Narrow Is The Gate

30 03 2007

“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. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
(Matthew 7:13,14)

narrow-gate.jpgThere’s a common misconception that the choice between Christ and false gods is the choice between desiring to go to hell and desiring to go to heaven. I’ve heard preachers say the narrow way is the way of Christianity that people choose when they want to go to heaven, and the broad way is the way people choose who are content to go to hell. But they are misinformed or confused. It is not a contrast between godliness and Christianity on one hand and irreligious, lewd, lascivious pagan masses headed merrily for hell on the other. It is a contrast between two kinds of religions, both roads marked, “This Way to Heaven.” Satan doesn’t put up a sign that says, “Hell—Exit Here.” That’s not his style. People on the broad road think that road goes to heaven.

It is not enough to listen to preaching about the gate; it is not enough to respect the ethics; you’ve got to walk through the gate…You can’t stand outside and admire the narrow gate; you’ve got to drop everything and walk through it…You come through, stripped of everything…

–John MacArthur
Hard To Believe, pp78,81





Arminians And Calvinists Hugging

28 03 2007

We are told that when John Wesley was dying, he tried to sing, but his voice was nearly gone. He was almost ninety. He had traveled hundreds of thousands of miles on horseback, preaching three or four times daily in founding a great church. He was plainly Arminian in his theology, but as his Christian family and friends gathered around his bed, he was trying to sing the words of an old Calvinist hymn:

I will praise my Maker while I’ve breath, And when my soul is lost in death, Praise shall employ my nobler powers.

That is why I cannot get all heated up about contending for one theological side or another on that issue. If Isaac Watts, a Calvinist, could write such praise to God and John Wesley, an Arminian, could sing it with yearning and they both can meet and hug one another in glory, why should I allow anyone to force me to confess, “I don’t know which I am!” Why should anyone bother me with an issue like that?

I was created to worship and praise God. I was redeemed that I should worship Him and enjoy Him forever.

That is the primary issue, my brother or sister. That is why we earnestly invite men and women to become converted, taking Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.

–A.W. Tozer





Stewards Of The New Day

23 03 2007

“Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night.”
(Philippians 2:15, The Message Bible)

sunrise-in-fog.jpg

Made for spirituality, we wallow in introspection. Made for joy, we settle for pleasure. Made for justice, we clamor for vengeance. Made for relationship, we insist on our own way. Made for beauty, we settle for sentiment. BUT new creation has already begun, the sun has begun to rise. Christians are called to leave behind, in the tomb of Jesus Christ, all that belongs to the brokenness and incompleteness of the broken world. It is time, in the power of the Spirit, to take up our proper role, our fully human role as agents and heralds and stewards of the new day that is dawning. That, quite simply, is what it means to be Christian, to follow Jesus Christ into the new world, God’s new world, which He has thrown open before us.

–N.T. Wright
Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense





Only Through Brokenness

22 03 2007

“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
(John 12:24, NASB)

There are some things that you cannot bring into being by making them, but only by breaking them. An omelet would be one. You don’t technically make an omelet, you break an omelet intobrokeneggs.jpg being. An oak tree is another. You don’t make an oak tree. An oak tree is broken into existence. As an acorn falls to the ground, it dies, is destroyed, and only then does life come. An oak is broken into being.

This is a spiritual pattern that holds true in all Christian experience. As British naturalist Charles Raven said, “We must be broken into life.”

There’s something else that you can’t technically make come into being but that must be broken into existence. It’s revival. No person can make revival happen; it has to be broken into existence. We must be broken into wholeness. That’s the biblical pattern. In God’s economy, wholeness only comes through brokenness.

–John A. Kitchen, taken from Chapter 2 of “Revival In The Rubble”, 2006





The Rest of the Soul (Part 2)

20 03 2007

(continued from last post)

(…in God’s eyes, our problem isn’t sin; it is trust. Jesus settled our sin problem once and for all at Calvary.) He doesn’t constantly harp on us, “This time you’ve crossed the line.” No, never! His attitude toward us is just the opposite. His Spirit is constantly wooing us, reminding us of the Father’s loving kindness even in the midst of our failures.

When we become focused on our sin, we lose all sight of what God wants most: “Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”* That verse says it all. Our God is a Rewarder, and He’s so anxious to shower us with His loving kindness that He blesses us way ahead of schedule.

This is the concept our heavenly Father longs for us to have of Him. He knows when we’ll repent over our failures and sins. He knows when our contriteness is coming. But He can’t wait for the due date. So He jumps in, saying, “I want to assure My Child he won’t be judged, because I’ve already forgiven him through My Son’s cleansing blood.”

–David Wilkerson
“The Preventing Love of the Lord”
World Challenge Pulpit Series, February 26, 2007

*Hebrews 11:6

(More to come from this message!)





The Rest of the Soul

19 03 2007

“Thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: Thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head.”
(Psalm 21:3, KJV)

The Holy Spirit drives out all fear from us—the fear of falling, of being cut off from God—by implanting in us His joy. We are to go forth rejoicing, as David did, because God has assured us we will prevail.

Yet so few Christians have this joy and exceeding gladness. Multitudes never know the rest of the soul or the peace of Christ’s presence. They walk around as if in mourning, picturing themselves under the thumb of God’s wrath rather than under His protective wings. They see Him as a harsh taskmaster, always ready to bring a whip down on their backs. And so they live unhappily, with no hope, more dead than alive.

But in God’s eyes, our problem isn’t sin; it is trust. Jesus settled our sin problem once and for all at Calvary…

–David Wilkerson
“The Preventing Love of the Lord”
World Challenge Pulpit Series, February 26, 2007

(continues in next post…because it is worthy of our attention!)





Toppling Ivory

13 03 2007

“We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
Little children, guard yourselves from idols.”

(1 John 5:19-21)

If Revival is being withheld from us it is because some idol remains still enthroned; because we still insist in placing our reliance in human schemes; because we still refuse to face the unchangeable Truth that “It is not by might, but by My Spirit.”

goforthsmrt2.jpg–Jonathan Goforth
Canadian Missionary (1859-1936)