The Narrow Gate Vs. The Narrow Path

I want to end the week with something that will make you think.

I found a video produced by the Heart Cry Missionary Society. They are a missionary ministry of First Baptist Church of Muscle Shoals (Alabama), featuring Paul Washer. Heart Cry actually takes the Gospel into the world by evangelizing across the globe – even in remote jungles.

The video highlights what many in the Christian church need to hear today: salvation and repentance.

Take a look:

***Paul gave the same message to a group of 5,000 attendees at a youth conference and stunned every kid in the room into silence (here’s a full version of his message to the youth audience – it’s 47 minutes in length, but worth watching in it’s entirety).

Paul is a Southern Baptist, and he points that out quite often. I don’t necessarily advocate his denominational allegiance, but that doesn’t diminish his point.

He rightly points out that most Christians feel “safe” because they prayed the pray of salvation, yet they live lives counter to scripture.

He used Matthew 7:13-29 as a frame of reference, but he focused primarily on verses 13 and 14:

The Narrow and Wide Gates

 13(A)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.

 14“For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

I was guilty of the same misconception – aided by my childhood pastor (in my youth) and my former pulpit pimps (in my adulthood).

The average Christian couldn’t be identified in a police line up because we look and act just like the world we were sent to preach against.

We covet money and things.

We enter into and exit out of casual relationships (including sex).

We divorce just as much as the unsaved do.

We watch the same movies and listen to the same music.

Our kids are just as unruly and hedonistic.

All of that, and yet we proclaim the Name that is above every other name? How can that be?

It can “be” because we bought the “enter through the narrow gate” part of scripture, but we don’t want to embrace the “narrow path” part of the equation.

Once we accept God’s gift of salvation, we must TURN AWAY from the things that He hates. Even if (and most likely, when) we fall into sin again, we MUST REPENT/TURN AWAY AGAIN and run to Him.

Not in some cosmic game of “I’m Sorry”, but as a sign that we are utterly hopeless and lost without Him.

Therein lies the danger of the seeker sensitivity movement: we reach out to the lost – as we should, but we don’t tell them the “fine print” of true salvation and repentance of sin.

We can’t confess the narrow gate and continue to live our lives in the broad way – especially as we evangelize Christ to a fallen world.

The two are diametrically opposed, and the ambiguity causes others to stumble in their pursuit of God.

When Paul was questioned by believers (an interesting note) about his authority to preach the Gospel, he spoke plainly (my emphasis in bold):

1(A)This is the third time I am coming to you (B)EVERY FACT IS TO BE CONFIRMED BY THE TESTIMONY OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES.

 2I have previously said when present the second time, and though now absent I say in advance to those who have (C)sinned in the past and to all the rest as well, that (D)if I come again I will not (E)spare anyone,

 3since you are (F)seeking for proof of the (G)Christ who speaks in me, and who is not weak toward you, but (H)mighty in you.

 4For indeed He was (I)crucified because of weakness, yet He lives (J)because of the power of God For we also are (K)weak [a]in Him, yet (L)we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you.

 5(M)Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; (N)examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you (O)fail the test?

 6But I trust that you will realize that we ourselves do not fail the test.

 7Now we pray to God that you do no wrong; not that we ourselves may appear approved, but that you may do what is right, even though we may appear unapproved.

 8For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth.

We too must stop questioning God’s plan of salvation and repentance and whether or not it’s “convenient” to our lifestyle.

We must examine ourselves to see if we’re really in the faith – then we must do everything possible to ensure that we stay on that narrow path.

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6 Responses to “The Narrow Gate Vs. The Narrow Path”


  1. 1 Steve November 29, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    The problem is there are too many believers walking around without having received the Holy Spirit. I was saved at age 5 but didn’t receive the Holy Spirit until age 41. I grew up Baptist and always attended either Baptist or non-denominational churches. The teaching in most evangelical churches in regard to the Holy Spirit is completely false. Believers are told they have received the Holy Spirit at the point of salvation despite the fact that they’ve experienced nothing supernatural in regard to power over sin and a bolder more powerful witness.

    Without the Holy Spirit our lives are nothing more than what Paul describes in Romans 7. If you want power over sin(Romans 6) and to be a powerful witness–you must realize the source of our power on earth–the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”

    I think Paul’s message is correct–but we can’t expect people to be obedient and walk the narrow path on their own–it is a further work of grace which comes from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Examine Ezekiel 36:26-27.
    It says,”I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” God says He will give us a new heart and a new spirit(notice that the “s” in “spirit” is lower case meaning that our spirit is made new). This is being born again. Additionally, putting His Spirit(the “S” here is capitalized meaning it is God’s Spirit) in us is receiving the Holy Spirit–who is our source of power over sin and to be bolder witnesses for God.

    In the same way Paul very accurately points out that many pastors are telling their people they’re saved despite there being little or no evidence in their lives–these same teachers continue to teach that everyone receives the Holy Spirit at the point of salvation–despite there being no evidence of such. The result of teaching like this is a powerless church that looks and acts the same as the world. I used to think 2 Timothy 3:1-5 was perhaps too harsh to bunch the evangelical church in with the more hollow, secular and ritualisic denominations–however if you examine the statistics you will find it very accurately describes it. There is definitely “a form of godliness but denying its power” going on.

