Christianity Today 7

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.

As we compare the verses in Matthew 7 with the verse in Proverbs 14:12, we can see one primary way that people have taken the wrong gate and are on the broad road. It is because they have chosen a way that seems right to men. The way that seems right to men may seem narrow, but it is not the gate of Christ. There are many ways that seem right to men, but the end of that way is death which is the same as the broad road leading to destruction. When we consider that the unregenerate hearts of all human beings are guided by self and the love of self, it is no wonder that men are so easily deceived. Men love themselves and as such do not want to go to hell, but since it is that very self that must be denied, the self will deceive itself into thinking it has denied self.

The way to destruction (not the narrow gate and not the narrow way) seems right to the proud and self-centered heart. The fallen heart will not be satisfied with the true gate that is narrow, though it may find a narrow gate that pleases it. It is not just the liberals who are on the broad road, but perhaps many of the very religious are on that broad road as well. When Jesus spoke these words to a crowd, He was speaking to the most religious people of that day. He speaks those same words to the most religious people of each and every day. It is not always the most obvious people that are deceived, but it can be and often is the very religious folks. It is far easier to get an advanced degree in theology than it is to deny the very self. It is far easier to hold to an orthodox creed than it is to deny the very self. It is far easier to be a pastor of a church than it is to deny the very self. It is far easy to be a very strict person in all the things of outward religion than it is to deny the very self. That is because it is impossible to deny the very self unless the heart is regenerated by God.

Nicodemus was amazed at the teaching of Jesus regarding the new birth in John 3. He was also looking at things from a way that seemed right to men. He was told that he must be born again. This was something that was against his very self and against the orthodox religion of the day. Nicodemus had no power to cause his first birth or his second birth, but instead the second birth was by the working of the Holy Spirit as He was pleased to do. It was not in the power of the man to gain the approval of God in his old nature, but instead even the best things that the unregenerate man could do (that included the most stringent of religious activities) was at enmity with God. This was absolutely stunning to Nicodemus and it should stun the majority of us today.

In the modern day professing Christianity has brought down the exalted and God-centered glory of the Gospel and of Christianity to make it nothing more than a selfish religion which is at odds with the true Gospel. We can go on and on about our theology and how large our “churches” are, though some might be proud of how their strictness has kept them small, but a religion that is in accordance with what seems right to a man does in fact lead to death. The self-centered heart of man will always twist the Scriptures which are centered on God to where man can understand them or keep what they say (or man thinks they say). Christianity is a supernatural religion and the natural man (self-centered man) cannot keep it but will always strive to bring it down to his own level. The modern professing “Church” is full of people, but it is not full of God. The ways of men are not the ways of God and the way that seems right to men is the opposite of what is right according to God.

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