The Head of the Church – Jesus Christ said, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
Large crowds are not necessarily an indication life is present. Decaying food attracts a lot of flies. Lucifer is called Beelzebub, or lord of the flies. It is also said that he can appear as an angel [messenger] of light [God’s Kingdom].
Choose life and be contagious! Jesus drew large crowds. He infected people with life. He never dumbed down His Kingdom message to attract people. In fact He said many things that were hard for them to grasp and stood watching as they turned and walked away [See John 6:60-71].
Peter knew where to find life. “But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”” He said this after Jesus turned to the 12 and said, “Do you want to go [leave me] too?” This event happened with less than a year to go before He died on the Cross.
We live in a culture where leader’s are afraid to speak frankly for fear of offending people and having them walk away. Church people vote with their feet and their money. There are so many options for Christian’s in America. They can choose between hundreds of churches in most communities. If a Christian [or church attendee] gets their feelings hurt they usually start slacking off on their attendance and their financial support before they go to someplace where “they can get fed.”
Danny Silk tweeted several months ago, “Christians are like cars, they start missing before they quit.”
Listen, Jesus offended people all the time. In fact in the John 6 text mentioned above He said this to His disciples that did not walk away [over 70 left Him], “Does this offend you?” He affirmed what HE said was offensive. He expected His disciples to move past their minds being offended to see the life in what He was saying.
I hear people say, “I don’t think that was appropriate.” The first problem may be that they were “thinking” [with their head] and not processing with their spirit. “The mind is a better student than teacher” [Bill Johnson, The Supernatural Power of A Transformed Mind].
I was taught by well-meaning ministers that I needed to get the information from my head to my heart. That is backwards. We need to hear and believe in our heart and after our redeemed spirit processes the information then and only then should our mind get involved. This is how our minds are transformed. Our spirit is supposed to teach our minds which in turn communicates to our body how to obey.
We are spirit, soul [mind, will and emotions] and body – in that order. We are to be led by the Spirit in our redeemed human spirit. Sons are those who are led by the Spirit, not the soul. Sonship is the level of maturity where Father God can fully entrust the keys to His Kingdom to His kids. “You are My Son, in whom I am well pleased.” From this moment on Jesus was released to operate under His Father’s authority. Jesus was not a robot pre-programmed on what to say and do.
He was a human [He set aside all Divine attributes] in right relationship with Father God and was led totally by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said, the road to life was narrow and hard and few were on it.” The word narrow is the Greek word stenos which means narrow, straight. It comes from the Greek word histemi which means make to stand up, to be set or put in place, and to establish.
The apostle Paul wrote this, “But now God places the members, each one of them, in the Body where He desires.”
The word ‘places’ is the Greek word tithemi which means to set or put in place, to establish.
I hope you are getting the message here. Jesus and Paul are giving us a picture of one of the ways that God matures His kids. It is said of Jesus the Man, “He learned obedience from the things He suffered.” Christians today run from suffering, hardship, difficult situations. Why do you think there is no difference in the divorce rate among Christians and non-Christians.
Jesus is returning for a glorious Bride without spot or wrinkle. The narrow, hard and straight road is one of the methods where He irons out the differences we have with Him and each other. Running from our issues is not the answer. Dealing with them is the only life-giving option. Our problem is OUR PROBLEM!
For HIS Glory!
Dr. Kevin M. Drury