The Narrow Way is Always Obvious

 

90425_jumboFor Lord’s Day, May 10, 2015

Dear Saints,

At our Homemakers Movie Night last month, something really stood out to me as helpful for our own Christian Pilgrimage that I’d like to review with you.  In the modern retelling of Pilgrim’s Progress, “Journey to Heaven”, a great pearl of wisdom was shared for how to make morally sound and safe choices that steer clear of temptation’s potholes.

While Christian regained his footing toward the Celestial city after getting lost and nearly dying several times along broader roads, he asked, “How will I know which way to go?”  He was answered, “You will always know which way to go. It will always be the narrow way.”

This is such a simple and important principle for our sanctified survival, brethren: when you need to choose what to do, don’t do what everyone else does or says to do.  You will always know which way to go.  It will always be the narrow way.

Satan will constantly tempt you to leave God’s path of walking with Jesus.  He will never cease to present you with an alluring alternative where majority rules.  Two ways will always stare you in the face. One will be well-worn by many a worldly boot.  Satan says, “Go that way!” and you will want to.  Myriad crowds rush by to get ahead of you and spin through its turnstiles.  You would be going with the flow — but at the end of the road it spills over a cliff into hot liquid rock.

Jesus says, “I am the Way” (John 14:6).  Very few find or follow Him.  And many who say they do prove instead to be driving by the world’s roadmap because they hug the same curves, pack the same bags, and talk about the same points of interest as they hang out at the same rest stops.

Choosing which way to go is not a complicated decision. But it is a hard one.  Yet it is the right one.  When you follow the Light, in stead of walking with the living dead your feet will be in step with those who live forever at the Resurrection.  Jesus says:

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

Don’t let the Serpent seduce you.  You always will know which way to step if you are soberly and spiritually seeking first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33).  Look for the narrow way.  Look for the path that is least traveled and of the greatest resistance.  That is always the way to go!  Whatever ethical choice you face in this life, always look for the small but sincere line of advancing and always go that way.

Don’t trick yourself into saying, “I don’t know what to do! I don’t know where to turn!” Yes you do, Pilgrim.  The decision is always clear. There are two choices: one is sinful and one is Biblical.  You will always know for sure what to do.  If at times your eyes strain a bit when the sky grows dim and the air thickens around you, simply ask, “What are most people doing?” and then do the opposite.  Listen to which way the the multitudes are trotting and let them leave you in their dust.  Watch which way the masses point and let them wag their fingers at you as you solemnly wave goodbye and turn around to go the other direction.  You will always know which way to go. It will always be the narrow way.

Follow the footprints of Noah and Enoch!  Walk with the wise and you will find even along the way that you have chosen wisely and are becoming wiser (Proverb 13:20).  Beloved, your gait will quicken when you lighten your load and begin to hear the cloud of witnesses that chose this same path earlier on now cheering you on (Hebrews 12:1).  They will be worshipping with you tomorrow in God’s heavenly throne room, where Jesus will remind you that in truth you are never traveling alone (Hebrews 13:5).

Semper Reformanda,

Pastor Grant

The Awful Public Execution of Hell and the Cross

DissectingFor Lord’s Day, April 5, 2015

Dear Saints,

We were all struck by the typology of the Burnt Offering in Leviticus 1:6-7 last Lord’s Day.

 

(Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissection)

Many agreed that the public execution typified by the flaying off of the animal’s skin and the deliberate dissection of it into pieces to be meticulously laid over the fires of the Brazen Altar is one of the scariest prefigurations of what hell will be for the unrepentant sinner who is not covered with the propitiatory (Mercy Seat) blood of the Lamb of God to satisfy the Father’s wrath and curse due to him or her for sin.

Mr. Delgado later shared a sobering insight as to how this type surely was alluded to by Jesus in Matthew 24:50-51 about Judgment Day and its aftermath upon an unbeliever:

The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

As you know, the animal in the Burnt Offering served as the substitutionary sacrifice for the vicarious atonement of what the offerer should suffer in hell if not for the Lamb of God ultimately prefigured in John 1:29 (and all through Revelation).  The exacting, clinical, cutting execution of the helpless animal represented the open and eternal punishment of God upon those in hell.  This is what Jesus, in our place, experienced in His public trial and public execution on the Cross.  Remember what Andrew Bonar wrote about Leviticus 1:6:

… the deliberate infliction is the most awful feature of justice. It leaves the sufferer hopeless. The stroke is awfully relentless, determined, righteous! Such too were the Saviour’s sufferings.

Let us meditate on this horrific picture of hell and the cross as we prepare to take the Lord’s Supper tomorrow evening in remembrance of what the Lamb of God did for us. Charles Spurgeon, in his March 31 morning devotion, gives us a frightening image to so prepare ourselves, with Isaiah 53:5 as his text, “With His stripes we are healed”:

The Roman scourge was a most dreadful instrument of torture.  It was made of the sinews of oxen, and sharp bones were inter-twisted every here and there among the sinews; so that every time the lash came down these pieces of bone inflicted fearful laceration, and tore off the flesh from the bone.  The Saviour was, no doubt, bound to the column, and thus beaten.  He had been beaten before; but this of the Roman licturs was probably the most severe …  My soul, stand here and weep over His poor stricken body.

Believer in Jesus, can you gaze upon Him without tears, as He stands before you the mirror of agonizing love?  He is at once fair as the lily for innocence, and red as the rose with the crimson of His own blood.

Dearly beloved, may you more deeply adore your Beloved as He reminds you with graphic pictures in the Lord’s Supper of how He went through hell for you on the cross so that you will never have to endure the eternal public exposure and execution of God.

Semper Reformanda,

Pastor Grant