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 7:13,14
 
     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 under them. 
     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 kind. 
     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 

COMMENT: 
     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 the church. 
     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. 

Thought: 
     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.   William Gurnall 
Poem:

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