  2. 2 reformatienl December 26, 2008 at 7:19 am

    25 indictments against Paul Washer:
    1) willfully limiting the subjectmatter of Scripture
    2) willfully presenting his own fabricated version of true christianity
    3) willfully bringing himself under a cloak of godliness
    4) willfully closing the book of Revelation and the Prophets
    5) willfully painting the graves of the prophets for his own selfish ends
    6) willfully presenting himself since 2002 with remarks that show Billy Graham
    to be his brother, although Graham is high in the world and an archdeceiver
    7) comparison with the whole of Scripture and the true old paths of the Reformation
    show him to be a cloud without water
    8) connection in the Netherlands to all false christianity has to offer, even with those
    who publicly say calvinism is a complete error
    9) presenting himself in 80.000 newspapers in the Netherlands smiling as though
    the sins of the churches and the land are no problem to him
    10) proclaiming a message of revival that has never come, thereby telling lies in Gods Name.
    11) accepting in the core of his message two contradicting systems of doctrine
    12) denying the witness of the Holy Spirit in the Reformation against THE antichrist in Rome
    13) denying the blood of hunderthousands christian brothers and sisters against THE antichrist in Rome
    14) going around the USA and the world to gain one proselyte that he makes a clone of himself
    15) being silent about the developements in the outside world, only preaching for his own parish
    16) laying burdens on small people, while leaving big names in bibleschools, synods, and gospelmusic
    untouched and unmentioned
    17) connecting himself to Kirk Cameron, known throughout the world for the message of a future antichrist
    with Left Behind
    18) himself not being able to go to Wallmart for fear of sinning, yet laying on big burdens on everyone else
    19) printing his own material as though it is manna from heaven, yet is only copying a little text everyone
    knows with some questions
    20) saying he serves the God of heaven, yet he himself is an idolater of the ring on his own finger
    21) his minister is Jeff Nobblit who teaches a future antichrist, that gain is godliness, and remains in the
    SBC although a complete apostate body with a statue for Billy Graham
    22) closing the Kingdom of God for the people by keeping silent about the true contents of the witness of the old paths
    23) denying the true witness of the Waldenses, the reformers, the English puritans, the Scottish covenanters
    24) denying the true witness of Augustine against Pelagius, Luther against Rome, the Westminster and Dordt Synods
    25) being a facilitator and manipulator replacing the true religion of the King Jesus Christ with a false one of the new world order

  3. 3 david June 26, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    first we look at the scripture, few find it so few in the churches have found it, ten pasted under the rod, and nine left the way they came, they accept everyone that says lord and beilng saved, they see fruit as goling to church, and praying, singing songs, and paying money, they spoke in a tongue not from god, or on of the languages from their country, some even teach you how to do it, he said if you love me keep my commandments, a commandment, tongues are to be inteperted, even in prayer, how many have counted all lost to gain the knowledge of jesus, rarely few, one in every 10 thousand, judgement beginning at the house of god first is sad and scarely, many will be whipped with many stripes, before being casted into the laked, most of the church is in outter darkness right now, many went, and where not sent, so any one preach the gospel, many do it for money, never if it is the true gospel, jesus said leave them alone, even the tares, who are in the church, and do look like wheat, but can be descerned, they have fruit, their is no healing in their leaves, and they are wells without water, or full of salt water, not fresh water, shalom

  4. 4 david June 26, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    in the church you are told say he died for your sins and god raised him from the grave, he is lord, get baptised and you are saved and filled with the spirit, they even speak in a tongue, yet never repented, so this is not the spirit of jesus, i have seen people that you know for a fact dont have the spirit, lay hands on somebody and they spoke in a tongue, unknown to them, the church is full of lying signs awonders, the spirit calls you to salvation, not a alter call, when your time comes, you will ask according to scripture what must i do to be saved, unless you believe and the spirit comes right then, i have seen people lay hands on someone and both spoke in tongues, which is really demonic, the church reminds me of a pagen ritual with dancing like they are drunk, the mad noices they call tongues, and the music, instruments are not allowed in the temple, you are the instrument, it should be the outer court, you do praise and worship, then the inner court, pray, and the most inner court the word, then going back out prayer, and praise and worship,

  5. 5 david June 26, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    the only pray of salvation in the word i have seen is psalms 51, not one place is it taught for you to pray for jesus to come into your heart or life, be carefull with ezekiel 36[27] you know the teaching that the holy spirit dont control nobody and make them do any thing he is gentle men, they must never looked up the word caused, it means in the hebrew to make, plus if you are yoked to him how do you lead him and do what you want, the younger ox follows the older, and has no choice, except become a roast, he is only going to yoke to sheep, not a goat or dog, one out of every thousand has taken his yoke upon them, if you took all the people saved from the hour to try the world, and all the coming out of the tribulation, it would be one hundred thousand to one billion, remember noah eight out of the whole world escaped the wrath of the almighty, how many if someone had lost their house would the pastor sell his car to make sure they had somewhere to stay, or buy them a house, dont mention bring into your house as the word says, it does not count giving to your charity, you are to take the poor into your house and feed them, or take them shopping, they get the credit not you, every church should be a bank and food bank for the church and the world, shalom

  6. 6 david1963 February 11, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    I have a blog that you may like to read.
    http://www.davidwinter.wordpress.com
    Love,
    David


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