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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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The Narrow Gate

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 7:13-14 ESV)

As Christians, we generally do not like to hear Christ or Christianity described as “narrow”. Christians, just like most people, don’t like to be thought of as narrow-minded. We think of Christ and Christianity in terms of love, tolerance, grace, and generosity. We think of the narrow-minded person as being ignorant and bigoted. Human beings do not possess perfect knowledge, but here we must part company with most people because Christ has perfect knowledge. He perfectly understands God and the ways of the kingdom of heaven. Narrowness, in this sense, should be considered a virtuous expression of Christ’s knowledge and love. Christianity is narrow in moral and spiritual issues, because only absolute truth is found in Christ and men can only be saved by trusting in His name.

The teachings of Christ may be seen as narrow. He commands men to avoid self-love, the worship of idols, and sin; while demanding complete allegiance to His cause. Jesus is Lord and He must be Lord of all. If Christ were less narrow in the matter of sin, grace and justice would not exist. Christ declared that “he that is not with Me is against Me.” Men are forced to choose sides when Jesus or talk of Jesus is present. His narrow determination which took the road of redeeming sacrifice with a steadfast will, courageously enduring the humiliation and pain of the cross, now demands the throne of your heart. Self-will or God’s will is the eternal choice.

There is great danger in believing that the external things of the kingdom of God are all that we need to understand. We delude ourselves with our shallow judgments which often contradict the teachings of Christ. Many of us have even banished the idea of sin from our thinking.

The imagination of popular culture conceives God’s love to be His kindly indulgence of imperfect humanity. We have expanded a distorted idea of God’s grace. Do not think, as many do, that love and mercy are God’s only characteristics. Remember: “he that is not with Me is against Me.” Every day of our lives is a judgment-day, which reveals the hidden heart of a man, and his deeds, while recording his thoughts and attitude toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Consider also that our personal relationship with Christ does not end with us. We have a share in forming the lives of others. What impressions of Christ do others form by the way we live? The true Christian is transformed every day, more and more, into the likeness of Christ. The path may be narrow and hard, but its destination is the kingdom of God. Like the path above, the truth of God is narrow because there is only one way to Him. It is narrow also because it represents absolute truth. Is God to be broadminded about truth? Certainly not, because God created truth. Therefore, He is deeply concerned with protecting this truth and His followers should be also.

I pray that the narrow gate will remind us of our responsibility to protect the truth of God by denying false doctrine an entrance into the church. I hope it always reminds us of our duty to accept and portray the exclusiveness of the Word of God and Jesus Christ. It is narrow, but we must proclaim Christ as the only means to eternal salvation because it is absolutely true.

5 Responses

  1. I have re-posted many of your posts on my fb page because they are so knowledgeable. One of my long time friends from childhood manages to dispute them as he has opposing views. He has determined he is smarter than us and a historian who knows all. After so many times of his blasting my beliefs or your posts I finally responded with an all out comeback. I am long sufferinggggg but when you have the gall to tell me I have no business being on facebook that was all it took. The first response he gave me was,
    Cathy I don’t know how to respond to this!” After he continued his liberal jabs and cuts at my faith, I practically wrote him a book on the efforts of a double standard. I left nothing to question so he has no means to not understand my view points.

    After all is said and done if I hear from him again I would love your input along with me telling him that if he was so sure of his own beliefs he wouldn’t be reading mine.

    BTW: most of your posts on there I get such positive feedback!

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    • Thanks for supporting my posts. Always be sure to share the Scriptures and your witness of what Christ has done in your life. Then the outcome will be in God’s Hands.

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  2. Kinda. Jesus came to fulfill the prophecies shadow-pictured in the Spring Feasts. He became our passover lamb and our sin covering Redeeming us from Death, meeting in every minute detail the requirements to accomplish that…even to the day and hour! He also said Matt 5:17 Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfill. He is the WORD (See John 1:1) Sorry to say, there is already a lot of false doctrine in the church. Starting with the notion that the Sabbath Day can be switched from God’s reckoning of time to man’s. Funny thing. If you read the 10 Commandments as they were actually spoken by our Creator at Mt. Sinai (and not rely on the Cecil B. DeMille production) the 4th commandment is the most lengthy one. It also is the only one that admonishes us to Remember! Yet, the Christian church has abandoned that commandment. We are called to be a set-apart people. Holy unto God. Righteousness comes from Following Him. He gave us our perfect example. Jesus was a Torah-observant, Kosher-eating, Sabbath Keeping Jew. If he thought it was important enough to speak to us directly with His Word…and then to become the Word made Flesh…why do with imagine that he would do away with the law and the prophets? Also, the Feasts of the LORD are all shadow pictures. Many of those shadow-pictures are still to be fulfilled (at his second coming). If we continue in ignorance of His Appointed times, how will we know when to expect Him? I am reminded that in the New Jerusalem, there are 12 gates..for the 12 tribes…there is not one named ‘gentile’ or ‘christian.’ We are all One Body…all Grafted Into the Olive Tree (Israel).

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  3. Reblogged this on Justification by Grace and commented:
    Samuel at Gilgal provides some excellent insights on the Lord’s words from His very famous Sermon on the Mount.

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