Christianity Today 6

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.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

Jeremiah 7:4 “Do not trust in deceptive words, saying, ‘This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.’ 14:14 Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds. 23:26 “How long? Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, even these prophets of the deception of their own heart,

Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

The wide gate and the broad way can be paved with many orthodox doctrines and orthodox men. This is not to say that orthodox doctrines are unnecessary, but simply saying that holding to the doctrine is not the same thing as holding to the truth of Christ that is the essence of all true doctrine. True doctrine can be one set of blinders that we put on that can deceive us like other things as well. True doctrine can be held by the intellect alone, but it can also be held with real affections that deceive us. We can have affections toward the fact that we are accepted by the orthodox and we can have affections that we have essentially the same belief system that our heroes of the past had. We can proudly think (though we will not see the pride) that we are in the line of correct theology that extends all the way back to the apostles. What we must have, however, is Christ Himself and not just a system of truths that has His name attached to them.

This is to say that we must be exceedingly careful and cry out to the Lord to take the blinders off of our eyes and remove the blinders from our hearts. We cannot be satisfied with anything but the sovereign and powerful work of God bringing life into the soul and then that very life of Christ in us. Modern professing Christianity has many obvious heretics operating in her midst, but also has many with the outward words of truth and yet without Christ Himself. Peter knew the true Christ and yet he denied Him three times. Judas was a disciple of the true Christ who seemingly gave up everything to follow Christ, but he never gave up that heart of self. How many heard the very words of Christ and even saw His miracles and yet did not deny themselves in order to follow Him in truth and love? How many were willing to follow Christ if He would give them free food and perform miracles. They would believe something about Him, but their hearts were never changed and so they held on to self-interests and pride.

Oh how hard it is to have the words of Christ and yet to then have our hearts broken and humbled enough so that those words are driven into the heart and they become the very beat of our hearts. Modern professing Christianity has so many popular teachers and so many books that have many people on the covers saying how wonderful the book is. But where is God? Where is the life of Christ in the souls of men? Where are those who are broken over their sin and their rebellion and they are not interested in what they can do, but instead they are only interested in what Christ may do? Where are the preachers who preach as though to dying men and long for them to be awakened to the grace and power of God? Why are people so satisfied with trips to the front of a building and with little prayers said? Why do we have so-called services where it is all done for the people if only they will externally follow a few steps through the service? Where is the living and true God? Do we really think we have domesticated Him so that He will be satisfied with our external rites?

Where can one find preachers who are really preaching an unconditional grace? God saves by grace alone, they may say, but they are always adding conditions to that. God does not save because a person repents and has faith, but repentance and faith are what a person has once God has regenerated that person. Beware of false prophets who teach that you have a part and God has a part in the matter. Beware of thinking that God will respond to you based on what you do. Beware of anything or anyone who adds anything that comes before grace in reality. Must you have a broken heart? Yes, though some will deny that as well and give you other things to do. You must have a heart that is broken from self and pride, but those things are by the grace of God as well. We seek them from the hand of God, but only He can break the heart from pride and self as no one can soften a heart that God has hardened. So we go on with unbroken hearts following the ways of our religion while we use orthodox words to hide the state of our unregenerate hearts from ourselves. We are at ease in our religion while we eagerly follow the broad path to destruction.

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