Sunday, April 30, 2017
 

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By : Lonnie Branam [ Sermon The Strait Gate ]



THE GATE AND NARROW WAY  TO  HEAVEN

"Strive to enter in at the strait gate ; for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.


The parallel passage on this text is Matthew 7:13,14, "Enter by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction; and there are may who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and narrow is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." Men in general, engage in unimportant worldly investigations and pursuits, and neglect those things which are of eternal importance. Jesus said most people enter into the broad way of life that leads to eternal destruction. This means to live life outside the Christian religion and livie without God in their lives. To avoid this eternal mistake, Jesus teaches that we should enter into life at the narrow gate of the Christian religion and continue on the narrow road of Christian conduct that leads to eternal life. Hence we may infer, that it would prove a great blessing, if men would spend much of their time in an intense study of theChristian religion No man can understand all things, but every person may find his way to heaven.


Let us inquire what is meant by the strait gate, the narrow way, and hy many who seek to enter heaven will not able to enter in. Our Lord The Christian life includes such things as self-denial, forgiveness of others, monogamy, divorce for adultery only, sex before marriage forbidden, meekness, loving God with heart, soul and mind, and seeking first the kingdom of Christ and His righteousness. Financial assistance to true religion is required , and countless other basic and moral scriptural principles. Only people who love God will put the effort necessary to find His genuine church in a divided Christendom and negotiate the narrow way that leads to admittance into heaven. II.. Secondly why will some who seek to enter the narrow gate into the Christian religion but will not be a ble? Many will fail to become true Christians because they seek it in the wrong way. Christ said strive or agonize to enter the narrow gate. It is not easy to become a Christian; it is difficult to find Christ's genuine church today. Hundreds of differing churches exist today. Unsound religious teachers have confused God's plan of salvation. That is why Jesus said, "Strive to enter the narrow gate." There are so many unsound churches in Christendom who have created their own systems of salvation that disagree with God's plan of salvation revealed in the New Testament. People do not know what church they should become a member of. Most young people are so confused, they usually enter a church their family has chosen, whether it is the true church or not. Jesus said we must strive to find the true church. God has an undoubted right to save men and women in His own way, and all who seek to enter the narrow gate into the church in any other way than God's way, seek in vain. God has the right to save each and every person in the one and same way, for there is only one way to be saved from our past sins and enter the Lord's church.


The classic example of millions who have made this mistake is the Jewish nation who rejected Christ and His religion, deceived by unsound religious teachers. Paul, a sound Jewish teacher, says that Israel failed to attain to God's new law of righteousness. Paul wrote these words about Jews who rjeced Christ, " being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, did not submit themselves unto the righteousness of God"(Romans 10:3). They This sin will shut people out of heaven. They are still trying to be saved by the law of Moses. As a result they failed to enter the narrow gate into the Christian religion and find themselves now outside the kingdom of God on earth, and will be unable to enter heaven when Christ returns. Millions of people in other world religions have made the same mistake.


As strange and sad as it may seem, many who profess to be Christians t today and are in many churches in Christendom that disagree with Christ's plan of salvation an other doctrines, and are making the same mistake the Jews made. They have chosen to enter churches that radically disagree with the doctrines of Christ and His apostles. They refuse to submit themselves to the clear teachings of Christ. he Son of God, .and His plan of salvation. People are not striving enter at the narrow gate. God has the right to save each and every person in one and the same way. The term narrow is meaningful. The gate is narrow and many but have failed to do what God said to do to enter in the narrow gate. Instead they have attempted create their own way to be saved. The plain fact is that the majority will ignore what God requires of them for salvation. Many are deceived by unsound religious leaders preachers and teachers. They will not study for themselves, but take someone else's word for it, such as parens, friends or false teachers.



