christ. He entered the strait gate and dedicated his life to serve God. He became a missionary to a heathen and previously unreached Burma and worked there for 34 years only coming back to America for a few months in that time. He translated the entire Bible into Burmese and after his death the government estimated that about 210,000 Burmese had come to faith as a result of his work. Few are willing to give up the pleasures of life and live the narrow way like Adoniram Judson.

Jesus not only said to go in the strait gate, but to go on the narrow path; it is a day by day abiding in the Way. Here are some things we should be aware of that can keep us from the path of righteousness:

-Fear of man: (Proverbs 29:25) Fear of what others think of us and fear of being ridiculed can keep us from obeying and staying on the straight and narrow.

-Pleasures of sin: the pleasures of sin can be enjoyable, but they are temporary and lead to destruction. We must be willing to deny ourselves daily and to give up the desires of the flesh, knowing that those who are faithful will reap eternal life.

-Leaning on our own inclinations: "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 14:12). We often act on our own understanding, rather than on the Word of God and it leads us into the path of death and destruction.

Just as in the days of Noah when all the people were wicked, so we are in those days. So many are in the broad path and do not realize that they are walking into eternal death. As Christians, it is vital that we be radiant lights to those who are in darkness. We can only be radiant if we are keeping on the narrow path and abiding in Christ. If we don't fight against the culture, we will be taken with the current; we must be diligent to stand for truth as Noah did and be willing to take the narrow way.

-Are there evidences in your life that you are on the narrow path?
-What areas of popular culture will you have to give up to be on the narrow path?
-What earthly pleasures will you exchange for eternal rewards?
-Is God's Word your standard or the opinion of the world and other Christians?

"Then spake Jesus again unto them saying, I am the Light of the world, he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of light" (John 8:12).

Notes adapted from IBLP Commands of Christ journal and pocket guide

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