Tuesday, July 11, 2023

What Does The Bible Mean By “Narrow Is The Way”?

Matthew 7:13-15, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”

Kindly, one of the most dangerous false teachers of our generation is Pastor John MacArthur of the Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. Dr. MacArthur errantly states concerning getting saved:
“The narrow gate is hard to find and hard to go through, because it demands: denial of self, denial of self-righteousness, recognition of sin, full repentance, submission to Christ, commitment to obey Him, and follow Him no matter what the cost!” —Pastor John MacArthur, a quote from his sermon titled, “Saved Or Self-Deceived, Part One” (time: 4:25 in YouTube sermon video)
Let's list the SEVEN requirements for salvation which Mr. MacArthur just mentioned:
  1. Denial of self
  2. Denial of self-righteousness
  3. Recognition of sin
  4. Full repentance
  5. Submission to Christ
  6. Commitment to obey Christ
  7. Follow Jesus (no matter what the cost)
Ladies and gentlemen, none of that is THE GOSPEL. Respectfully, John MacArthur is a Gospel pervert! ...
“The worst pervert in America is the Gospel pervert!” —Brother Lester Roloff, from the sermon, “The Gospel Perverts Or Jesus?
Here is our text passage of Scripture again...
Matthew 7:13-15, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
What does the Bible mean by “ENTER YE IN AT THE STRAIT GATE,” and “NARROW IS THE WAY, WHICH LEADETH UNTO LIFE”? What saith the Scripture? ...
2nd Corinthians 11:3-4, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”
Carefully notice in the Bible passage we just read, that the apostle Paul teaches: “THE SIMPLICITY THAT IS IN CHRIST.” There is your answer dear friend from the Bible! The reason why the WAY UNTO LIFE IS NARROW, is because getting saved is so SIMPLE that most people complicate and pass right over it! ...
“More people will die and burn in Hell, because they're trusting too much!” —Pastor Jack Hyles, a precious quote from the MP3 sermon, “Yea, Yea, And Nay, Nay!

“Everything that's hard and complicated about salvation is God's side of it!” —Pastor Jack Hyles, a precious quote from the MP3 sermon, “Yea, Yea, And Nay, Nay!
What saith the Scripture? The SIMPLICITY THAT IS IN CHRIST is “THE GOSPEL”...
Romans 1:16, ”For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
Billions of religious people are going to miss Heaven in eternity, because they unwittingly let some FALSE PROPHET like John MacArthur or Ray Comfort convince them to live the Christian life without ever being born-again! Evangelist Ray Comfort literally teaches an unsaved lady on an airplane, that getting saved involved “LIVING A LIFESTYLE” to be saved. To Ray Comfort I kindly say: “GET THEE BEHIND ME SATAN!!!”
“If you have to look at your life to prove that you are saved, it proves that you're not!” —Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold; an excellent quote from the awesome YouTube sermon titled, “Why Lordship Salvation is WRONG! | MP3
The “Strait Gate” and the “Narrow Way” Refer to 'THE GOSPEL'

Religion wants to fit us with glasses, but the Lord wants to open our eyes! Thank God for the truth of His precious Word, which is a lamp unto our feet. Psalm 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” America's churches influence the world, so if Satan can corrupt our churches here at home, then he can corrupt the world. The United States sends out more missionaries than any other nation. Sadly, there is MUCH heresy and false teaching circulating on the radio, television and in our churches nowadays concerning what a person must do to be saved.

