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           The Gospels in Harmony            Sermon #138  Posted 6/13/18

Matthew 7:13-14    Luke 13:24
The Gospels in Harmony Sermon #138-53118

 

13  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:
14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Matthew 7:13-14
24  Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
Luke 13:24

 

Enter only at the gate called strait!

There is only one kind of person who may enter through the gate called strait. It is the only person who has been changed to fit through that gate!
This gate is not only strait, it is narrow.
The word strait in the Bible is derived from another word meaning a groaning or sighing as in being crushed in repentance and made new in faith. It is the transforming of the old man into a new man by the saving grace of God. It is the continuous walk in humility and obedience with the world crashing in all around you. It is your walk as a true disciple, minister and evangelist of the Gospel. It is the God glorifying child and servant of God. Not a once in a while or when someone is looking hypocrite.
No the truly saved are truly changed to walk through the gate called strait.
    Narrow is the path that the Christian must walk to the gate of Heaven. It will be well lighted by the Word of God and when you stumble you will not be cast off but helped back to your feet when you ask, seek and knock for God to be present in your walk. The narrow walk is a walk in truth. It is a walk that rectifies the wrongs in one’s life.
Being crushed under the weight of sin brings repentance in one’s life. Repentance brings faith that Jesus has died for our sins and in that faith we confess Him to be our Lord and Savior. That is the gate called strait! Just as the path is narrow so is the gate.

