Matthew 7:13-14 NIV “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Anyone who is an earnest student of God’s Word, comes to realise that there are a lot of roads that supposedly point to God and a wide gate that supposedly accommodates a liberal perspective of what is required in becoming welcomed by God when we die.
When Jesus walked on this earth, everything that He said, everything that He did, challenged that perception.
Jesus indicated very clearly, that there was only one way to be accepted by God and that was through Him (John 14:6 NIV). So yes, that’s pretty exclusive, no waffling there whatsoever.
And of course, in addition to the actual teachings of Jesus, the history leading up to His anticipated arrival and the miracles He was able to perform, plus the elements of nature He could control, we have the promise and fulfillment of His resurrection. Once again, that’s pretty exclusive, no other religious leader has ever done that. And just to make things a little more inclusive, not only did Jesus claim to speak for God, as many other religious leads have, such as the Prophet Muhammad in the Islamic faith, but Jesus actually claimed to be God. That’s fine tuning at it’s finest.
So as far as religions go, Jesus really stands out from all the other roads there are that claim to be paths to God.
But that narrow road and the narrow gate extend far beyond that. We read in God’s Word, the holy Bible, that “for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”” (Romans 10:13 NIV). Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it, call upon the Lord and you’ll be saved. Does that just mean “calling out to the Lord” or is there more? And what specifically does “calling out to the Lord” mean?
I’m not going to go through all the different scripture verses that fine tune specifically what that means because to do so would mean I would have to quote a good part of the complete Bible. But the point of this “fine tuning” that I’m talking about is that there is much more involved that the simple “calling out to the Lord”.
And the reason for the “much more involved aspect” is that we are not talking about a superficial acknowledgement of who Jesus is and we’re not talking about an superficial intellectual agreement with His teachings. Head knowledge is not what a relationship with and a dependency on Jesus is about. We’re talking about heart knowledge, the very core of our being, how our thoughts and desires are motivated and geared towards walking in fellowship with Jesus and having the fulfillment of God’s will for us, in our lives. It’s about experiencing His love, guidance and care. It’s about a whole new way of life. It’s about being “reborn”, it’s about having His Holy Spirit within us, having our minds renewed and our hearts literally changed. It’s about coming to know Jesus.
Revelation 3:20 NIV “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
I can remember when I was first exposed to a Christian Youth Group many many years ago and thinking to myself, “even if this isn’t actually true, it wouldn’t be a bad way to live”. Totally missed it. Having Jesus in your life isn’t following a lifestyle, it’s the way you live with Jesus by your side, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.
Religion in itself will not give you that. Religion is specific information and practises (do’s and don’ts) about a particular faith. The Pharisees had religion. Religion is structure, going through the motions, following the principles without knowing the author, following rules without having your heart changed. Religion in and of itself, doesn’t work.
Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). I am. Me, Jesus.
Jesus said that without Him we could do nothing (John 15:4-6 NIV). Without Me – Nothing. That’s like zero.
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
“Calling on His name” means accepting Jesus for who He is and what He and He alone can do, and striving to walk with Him daily.
John 3:16 NIV “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
That’s because He is God and we’re not.
That’s because He is Holy and we’re not.
That’s because only He can do for us, what we ourselves could never do.
That’s one on one, with Him. That’s where it begins. If we don’t get that, we miss it all.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!