Christ Preparing our Hearts 7

Be persuaded that your soul is far more valuable to you than the whole world and there are only two places (heaven and hell) that you will spend all eternity in.

You can count on it that it is very difficult to come to heaven, but the way to destruction is broad and easy. Take it to heart that you have a deceitful heart with you, a wicked devil close to you, and snares and hindrances around and before you.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ which is the Gospel of grace alone at times makes the Gospel appear easy, but that is not correct. Christ prepares the heart for Himself to dwell in by taking out the things He is not pleased with and sanding and chopping at rough edges. Many say that preparation is a teaching that is opposite of the Gospel of grace, but it should be pointed out that Christ is the One who prepares the heart for Himself. After conversion it is Christ working in the heart to make it a more and more comfortable abode (so to speak). The holiness of God is such and His love for His people is such that He will work in them and on them to be holy. So while it is true that God declares sinners just and righteous in His sight in Christ, this does not take all the difficulties away.

The road to heaven for true believers is hard, but if a person wants to take things easy they may. If a person is tired of fighting the flesh and sin, that person has an easier way. If a person is tired of not doing what he wants to do, there is an easier way. The way to destruction appears easy and one does not have to fight with the sin and the flesh to take that road, but for eternity one will pay the price with a torment that never stops. Theological liberalism will allow people not to fight so much as there are so many people who will agree with them, but those errors reflect hearts that hate God and for eternity that God will pour out His wrath upon them.

Yes, it is a sure thing that you have a deceitful heart within you, so look to Scripture and know for certain that the gate and the way to hell is on a broad road and it easy to get there. If your heart longs for and will not settle for anything but ease, then know that you are on the way to hell. However, the gate and way to heaven is narrow and straight. The entrance or gate to the road (conversion) is very narrow and it does not allow you to carry the things of the world with you through that gate. That gate is so narrow that it will not allow you to bring love for the world and love for the pleasures of the world with you. If the Lord Jesus sets His love upon you and prepares your heart for Himself, you will have many hard things to pass through before you pass through the gate. He will bring hard things into your life that will strip you of your own righteousness, but He does this so that you will look to His free gift of righteousness alone. He does this so that you will learn of your ability which then takes your eyes off of yourself so that you will look to His ability. He will bring a trial upon you that you cannot handle and so you are left weak and helpless in realization of your insufficiency, but He will turn your eyes to His total sufficiency.

Jesus spoke of true conversion of a person being turned to being like a very small child. At the least this refers to those who are turned from their pride and self-trust and self-sufficiency and like a small child simply looks to the parent for what it needs, so those who have been turned look to their Father for all they need. This turning of the soul from its pride and trust in self does not happen in a moment, but instead this process is guided by the wise hand of the Lord Jesus who is forming His people like clay to be in accordance with His good pleasure. The Lord Jesus is not going to dwell in a proud heart and He will not give His grace to the proud, so He has to work the pride out of the soul and give the soul humility that He may give grace to it. When two pieces of wood do not fit together and yet they are part of what the plan calls for, the craftsman must work on the wood with saws and sandpaper until they fit together. So the Lord Jesus as a Master Craftsman works on His people to make them fit to be joined to Him and with Him.

It is so difficult at times to discern which gate we have been through and which road we are on. Our deceptive hearts want to go to heaven but love the broad path to hell. The devil wants all humans to be in hell with him. There are snares and temptations all around. All of these things are trying to keep us off of the narrow path and on the broad path. There is only One who can show us the true way and as such to keep us from a fatal deception. There is only One who is wiser than the devil and who alone can give us a wisdom greater than his. There is only One who can teach our hearts well enough to avoid the snares and temptations and to walk in Him and by grace. Christ alone can teach our hearts and He alone can prepare them for Himself. That is part of true faith.

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