Thursday, May 07, 2009

Paradise Returned: Part 6

Conclusion (1 of 2)

* Please read the Introduction through Part 5 first.

OK, so let’s reflect on what we have looked at here. Only those who are not clothed in flesh will dwell with the LORD. They will not hide from Him and will be obedient to His commands. There is a holy place where the LORD dwells with men. The path to there is narrow. The highway is the elevated road that is being built up and travelled upon by the remnant. Their banner will be the LORD. The foolish and the unclean will not travel on this road. Large masses enter in the wide gate and travel down the broad way. Few find the small gate and narrow way. Jesus, The Christ is the gate.

I pose to you, in light of the Scriptures I’ve used within this piece (and countless others not referenced) that the wide way has little to nothing to do with “the world”. I believe that it is more appropriately addressed to the religious church. One could argue that, other than the religious believe they are OK with God and the world cares not, there is little difference. The world declares, “just go this way and do whatever the masses say to do” and the majority of Christianity says the exact same thing. One might word it as “Don’t be like ‘the worldly masses’, be like the hordes of Christians all doing whatever is ‘Christian’”. After studying the Word and weighing It beside what the world and modern day Christianity promote, I am elated that I fit neither of their molds. More than anything in this world, I desire to walk the narrow path that is less traveled. I praise God that He has opened my eyes to see the grown over path that leads to Him!

With the narrow path, the remnant and the small gate in mind, please read over the following comparisons and make your own assumptions as to which road is which as we look at some mainstream Christian ideals.

Attend ”services” once or twice a week versus truly daily walking with the LORD.

Tithe 10% of your income versus live a lifestyle of giving in all circumstances.

Maintain many surface relationships versus a handful of “openness and vulnerability-level” ones.

Listen to an "ordained" pastor tell you what God is saying versus studying God’s Word for yourself.

Separating your “personal” life from your "spiritual" life versus your spiritual life is your personal life.

Allowing a “Jesus fish” to adequately declare that you’re a Christian versus allowing your life to emulate Christ to others.

Spiritual maturity is defined by organizational positions or status versus spiritual maturity defined by your production of Kingdom fruit.

Pretend to always have it all together versus be transparent and open about your struggles, failures and questions.

Church membership and denominational identity versus being a member of the body of Christ alone.
Holding out for the pre-tribulation rapture versus preparing for even the possibility of encountering adversity for the name and cause of Christ.

Following the latest “Christian” trends and fads versus clinging to what the Word defines as Truth, even if it is not accepted by men.

Backing down from confrontational issues that may sound too judgmental versus standing unwavering for holiness and righteousness.

Lifting up a banner of men’s positions, doctrines and works versus lifting up the banner of Christ alone with no need for man's approval.

Do you see a trend here? One way is relatively easy to accomplish on your own and is well travelled by the majority of Believers. The other requires ongoing activity and I know very few that walk this “little flock” path (Luke 12:32). You tell me, in all honesty which side is more common in Christianity today? Which is more acceptable and “right” in the eyes of Christian men and women today? Which is the wide way where most every self-professing Believer seems to be traveling and which is the narrow way where few seem to tread? People often tell me, “Well that’s great…. for you. It’s just not for me. I enjoy [insert common ‘Christian’ activity here] and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. You do what you want and deem right and I will do what I want and deem is right.” This is scary ground my friend for it is not about either of our opinions or preferences. Again, may I remind you, there is only One Gate. He makes the rules and He alone defines what those who are to enter must do and not do. He has told us in His Word what He deems as acceptable.

To reiterate what I cannot repeat enough times, I personally believe that a great majority of all who are convinced they are walking the narrow path because they’re not “worldly”, teaching in the streets and eating and drinking in His presence, will in fact be turned away.

One more part remains that entails a barrage of Scriptures to drive home this point. We must be found walking through the small gate and down the narrow path in order to adequately fulfill God's timeline. There is no other way to get into the most Holy Place than via Jesus, The Christ alone.


Harriet said...

You know what Joel? I have been sending people here..and also reading these to my family(extended) over the phone..and they all seem to THINK they ARE walking the "narrow way"..
and yet their lives prove otherwise.And then of course they get offended that I DID send them here. (sigh)

Just as when I asked God how to show an unbelieving "friend" the truth and God responded with,
"YOU don't..that's MY job"
I think sometimes that all any of us CAN do is speak it to them..or write it to them..or read it to them..or show it to them and leave it there.
If the Spirit doesn't convict them and convince them than NOTHING will.

Joel Spencer said...

Harriet: Oh man do I feel ya! Everyone is on the narrow way aren't they? (sigh)

After time after time of my family and friends hearing me share what I find in the Word, agreeing with it for the most part and then never doing anything about it, I have decided to forge ahead, no matter what the results (or lack of them).

In the end, all I can do is share this good news and continue down the path. As you said, He is the One who draws men unto Himself.

Irene said...

I am truly grateful that God has called you to do His will. Reading your posts has helped me to realize that I have been wavering on my faith and made it quite clear what I need to change to live for Christ.

God bless you,

Joel Spencer said...

Irene: Kudos to you for saying what you have here. I have found that I'm in a constant "shedding away" of what I thought was "it". The deeper I go in the LORD, the more He reveals to me His plan. The further I go in, the more I see that I have wrong - the more I see Christianity as a whole has wrong.

May He continue to open our eyes along the way and may He bless you for your willingness to go!

NINA said...

Great conclusion. (well first half anyway)It would be so much easier for people to be Christians if they would just follow Christ. That is indeed the true definition of Christian- follower of Christ. Jesus was THE most non-traditional, non-conforming man that ever walked the earth. He healed on the sabbath. He broke bread with the least of man. He preached on the mountain tops and made disciples out of "common folk". This is the very reason why He was crucified and not accepted as the Christ "BY THE CHURCH"(well what would be considered as the church at that time). Because He did not traditionally fit the part. He could be the poster child for going against the traditions of man. So why do we as believers feel like we have to conform to the "roles" that "the church" has set out for us as followers of Christ. The church was intended to be a movement, not a monument.I have no problem with the assembling of ourselves together, but when it interferes with the move of God, we are then in error. Jesus told us to GO and make disciples out of men and not stand here. There is a time for assembling together in worship, there is a time for a separate relationship with God and there is a time for evangelism.But one is not efficient without the other.However, a personal relationship is most important in order to be effective in the other two. It takes all three to be a Christian. A follower of Christ.

Valerie said...

Nina, you said

"It would be so much easier for people to be Christians if they would just follow Christ."

You couldn't have put it simpler. After all, that is what it is all about - our relationship with Jesus, The Christ.

Joel Spencer said...

Nina and Valerie: Thanks again for your input!

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Hi Joel,
I am real excited about your blog. You are saying things here that many having been thinking, and I have been dealing with some time now. I am glad to know I am not alone in my views.