SPIRITUAL WARFARE

NARROW WAY

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(Subjects in this Section)

1-THE STRAIT GATE AND NARROW WAY
2-ONCE YOU ARE SAVED, THERE IS A BATTLE TO BE FOUGHT
3-TODAYíS CHURCH
4-WARNING

1-THE STRAIT GATE AND NARROW WAY

    Only through Jesus Christ can a person be saved.
    It is written, Mt 7:13-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.
    You can only enter heaven through the "strait gate," BECAUSE STRAIT IS THE GATE, AND NARROW IS THE WAY, WHICH LEADETH UNTO LIFE, AND FEW THERE BE THAT FIND IT.
    The STRAIT GATE and NARROW...WAY is a total commitment to Jesus Christ. It is not just saying, Lord, Lord. It is not just saying you have accepted Jesus as your Savior. Many name the name of Jesus, but they perish. The STRAIT GATE and NARROW...WAY is: BE YE DOERS OF THE WORD, AND NOT HEARERS ONLY, DECEIVING YOUR OWN SELVES-Ja 1:22. As Jesus tells us, AND WHY CALL YE ME, LORD, LORD, AND DO NOT THE THINGS WHICH I SAY?-Lk 6:46. It is doing THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN-Mt 7:21.

    Mt 7:15-20-BEWARE OF FALSE PROPHETS, WHICH COME TO YOU IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING, BUT INWARDLY THEY ARE RAVENING WOLVES.
    YE SHALL KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUITS. DO MEN GATHER GRAPES OF THORNS, OR FIGS OF THISTLES?
    EVEN SO EVERY GOOD TREE BRINGETH FORTH GOOD FRUIT; BUT A CORRUPT TREE BRINGETH FORTH EVIL FRUIT.
    A GOOD TREE CANNOT BRING FORTH EVIL FRUIT, NEITHER CAN A CORRUPT TREE BRING FORTH GOOD FRUIT.
    EVERY TREE THAT BRINGETH NOT FORTH GOOD FRUIT IS HEWN DOWN, AND CAST INTO THE FIRE.
   WHEREFORE BY THEIR FRUITS YE SHALL KNOW THEM.
  
Mt 7:21-23-NOT EVERY ONE THAT SAITH UNTO ME, LORD, LORD, SHALL ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN; BUT HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN.
    It is written, MANY WILL SAY TO ME (to Jesus) IN THAT DAY, LORD, LORD, HAVE WE NOT PROPHESIED "IN THY NAME"? AND "IN THY NAME" HAVE CAST OUT DEVILS? AND "IN THY NAME" DONE MANY WONDERFUL WORKS? AND THEN WILL I PROFESS UNTO THEM, I NEVER KNEW YOU: DEPART FROM ME, YE THAT WORK INIQUITY.
    Understand, it is not a matter of, if you know Jesus. It is a matter of, does Jesus know you?-ref Mt 25:12. Jesus shall say to many that are absolutely positive they are saved, "I KNOW YOU NOT"-Lk 13:25.
    You might ask, "How can this be?" It is because people base their belief that they are saved on emotions, or what someone tells them, or on lying thoughts in their mind from the devil, or on a lack of understanding of Godís Word, or on other things. They may say, "I feel I am saved. I can feel the Holy Spirit inside me. God is my Father. God has answered my prayer. Jesus has done this or that for me. I have suffered for Jesus. I serve the Lord. The Spirit of God leads me. I sing in the church. I teach a Sunday school class."
    Their feelings will mean nothing at the judgment. The Word of God (the Bible) shall judge. As it is written, THE WORD THAT I HAVE SPOKEN, THE SAME SHALL JUDGE HIM IN THE LAST DAY-Jn 12:48.
    Mt 7:24-27-THEREFORE WHOSOEVER HEARETH THESE SAYINGS OF MINE, AND DOETH THEM, I WILL LIKEN HIM UNTO A WISE MAN, WHICH BUILT HIS HOUSE UPON A ROCK:
    AND THE RAIN DESCENDED, AND THE FLOODS CAME, AND THE WINDS BLEW, AND BEAT UPON THAT HOUSE; AND IT FELL NOT: FOR IT WAS FOUNDED UPON A ROCK.
    AND EVERY ONE THAT HEARETH THESE SAYINGS OF MINE, AND DOETH THEM NOT, SHALL BE LIKENED UNTO A FOOLISH MAN, WHICH BUILT HIS HOUSE UPON THE SAND:
    AND THE RAIN DESCENDED, AND THE FLOODS CAME, AND THE WINDS BLEW, AND BEAT UPON THAT HOUSE; AND IT FELL: AND GREAT WAS THE FALL OF IT.

