The Way of Christ Is Still Narrow
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for 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
We who follow Christ in these
perilous times are engaged in a war that has many fronts.
Action ebbs in one sector only
to flare up in another or two or ten others. The enemy is everywhere, assuming
many forms and taking at any given time whatever shape best serves his
evil purposes, and he is for that reason often mistaken for a friend.
Traditionally fighting men have
proudly worn the uniform of their country, and could be identified as far
as they could be seen. In World War II the Nazis sometimes donned the uniforms
of Allied soldiers and thus managed to destroy some who would otherwise
have been on the defensive against them. But this trick was no Nazi invention.
It dates back to that hour when the devil in the guise of a friend won
the confidence of Mother Eve and brought about the downfall of the race.
Deception has always been an
effective weapon and is deadliest when used in the field of religion. Our
Lord warned against this when He said, “Beware of false prophets, which
come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
(Matthew 7:15) These words have been turned into a proverb known around
the world, and still we continue to be taken in by the wolves.
There was a time, no longer
ago than the twenties and thirties, when a Christian knew, or at least
could know, where he stood. The words of Christ were taken seriously. A
man either was or was not a believer in New Testament doctrine. Clear,
sharp categories existed. Black stood in sharp contrast to white; light
was separated form darkness; it was possible to distinguish right form
wrong, truth form error, a true believer form an unbeliever. Christians
knew that they must forsake the world, and there was for the most part
remarkable agreement about what was meant by the world. It was that simple.
But over the last score of years
a quiet revolution has taken place. The whole religious picture has changed.
Without denying a single doctrine of the faith, multitudes of Christians
have nevertheless forsaken the faith and are as far astray as the Modernists,
who were at least honest enough to repudiate the Scriptures before they
began to violate them.
Many of our best-known preachers
and teachers have developed ventriloquial tongues and can now make their
voices come from any direction. They have surrendered the traditional categories
of religious thought. For them there is no black or white, there is only
gray. Anyone who makes a claim to having “accepted Christ” is admitted
at once into the goodly fellowship of the prophets and the glorious company
of the apostles regardless of the worldliness of his life or the vagueness
of his doctrinal beliefs.
I have listened to certain speakers
and have recognized the ingredients that went to make up their teachings.
A bit of Freud, a dash of Émile Coué, a lot of watered-down
humanism, tender chunks of Emersonian transcendentalism, auto- suggestion
à la Dale Carnegie, plenty of hopefulness and religious sentimentality,
but nothing hard and sharp and specific. Nothing of the either/or of Christ
and Peter and Paul. None of the “Who is on the Lord's side” of Moses, or
the “Choose you this day whom ye will serve” of Joshua: just tender pleading
to “take Jesus and let Him solve your problems.”
If such as I here describe were
cultists or liberals of one stripe or another I would say nothing more
about it, but many of them are professed evangelicals. Press them and they
will insist that they believe the Scriptures and accept every tenet of
the historic Christian faith, but listen to them teach and you are left
wondering. They are building upon sand; the rock of sound theology is not
The notion is now pretty well
disseminated throughout the ranks of current evangelicalism that love is
really all that matters and for that reason we ought to receive everyone
whose intention is right, regardless of his doctrinal position, granted
of course that he is ready to read the Scriptures, trust Jesus and pray.
The unregenerate sympathies of the fallen human heart adopt this foggy
reed eagerly. The trouble is that the Holy Scriptures teach nothing of
The apostle Paul warned against
what he called “profane and vain babblings,” as for instance that of Hymenaeus
and Philetus, stating that the words would eat as doth a canker and overthrow
the faith of some. And what was their error? They merely taught a spiritual
resurrection instead of a physical one.
“If a man hath the mind to get
the start of other sinners and be in hell before them,” said an old divine,
“he need do no more than open his sails to the winds of heretical doctrine,
and he is like to make a short voyage to hell; for these bring upon their
maintainers a swift destruction.”
This is nearer to Paul's view
than is that of the new evangelical latitudinarians. The way of the cross
is still narrow. A. W. Tozer
Mr. Tozer saw in his day something
on the horizon which frightened him about the organized church and he sounded
the alarm. Unfortunately very few listened in his day and fewer in ours.
And now we are reaping the harvest. Our preachers play a numbers game with
church roles, the all important thing is keep the numbers up and if at
all possible raise them. Build a new edifice, get more cars, flashier clothes,
bigger houses, and on and on ad nauseam.. And of course heaven forbid that
they should preach strong enough to cause some of the mixed multitude to
leave and as a result lose some of their income.
How do they do this? By compromising.
What have we compromised? It is not my intention to rehash Tozer's message
here, you just read it. So I will just say what the fruits of the compromise
has cost us. Adultery, fornication, sodomy, suicide, infanticide, euthanasia,
abortion, robbery, murder and rape. To just name a few, are on the rise
in every segment of society, including the part which is referred to as
Be it known here, I do make
a difference between what we call the “church” and what really is the church.
I believe in the local church (most of the New Testament Books were written
to local churches), however because of our wishy washy preaching, with
a special emphasis on the psychological, and our acceptance of the cults
(we do this by calling everything that is not true BIBLICAL Christianity
by the all inclusive term 'christian'). The fact is we have made the building
the church (how often have you heard something like 'come to the house
of God to worship' etc.) Rather than the truth which is WE are the church,
the body of Christ, which will one day be the bride of Christ. MY FRIEND
If A PERSON DOES NOT BELIEVE IN THE PRINCIPLES AS SET FORTH IN THE BIBLE
THAT PERSON IS NOT
A CHRISTIAN AND WE SHOULD STOP
CALLING THEM SUCH.
Our LORD has no problem with
this concept He says, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall
enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father
which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we
not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name cast out devils? And in thy
name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I
NEVER knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23
My friends Jesus' words are
just as applicable today as they were 2000 years ago. Ye must be born again!
The Spirit of God is the surety, the pass key if you will, to allow you
into God's heaven. No amount of psychology, tongues, dirty sweaty hands
or anything else will get you past the gate. As a matter of fact they will
only get you misery. Turn to Him whom to know is life and peace, who alone
has the Words of life. Confess Him with your mouth, and believe Him in
your heart that God hath raised Him from the dead and thou shalt be saved.
O thou to whose all searching sight
The darkness shineth as the light,
Search, prove my heart; it pants for Thee
O burst these bands and set it free.
Wash out its stains, refine its dross;
Nail my affections to the cross;
Hallow each thought; let all within
Be clean, as Thou, my Lord, art clean.
If in this darksome wild I stray,
Be Thou my Light, be Thou my Way;
No foes, no violence I fear,
No harm, while Thou, my God, art near.
Savior, where'er thy steps I see,
Dauntless, untired, I follow Thee:
O let Thy hand support money still,
And lead money to Thy holy hill.
If rough and thorny be my way,
My strength proportion to my day;
Till toil and grief and pain shall cease
Where all is calm and joy and peace.
Nicolaus L. Von Zinzendorf, 1721
Next time we will look at the subject “He that Should
Come” see you then. God Bless You
Sometimes, indeed, there appears
a scuffle between Satan and a carnal heart; but it is a mere cheat, like
the fighting of two fencers on a stage. You would think at first they were
in earnest; but observing how wary they are where they hit one another,
you may soon know they do not mean to kill: and that which puts all out
of doubt when the guise is done, you shall see them making merry together
with what they have got of their spectators, which was all they fought
for. When a carnal heart makes the greatest bustle against sin, by complaining
of it, or praying against it, follow him but off the stage of duty and
you shall see them sit as friendly in a corner as ever.