     Before we proceed I would like for us to turn to Acts and read about the transformation of the man Saul who was a persecutor of Jesus by his diligent persecution of the church.
1  And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
2  And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
3  And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
4  And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
5  And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
6  And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
Acts 9:1-6
10  And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
11  And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
12  And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
Acts 9:10-12
17  And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
18  And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
Acts 9:17-18
    I want you to gather in the fact that there are two words that are used for the coming unto salvation at the gate unto Heaven.
First we must come to the realization that the gate into heaven is through Jesus Christ.
6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 14:6
Jesus is the light, the path and the gate unto our heavenly home.
He is the way, the truth and the life.
The words strait and straight used in our Bibles are the beginning and progression of a Christian in their walk toward their heavenly home.
First we are crushed unto repentance with the truth of our sin filled lives. Even if we believe we are so religious there is no sin in us. Just look at Saul as an example of the height that religion can build someone in the sin of self righteousness.
Yes strait is the gate that we must enter through. Only the humbled, penitent man may come to that gate.
Straight is the street we must walk to be given entrance to our heavenly home.
Obedience in faith will straighten a disciple’s walk to be lifted in joy filled service.
The street called straight is the only path that is marked with sincerity and devotion.
It is narrow and seldom used but it is the way one must travel to find the truth and eternal life through Jesus Christ.
    Saul was humbled and crushed under the weight of His sin. He was taken to the street called straight that he should ask, seek and knock for salvation through repentance unto faith. He remained on that street until He was called to be healed and sealed by confessing Jesus to be his Lord. Saul was filled with the Holy Spirit the moment He gave His life to Jesus in the knowledge of the truth and after his baptism; he began his ministry for God.
     Strait is the gate for the true disciples of Jesus who walk the straight and narrow path of faith and obedience to His Word.
-------for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Matthew 7:13
     Jesus has been teaching His disciples about hypocrisy.
Oh, how often we think, that lesson has ended and now we are on a different subject.
No, we are still covering the same subject. The hypocrite is the professing Christian who claims to be what he or she is not. The proof is in their so called private life or even their everyday life.
5  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: -----
2 Timothy 3:5
    A form of Godliness is an air or an act that is put on to appear to be something or something more than what they truly are. A hypocrite is an actor, a fake, a fraud.
Religion is their practice and their god is made up to justify their actions and their lack of holiness. They may be very devoted religionists.  Zealots if you will.
Oh yes, there are thousands of religions to be totally consumed with but not a single one is the way, the truth and the life. No my dearly beloved friends. Jesus Christ is not a religion. He is the living Word of God given for our sin. Only faith and humble obedience to Him through His Word will keep you on the straight and narrow path to the strait gate.
Everything else is the broad way and the path to the wide gate that leads to destruction.
    We are not talking about choosing one of many ways to get yourself in trouble. We are talking about the gate through which you enter heaven and the gate through which you enter hell! This is a finite.  The path is you in this world; the gate is when you breathe your last! In the twinkling of an eye you will have finished your walk and one of two gates will be open for you. Them who have walked with Jesus will enter heaven through Him. Them who professed to know him while serving themselves will follow the crowd through the wide gate.
    Let me paint another visual picture for you.
Have you ever seen a turn stile at an airport or a public arena? It is designed to allow only one person at a time enter a certain area. That is what the narrow gate is like. Every person must enter on their own. Each person is solely responsible for having the correct credentials for entering through that single entrance. The Holy Spirit will be with you to present you to our God and Father for the glory of His Son, Jesus Christ. You must bear the seal of God in the Holy Spirit and it is His Spirit who is proof of your walk on the straight and narrow path of Jesus Christ.
    You can claim your faith and religiosity to the world all you want, but it is the Holy Spirit who proves you are a child of God worthy of entrance through the gate called strait. You see your opinion of your righteousness may well be the proof of your unrighteousness! Your god and your manmade religion will not be honored at the strait gate to heaven.
14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Matthew 7:14
    Narrow is the way that a true disciple must walk. That means not varying degrees of faith and or obedience.
As a young man I used to walk home from school. We lived several miles out of town and I would take the old railroad tracks to the crossing on our road and then walk home from there. The tracks had been removed most of the way but what still remained was unused and completely safe to traverse. Railroad tracks are a challenge. Railroad ties which the rails are set on are uneven in height and often broken down so walking on the widest part of the railroad bed was quicker but one was more likely to stagger and fall. The rail itself; offered the smoothest and straightest path. Although it was not an easy path to start with, with a little patience and perseverance one could learn to walk quite quickly on that narrow path. It lead in exactly the same direction but was the only path home that was smooth and straight.
     Following the word of God is that straight and smooth path home. Following what you want to claim as religion or holiness is walking on the wide road that goes in the same direction. Most people will not take the time and effort to step up in the smooth and narrow rail that leads to God. No, they are satisfied with stumbling along and telling themselves their doing just fine.  
     The hypocrite not only attempts to convince others of his salvation by his standards but he soon will convince himself of the same. He whitewashes the Word of God to cover the hard truth that is the narrow way. Do you believe that when the Word of God says something is an abomination to God, that it really means it is a totally, disgusting behavior? Do you believe God will not have anything to do with it or the people who participate or even look upon it as acceptable? Look up the word abomination and see what it means and then find its uses in the Bible. Now, think if you will how many different religions and even denominations there are that have a softer more acceptable view of what God calls an abomination.
     God's word is the narrow and straight way. It is the truth and the life that leads to the strait gate. A softer more acceptable, even more tolerable view of God's Word is the broad way that leads to the wide gate to hell. You can be as religious as you want and be a member of any group or denomination but it is the Word of God that must be taken in the fullness of faith and truth and obedience that leads one to the gate called strait.
    The protestant reformers followed the saying, "Sola Scriptura".----Scripture alone!
Scripture alone is the rule to live by. Life is in the Word of God and that is Jesus Christ! Now someone will ask, "Isn't being a protestant being a member of a denomination?"
    The word "protestant" meant a person who was protesting the religious works and practices of the Roman Catholic Church.      A protest-ant of the governing churches false practices and politics.
Protestants were the reformation founders who broke from the Catholic Churches rule to go back to the rule of "Sola Scriptura". Scripture as it is written, rules. Not what anyone wants it to say for their own purposes.
    Today a true protestant is a person who protests the degradation of the Word of God. The incessant compromising of the truth in order to gain memberships in religious organizations.
The reformation from the degradation of God's Word must be continued by true disciples of the Word of God. There is only One God, and there is only one truth in His Word. It is the way and the life. It is the narrow and straight path to and through Jesus Christ to our heavenly home with our God and Father.
24  Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
Luke 13:24
AMEN!

Pastor Steven Freede
Cornerstone Independent Church
5/31/18

 

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