What exactly is the Gospel? The word “Gospel” means “Good News” or “Glad Tidings.” There is no need to guess what the “Gospel” is because the Bible plainly tells us. The “Gospel” is the Good News of Christ's DEATH on the cross for our sins, His BURIAL and bodily RESURRECTION three days later:
1st Corinthians 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
We are saved by BELIEVING “the Gospel,” which is the power of God unto salvation. Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” John 6:28-29, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” It is that simple to be saved. If you admit that you are a guilty sinner in God's sight, and you receive Christ's sacrifice on the cross as full payment for your sins, believing that He was buried, and bodily resurrected three days later, and that is your only hope for eternal life—YOU ARE IMMEDIATELY, SECURELY AND FOREVER SAVED!!!
“You know the greatest difficulty and hindrance today, is not that people are not good enough. The great hindrance is they're not bad enough, to be saved!” —Pastor J. Vernon McGee, a beautiful quote the MP3 sermon, “Why The Gospel Is Not Preached Today
God did EVERYTHING, so that we have to do NOTHING, except to get out of the way and submit to God's imputed righteousness through faith alone in Jesus Christ! ...
“He [God] did everything, so that you would have to do nothing, except receive it as a free gift! And God says, 'I love you so much that I gave My Son to pay for your sins. Will you believe it? And if you will (believe/trust, used interchangeably in the Bible), will you simply believe that Jesus Christ died for you? And God says, 'If you'll do that, I'll promise you on the authority of My Word, that you'll never perish, but you'll have everlasting life!'” —Pastor Max D. Younce, a quote from the Bible study titled, “SO GREAT SALVATION,” Part 7 | MP3's
Pastor Ralph “Yankee” Arnold made this tremendous statement...
“There is power in this Gospel message. Most people just don't know how to
present it... The clarity of the Gospel is what makes it easy for them to believe.” —Pastor Yankee Arnold, a quote from the excellent MP3 sermon titled, “WHY GRACE CAN SAVE THE WORST MAN!
That is one of my favorite quotes! The Devil works relentlessly to OBSCURE the truth of the Gospel. The Devil does this by watering THE GOSPEL down—subtracting from it, adding to it and completely obliterating it at times! Consider, for example, Evangelist Ravi Zacharias, who mentions 12 things in his suggested sinner's prayer, NONE OF WHICH includes any elements of THE GOSPEL. Really, you couldn't make this stuff up! Ravi is a self-professed Gospel minister, yet he teaches everything except THE GOSPEL.

Like today's Satanic counterfeit Bible revisions, Ravi is intentionally vague, so as to not offend the audience; consequently, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2nd Corinthians 11:3b-4). Therefore, kindly said, I wouldn't give you a thin dime for the shallow, ambiguous, substance-lacking, Holy-Spiritless, ecumenical, dead preaching of Ravi Zacharias!!! Somebody say “Amen”! After preaching to a hellbound group of 7,000 Mormons in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2014, here's how they responded to his message, bursting to their feet in applause with a standing ovation!!! Luke 6:26, “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.”

The Gospel is Like a Tiny Town—Easy to Miss! ...

In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus was simply teaching that THE WAY WHICH LEADETH UNTO LIFE is so simple that if you're not careful, you'll pass right over it! The Gospel is like a tiny little town out in the middle of nowhere—If you blink you'll miss it! I was looking for different places I might like to live, and I researched Ainsworth, Nebraska (population 1,728). I found the funny picture to the right: “NOW ENTERING . . . THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE.” I love that! If you hiccupped while driving, you might miss the town!

That is what Jesus is saying in Matthew 7:13-14—if you aren't careful, you'll pass right over God's simple plan of salvation! Galatians 3:2, “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” I love that truth! We are saved BY THE HEARING OF FAITH. Acts 2:41, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” Notice how those 3,000 souls were saved—they “GLADLY RECEIVED HIS WORD”! THE HEARING OF FAITH!!! When you hear the Gospel preached, and you BELIEVE it, you're saved!!!

And then AFTER a person is saved, God wants them to be water baptized as a public profession of their faith. That is why when a preacher baptizes a new convert, he says something like:
“_________ (name), as a PUBLIC PROFESSION of your faith in Jesus Christ, I baptize you my sister (or brother) in the name of Jesus; buried in the likeness of his death (the minister lowers the person UNDER water while saying these words), raised in the likeness of His resurrection (the minister lifts them UP out of the water while saying these words).”
Water baptism is only the “LIKENESS” (Romans 6:5b) of Christ's death, burial and resurrection. Water baptism by immersion (dunked all the way under) symbolizes THE GOSPEL. We are saved BY FAITH alone! My grandmother on my Mom's side was never baptized.

Pastor Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899) wasn't big on baptizing his converts, so they didn't to my understanding. Although not required for salvation, I think getting baptized is important, because it is the first step of obedience for the Christian. Pastor Jack Hyles talks about this truth in his classic sermon called: “Then, Satan!” The Devil knows if he can get you at the very beginning, you're finished. By not getting baptized, it's not a good way to begin one's spiritual journey as a Christian, without obeying the Lord's first commandment for believers (Matthew 28:19-20). I was baptized at age 17, four years after I was actually saved. That's only because I struggled with my assurance, because of the unbiblical requirement in most churches today to “PRAY A PRAYER” as part of the Gospel. That is bad stuff!

