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Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Narrow Way Made Broad

Matthew 7:13,14 - 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.

Last night Bro. Sanchez preached a fine message from these two verses contrasting the nature of these two ways. As he was preaching the Holy Spirit was arousing my attention concerning another area where I believe these verses have application.

Jesus clearly establishes the fact that there are two gates and two ways. One gate is wide the other straight. One way is broad the other narrow. The wide gate opens onto the broad way and leads to destruction. The straight gate opens onto the narrow way and leads to life. There are many who live life in the broad way. There are few who find the narrow way.

It is an unfortunate development over the last several decades that churches have taken the narrow way and sought to broaden it out. They have taken the straight gate and sought to widen it. All of this because of a discontent with the few and an inordinate desire for the many. Churches who take seriously their responsibility of being the ambassador of Christ in the world will go to great pains to ensure the clear distinction between the wide and straight gate and the broad and narrow way.

Admittedly I pastor a small church. Admittedly I would like to pastor a large church, but not at the expense of making the narrow way broad. If our church grows I want it to be because we are calling men to repentance not because we are providing a worldly venue wrapped in Christian language.

The growing chorus even in Baptist churches is come join us you don't really have to change that much. You can listen to the same music with Christian? lyrics. No one will challenge you about your entertainment choices, your dress, your language, your hair length, come on over you do not have to leave the world to accept Christ. Come as you are has effectively become stay as you are.

No need to leave the broad way we will simply restructure it and call it christian liberty.

This has become the temptation as the size of a congregation has become the primary standard of determining success. Instead of striving for a better group many are striving for a bigger group. We should remember what Jesus said about the narrow way. Few there be that find it! And the reason is because they do not want it. So, instead of calling them to repentance and warning of the certain destruction to come we give all of our attention to widening the gate and broadening the way.

If people do not find themselves on a narrow way being travelled by few how can they be certain that they are not still on the broad way that leads to destruction? I am afraid the devil has discovered that it would be effective to add a lane, call it Christian liberty, let people transition to the lane all the while still going in the same direction. No need to repent just change lanes!

There is a broad way and a narrow way. They are distinct. One is crowded the other is lonely. Everyone is on one or the other. Everyone is headed for destruction with the multitude or life with the few.

What about you?
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