Not So Random Thoughts 23

Matthew 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. 15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 “So then, you will know them by their fruits. 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

With all the polls being taken and showing that there is no real difference between those who attend professing churches and those who don’t, at the least we should wonder if those in the professing churches are truly converted. Those who are on the narrow road will be different from those who are on the broad road. Those who are on the narrow road have life in them and those on the broad road are possessed by the death that is in them. There are huge differences between those who are on the broad road and those who are on the narrow road, though it must be stressed that the differences are not always obvious to the physical eyes. The difference in many cases is the attitude and love of the heart. One can do an outwardly good work out of love for self rather than love for God.

The lover of self can be an extremely religious person and as such be quite rigid in his or her external life. This can certainly have all the appearances of a narrow road. However, this can simply be the activity of the religious self with self being the chief love. Asceticism and legalism is not a way on the narrow road, but is instead the appearance of a narrow road while the person is in fact on the broad road. It appears narrow because it is difficult and there is a lot of denial of worldly things, but the self has not been denied and Christ is not the life in the soul. The person has also entered in a broad gate rather than the narrow gate since the narrow gate involves Christ alone. There is no room for self coming through that narrow gate and only those who truly have Christ by grace can come through that gate.

The narrow road to life will only have those who have died to self by the work of the Spirit in them. The self has been denied and they have been turned from self and pride to a heart of a child (Mat 18:1-4). Those who are severe in their religion are really in the service of self and as such have never truly repented of self. Perhaps they have repented of much outward sin and have turned to the works and deeds of religion, but they have never truly repented of the self. True Christianity is all about the life of Christ in a person and it is about doing all out of love for God. True Christianity is all about doing all for the glory of God or being instruments for the manifestation of the glory of God. In order to do that, the self must be died to because it is the self that is religious for self and seeks self and the glory of self. It is self that does all out of love for self.

The narrow gate and the narrow road of true Christianity in context of the Bible as a whole teaches us that there are few who enter at the narrow gate because few deny self and seek the Lord to die to self. Few will seek true humility that comes from Christ. Few will deny all of their own righteousness and look to Christ alone. Few will come to know that their best works are as filthy rags. Few will be broken of heart enough to realize that they have never done one thing that was truly good. Few will not seek the Lord for a broken heart that becomes the heart of a child by His grace, but instead people want to do it themselves. Few will seek the Lord to show them their utter poverty in the spiritual realm and that if they are going to do one thing good at all it must come to them from Christ first. Few will seek the Lord for a heart that recognizes that the will is not free and so that they will live by grace alone. Actually living by grace alone is far different than saying the words or accepting that statement as true. Those on the broad road can accept those things as true, but they are still relying on self in what they do.

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