Beware of the Devil's popular LIE that says water baptism is necessary for redemption. God only knows the billions of souls burning in Hell today, who foolishly placed their trust in a baptistery instead of solely in the only begotten Son of God. I'm not kidding! You'd be shocked if you knew how many religions require water baptism for salvation (Mormons, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Jehovah's Witness (JW), Church of Christ, Seventh-Day Adventism (SDA), et cetera). The religious denominations that I just mentioned represent about 1.5 billion people on the planet!

There are an estimated 1,300,000,000 Catholics alone! In comparison there are only 20,000,000 SDA's, and about 8,500,000 JW's, and about 16,000,000 Mormons, et cetera. Anyone who thinks that being water baptized is required to get to Heaven, is not going to Heaven, unless they repent of that heresy and only BELIEVE THE GOSPEL!!! Mark 1:15, “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” To “repent” (as a verb) simply means TO THINK DIFFERENTLY to believe the “GOOD NEWS” of Christ crucified, buried and risen the third day!

The WAY WHICH LEADETH UNTO LIFE IS NARROW! It is simple, so simple in fact, that most people pass right over it, looking for something more! God will not save anyone who is trying to be saved, He will only save those who are trusting to be saved. Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith. Please don't drive past it my friend! The Gospel town is very small. The truth of the Gospel is very basic—Christ died on the cross for our sins, He was buried, and three days later Jesus miraculously resurrected physically from the dead for our justification.

The words “for our justification” simply means that if Christ hadn't resurrected, then our faith could not be justified by a dead Savior. 1st Corinthians 15:17, “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” If Jesus hadn't risen, it would have meant Jesus was only a mere man, and not the virgin born only begotten Son of God. Ah, but Jesus did raise up—CHRIST IS RISEN!!! Jesus died as our SACRIFICE (John 1:29), and He raised up as our heavenly HIGH PRIEST (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 4:14-16).

The Way of Salvation is NOT “Hard”

Pastor John MacArthur errantly says the way of salvation is “HARD” to find, and “HARD” to go through, because he says it requires full repentance, denial of self, a commitment to obey, and to follow Jesus. MacArthur is teaching WORKS for salvation! In Mr. MacArthur's world, salvation is “HARD” because of all the things that he thinks you're required to do to get it. I can understand why he thinks salvation is “HARD,” because he has a corrupted idea of salvation. Whereas the Bible teaches simple LAW and GRACE, MacArthur teaches something completely different. Salvation is not “HARD” dear reader, it is easy, simple and free!

What is “HARD” is getting the idea out of preacher's brains that works aren't necessary to be saved. The religious Jews of Jesus' time had the same dilemma...
Romans 9:31-33, “But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”
The Lord was simply saying in Matthew 7:13-14 that THE WAY WHICH LEADETH UNTO LIFE is very easy to miss, because it is so simple. We have numerous Scripture passages to confirm this widespread problem in Bible times, just as it is a big problem today in 2019. The entire Epistle of Galatians was written to contend with this problem. The local church at Galatia had fallen prey to a works-based salvation cult. The apostle Paul called the Christians at Galatia, “FOOLISH”...
Galatians 3:1-3, “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”
The believers at Galatia had been saved by faith alone. So far so good; but then a local cult infiltrated their church with a works-based doctrine that required circumcision. The apostle Paul rebuked the believers at Galatia for not using better spiritual judgment (as we just read). He wants to know why they allowed these heretics into their church? It was quite a big deal, causing a big stir in town!

Paul asks the Galatian believers a logical question; he says—Since you got saved by THE HEARING OF FAITH, what makes you think that adding WORKS will somehow complete your faith? The idea of works for salvation can crept into any church overnight, so always be on guard! NEVER LET YOUR GUARD DOWN against Satan creeping heresies into the churches!!! I'm talking about the popular heresy of Lordship Salvation. I'm talking about the popular junk theology that Ray Comfort teaches.

These men admittedly make salvation “HARD,” but what did Jesus say? Matthew 11:28-30, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Jesus is saying the EXACT OPPOSSITE of what today's nationally known preachers are saying. Whereas John MacArthur and Ray Comfort are saying that the way which leadeth unto life is “HARD” to find, and HARD to go through; Jesus said His YOKE is easy and His BURDEN is light. What a contrast in attitudes toward salvation! It should be clear to you my friend, that Jesus is easy to get along with. I like Jesus. I love that He is lowly (a low opinion of Himself), humble. I want to be like Him, “esteem other better than themselves” (Philippians 3:).

Salvation Is Of The Lord

I heard a familiar passage today, and noticed a beautiful truth that I never saw before. Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” Did you see it? The last part of the Scripture mentions the IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD! Isaiah 54:17, “...and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” I love that!!! I just showed you salvation in the Old Testament. Acts 10:43, “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” There has always been only one plan of salvation—through FAITH in the Lord! Isaiah 54:17, “...and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.”

