Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Narrow Way

Chuck Swindoll's blog needs to be repeated....and I do so today.  Read and enjoy...thanks Chuck for this word.

The Narrow Way

Unless you’ve been living in a cave or hiding in your study lately, you’re probably aware of the current issue that’s hot among evangelicals. Is Jesus the only way to heaven? Will a loving God really confine someone to eternal punishment for not accepting Christ?
It’s a current debate . . . but it’s not a new one. The issues surrounding the extent of mankind’s salvation have been argued for centuries. In fact, Jesus Himself was asked a similar question:
And someone said to Him, “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” (Luke 13:23–24)
Interesting question, isn’t it? “Are there just a few who are being saved?” Jesus never really answered how many will be saved . . . but rather, who will be: those who “enter through the narrow door.” In the parable that follows, Jesus makes it clear that entrance through that door has everything to do with a relationship with Him (Luke 13:25–27; see also Matthew 7:14, 22–23; John 10:7–9).
Jesus never offered people a message that said, “Look, just be sincere. Simply take the religion of your choice. The main thing is to think positively about God and be sincere. Lead a clean life, and God will smile at you when you die.”
There’s a great Hebrew word for that way of thinking: hogwash! Let me say it another way. That kind of thinking is heresy.
“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved.” (John 10:9)
“No one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)
“For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5)
There’s only one way. By Jesus’s own admission, it’s the narrow way. It’s the original road less traveled. The apostle Paul was equally exacting: “one mediator.”
Those who sit in your congregations and who receive your mission work will not go to heaven if they do not trust in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrec­tion for their salvation (1 Corinthians 15:3–4). If their eternity rests on anything other than the atoning effects of Christ’s blood, they will not experience heaven. That’s not Chuck talking, that’s what the Word of God teaches. That’s what we preachers should be teaching.
Are you preaching that truth? Does the gospel take center stage behind your pulpit? Do you share the truth with a balance of conviction and compassion? Refuse to be a preacher who tickles the itching ears of our politically correct, “tolerant” culture. Tell the truth. Share the gospel. Say it straight. But let me quickly add that just because the message of the cross is offensive, we preachers need not be.
We must remind those who hear us that the narrow way of salvation represents God’s love, not His cruelty. The fact that there is a way to God at all is because of His grace.
That narrow way is Jesus. Preach Him.

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