Finally Jesus revealed that this narrow door will be open only until He makes His second coming. This teaches us the offer to receive God's gift of eternal salvation has its limitations of time. When Christ closes the narrow gate no one else can enter. Some will not be able to enter the gate because they waited too long to respond. All must enter in through the narrow gate before they die. The entrance must be made in this life when they still have time to honor and serve God and His son. All must enter before Christ closes the gate. Jesus said, "Strive to enter though the narrow door, for many I say to you, will seek to enter, and will not be able." When Christ sits on the throne of judgement as the Judge of all mankind , many will try to enter heaven but will not be able. Jesus s aid in Luke 13:23,24 to the man who asked, "Lord are there few who are saved,"


"Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When the Master(Christ) of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door saying, Lord, Lord open up for us, and He will and say to you, I do not know you where you are from." Jesus will shut that narrow gate at His coming and no one can get on the narrow road that leads to heaven. Some will try to enter into heaven when it is too late. God gives every person time and opportunity to prepare for heaven. All must enter through the narrow gate and into the Lord's church before they die and pursue the difficulties of the narrow road that leads to heaven. The great truth we learn from this passage of scripture is that the religion of Christ, as revealed in the New Testament, which prepares the soul for heaven, is the most serious and important subject the mind of man can contemplate. It is the only source of solid happiness, the only way of safety, and the only path to immortality and eternal life.



 


 


 



 


 



 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

in his sermon upon the mount, speaks of a strait gate and a narrow way. The strait gate refers to an entrance into the Christian religion and the one church revealed in the New Testament, the kingdom of God on earth. The narrow way refers to the difficulties which Christians meet in living the Christian life, the only way leads to eternal life. In our text, the narrow gate and the narrow way includes both becoming a Christian and living in such as to gain admittance into heaven. The question was, "Lord, are there few that be saved?" No doubt the inquirer meant, "Are there few who find admittance into heaven?" Our Lord said, Strive to enter in,. and in the following verse a state of being refused admittance into heaven is opposed to final salvation, and is expressed by the shutting of the door. The phrase, strait gate, is figurative and means narrow; it refers to a passage that is difficult to enter.By this figure, the Lord clearly intimates to all his followers that both the entrance into His true church and acceptance by God in this life, amd entrance into heaven will prove difficult. All would be wise to take Him at His word. These difficulties, however, do not arise from any difficulties in the saving message of Christ. He didn ‘t make it difficult to become a Christian, and He did make the Christian life too difficult for Christians to live by. Nevertheless, the entrance into the kingdom of Christ on earth and living a life that is acceptable to God will prove very difficult. God and Christ are not responsible for these difficulties and do not arise from the nature of God of God's word. or arise from the Christ's commands, for serving Him is pleasant and delightful. Christ gives us this awful truth, partly because  most people in the world  love the darkness rather than the light, partly beause of the temptaions of Satan, and partly from unsound religious teachers in the church and out of the church who confuse theminds of people about genuine Christianity.Whoever resolves to seek eternal life, will find a host of foes within himself, within his own heart, such as old long-time prejudices and habits which are difficult to overcome and correct. Let us not blame Christ for this soul-saving truth. Our bodies love pleasures, good or evil, whenever and however they can get them, but whatever it takes, we must keep our bodies under such control so as not to be dominated by sin. Christians cannot be sinless because of the weakness of the flesh. But sins committed through weakness of thye flesh must be confessed to God and wahsed away by the blood of Christ. There are many dangers to Christians  in  the kind of world we live in. The word narrow used twice in our text, is very meaningful. The relataive number of the saved and lost is plain from our text. They shall be as the few to the many. This contrast between the numbers of the saved and the lost with reference to each succeeding generation should not be discouraging to God's people. Although salvation is obtainable and available for all who truly desire it, the plain fact is the majority in all generations have no faith in God's way of life or His offer of eternal life in heaven. forever in heaven, Without faith it is impossible to please please God. The number of redeemed souls in any generation are few, but this truth is not the scale by which God's success is to be measured. God will keep on saving people in each generation till the fulness of His purpose has been accomplished. Truth can be no other way than narrow and is a well knwon fact in all fields of of knowledge whatsoever. Why should it seem strange that making an entrance into the Christian religion and traveling the narrow road of holiness that leads to heaven should be by any other way than by the narrow gate and narrow way? The narrowness consists of the restrictions, disciplines, and requirements throughout the whole area of Christian living and conduct.It is a sad situation and because of it many will never make it through the narrow gate into Christ's church who compose the people on eaarth whose sins have been forgiven of all past sins by the atonement of Christ, and who are in the process of being saved. Christians will not be eternally saved until they enter into heaven. Anyone who denys this is an unsound religious teacher After having entered the narrow gate and have become Christians, God's people can be distracted by evil desires and the pleasures of the world.The difficulties involved in this awful truth do not

I. What is is meant by the strait gate and the narrow road?.

Luke xiii, 24.

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