Jonah had fled from God's will. The next thing you know, we find him literally inside the belly of a whale! Some Bible students think Jonah died and God revived him; but I humbly think he lived through the whole ordeal. I have read some articles online, by people who explain what it would be like to be swallowed by a whale; but my friend, only a person who has actually been swallowed by A WHALE can accurately describe such an experience.

Like Job, whose captivity turned when he prayed for his obnoxious friends (Job 42:10); Jonah's captivity turned when he offered up to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving (it requires a sacrifice to be thankful when everything is going wrong). Jonah 2:9, “But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD. And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.” When Jonah got right with God, humbling himself, thanking God while still covered in the whale's stomach fluids, testifying that SALVATION IS OF THE LORD—God told the great fish to drop off Jonah at the next whale stop! Amen!

Getting saved is simple, easy and immediate! There are no waiting periods. There is no probationary period. When a person receives Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, they can and ought to write down the date, time and place (preferably in their Bible if they have one). John 1:12-13, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

The New Birth (aka, “Born Again”) is Immediate and Permanent

When 3,000 souls were saved in Acts 2:41, they were added to the Church without having to go through any waiting period, initiation or interrogation process. Salvation is a supernatural miracle of God in response to a person's faith in the “GOOD NEWS” (GOSPEL) of Jesus Christ. The GOOD NEWS is that Christ DIED on the cross to pay for our sins, He was BURIED, and then He bodily RESURRECTED the third day (1st Corinthians 15:1-6). BELIEVE IT, Oh sinner, and the work is done! 
John 6:28-29, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” All the faith God requires to be saved is JUST ENOUGH! If you have “just enough” faith to call upon the name of the Lord, He will save you on the spot! Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” To “call” doesn't mean to PRAY, it simply means to go to the Lord by faith.

What saith the Scripture? John 6:37, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” The Lord can read your thoughts (Proverbs 24:12). So the moment that Jesus sees you've placed your trust (reliance) upon His name, trusting what He did on the cross to pay for your sins, God saves (regenerates) you! This is the new birth (aka, “born again”). I was saved at age 13. I knew I was a sinner. It was on a Sunday morning. The preacher taught about the Holy Spirit. He said that if you can commit sin, but there is no Holy Spirit conviction, you are not saved. I knew I wasn't saved when he said that. I had never known the Holy Spirit in my soul. During the invitation, I was too scared to go forward to the altar, but from my pew with simple childlike faith, for the first time in my life, I called out to Jesus in my soul and I asked Him to save me.

It was that simple childlike faith, GOING TO THE LORD, that saved me. I had grown up in Sunday school, so I knew Jesus was the Son of God Who died on the cross for my sins. I believed in a RISEN CHRIST! I knew in my heart that I was reaching out to a LIVING SAVIOR. Up until that time in my life, I had never PERSONALLY received Jesus as my Savior. From that moment until today, I have known the blessed presence of the Holy Spirit (1st Corinthians 1:16-17). The first thing I remember when I got saved was a hunger for the milk of the Word (1st Peter 2:2). Each night I fell asleep reading my King James Bible. It was called “The Open Bible.” I loved it! I read through Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, but then when I got halfway through Deuteronomy, I did what most people do, I jumped ahead to the New Testament! I admit, I am guilty of doing the same thing...lol. I like what Brother Lester Roloff said about the Old Testament...
“To me, there's not anything that'll put iron in your spiritual blood like the Old Testament.” —Evangelist Lester Roloff, a quote from the awesome needful sermon: “The Devil's Decoys!” (or, “What's Fooling You?”) | MP3
There are some very dangerous heresies circulating in churches today; such as, the one's I shared with you earlier from John MacArthur and Ray Comfort. These men have unwittingly turned the instant new birth into an ongoing process, which they say requires LIVING A LIFESTYLE to prove that you have it. That is of the Devil! The new birth is a second, or spiritual, birth by the Holy Spirit of God. The first, or physical, birth was our human birth when we were born. A changed life is the fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and not a part of the root of saving faith. The “NARROW WAY” is simply THE GOSPEL, by which God has promised “TO SAVE THEM THAT BELIEVE” (1st Corinthians 1:21b).

“Faith is the only righteous thing that I can do!” —Pastor Jack Hyles, a quote from the MP3 sermon titled: “God's Reversal Of Psalm 51

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