Sobering Thoughts 18

Mat 7:13 “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. 14 “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Matthew 7:15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

Isaiah 58:1 “Cry loudly, do not hold back; Raise your voice like a trumpet, And declare to My people their transgression And to the house of Jacob their sins. 2 “Yet they seek Me day by day and delight to know My ways, As a nation that has done righteousness And has not forsaken the ordinance of their God. They ask Me for just decisions, They delight in the nearness of God. 3 ‘Why have we fasted and You do not see? Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not notice?’ Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire, And drive hard all your workers. 4 “Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist. You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high. 5 “Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it for bowing one’s head like a reed And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the LORD?

How far can people go in the ways of morality and still be strangers to Christ? It would appear from the verses above and many passages in the New Testament that people can go very far in the ways of morality and still be far from Christ. How much theology can people know and still be strangers to Christ? It appears that they can be profound theologians and scholars and still be strangers to Christ. How far can people go in their religion and still be strangers to Christ? It appears that they can go very, very far in the things of religion and still be utterly void of the true knowledge of Christ. How far can preachers go in their preaching of orthodox religion and still be quite apart from the truth and Christ? It would appear that they can be popular preachers, orthodox preachers (in terms of the standards of a denomination), and even skilled at speaking.

The Lord Jesus spoke very clearly on this and so did His apostles, but people do not want to hear those truths. It is far easier to preach morality and religion than it is to preach the heart-searching truths of the depravity of man and the deceptive nature of the heart. It is far easier to preach morality and religion than it is to preach a Gospel of free-grace where God is gracious to whom He will be gracious. These things are the things that men hate and will not stand for unless God changes their hearts. It is also easier to listen to hard doctrine when a person agrees with it than it is to have the heart searched for the life of Christ and true grace.

The focus of preaching (so-called) has moved from the glory of God in Christ and the Gospel to teaching on a text in its historical context. Now this is not to say that having a text of Scripture is not important and it is not to say that placing a text in its historical context is not important. It is, however, to say that doing those things has a greater purpose. The purpose of preaching is primarily to glorify God, but in order to do that we must show men the narrow door and the narrow path. So many people have entered through the wide gate and are on the broad road and they are rushing to destruction while they are being comforted and told that they are true believers.

Jesus the Christ told us about how there would be these false prophets who were in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they were (in reality and spiritually) ravenous wolves. In our day we cannot imagine such nice people who have been to seminary being wolves. We cannot imagine these caring people who seem to have such concern for others and “me” being ravenous wolves. We cannot imagine a person preaching such thoughtful and intellectual sermons as being a wolf. Even more, we cannot imagine those who are orthodox in their theology as being wolves.

We must be awakened and know that there are ravenous wolves among us and they are in the pulpit. People are going to hell and are never awakened to their lost condition. People enter through very wide gates and are never told that the true gate is a very narrow one. People are on the broad road and are never told that it leads to destruction. People are very moral and are not told that their morality can damn them and not save them. People are very religious and are not told that their religion can damn them and not save them. People are very orthodox and are not told that their orthodoxy can damn them and not save them. The wolves are among us and at times it appears that the wolves outnumber the sheep. Jesus told us to beware of false prophets. He did not say that they were obvious, but that they wore sheep’s clothing. We need to listen to Christ.

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