2-ONCE YOU ARE SAVED, THERE IS A BATTLE TO BE FOUGHT:
 
IT IS CALLED SPIRITUAL WARFARE

    Yet despite Satanís vast arsenal of devices and deceptions, a few by the grace of God come to Jesus when "He" calls. They come by faith and surrender all to Jesus. They follow Him. They have overcome the many devices and deceptions of the devil by the mercy of God through faith.
    Now they face a new battle. Satan can be expected to attack the new Christian in ways that do not even come to his mind. As it is written, BELOVED, THINK IT NOT STRANGE (do not be surprised) CONCERNING THE FIERY (or painful) TRIAL WHICH IS TO TRY (or test) YOU, AS THOUGH SOME STRANGE THING HAPPENED UNTO YOU: BUT REJOICE, INASMUCH AS YE ARE PARTAKERS OF CHRISTíS SUFFERINGS; THAT, WHEN HIS GLORY SHALL BE REVEALED, YE MAY BE GLAD ALSO WITH EXCEEDING JOY. IF YE BE REPROACHED (or insulted) FOR THE NAME OF CHRIST, HAPPY ARE YE; FOR THE SPIRIT OF GLORY AND OF GOD RESTETH UPON YOU: ON THEIR PART HE IS EVIL SPOKEN OF, BUT ON YOUR PART HE IS GLORIFIED-1 Pe 4:12-14.
    This fiery trial or battle that a person goes through is called "spiritual warfare."

3-TODAYíS CHURCH

    In these days in which we live, the masses of professing Christians are almost totally ignorant of or indifferent to these truths. Others openly criticize and oppose them. The church of today is getting further and further away from the strait gate and the narrow way of the Bible. New ideas and doctrines are coming into most churches at what seems to be an ever increasing rate. People are being tossed to and fro with the winds of all kinds of misleading doctrines. The God-fearing, born-again, love-filled, fruit-bearing, obedient, Bible-reading, and discerning Christian, who understands spiritual warfare, who demonstrates his love for God by obeying His commandments, who reveals his faith by serving God and taking a stand for truth, and who is watching and ready for Jesus to return, seems to be a disappearing figure in this generation. Most churches today are places where make-believe Christians gather on Sundays to feel comfortable and be entertained. They leave church confident and reassured that all is right in their life. Then they die and are shocked, as they find themselves in a place called "hell."
    Today, many Christians are the same way. They make light of sin. The strait gate and the narrow way is seldom taught. Many so-called Christians today also have a golden calf. Their money, pride, selfishness, television, job, house, automobile, the things of this world, astrology, drinking, drugs, sex, the government, or their own desires are their "golden calf." Jesus is to be your LORD and Savior. He is to come "first." Most Christians today, as then, have not known Godís ways. Many call upon the name of the Lord, but they will not follow "Him." Many commit abominations and are not ashamed. They are NOT VALIANT FOR THE TRUTH-Jere 9:3. Their MOLTEN IMAGE IS FALSEHOOD-Jere 10:14. God is IN THEIR MOUTH, but FAR FROM THEIR REINS-Jere 12:2. THEY HAVE BURNED INCENSE TO VANITY-Jere 18:15. Do any of these fit you?
    Jesus described the Laodicean church as lukewarm. The lukewarm are confident they are correct and righteous. Their confidence is so deeply rooted that it is nearly impossible to reach them with the truth. Lukewarmness comes from mixing both hot and cold. They are not cold toward the things of God, but neither are they hot. They are content, apathetic, indifferent. They are not truly concerned with what is right and wrong or what is good and evil. Within the Laodicean church is the prevailing attitude of "live and let live; donít rock the boat; donít cause waves; it will all turn out O.K." They are taking a neutral position. They are trying to serve God, but are also trying to please men. They are serving two masters and justify their position. They are serving God, and they are serving "self." They are serving God, and they are serving the world. This is totally unacceptable with God. Remember, the name "Laodicea" means "the rights of the people." Their knowledge and understanding of God, His Word, and of these things is, at best, only lukewarm. Their obedience, love, fruits of the Spirit, and works are, at best, only lukewarm. Their daily conversation may be centered on both the things of the world and the things of God. They are like a wave. They are carnal and have not denied themselves. They are not fully following Jesus, though they are usually sure they are. Jesus is in their life, but He is not the center of their life. Their life revolves around things of the world and worldly circumstances; Jesus is only a part. They have need of milk (basic doctrines) and not meat (perfection). They are not ready for the doctrine of perfection and holiness. Their thoughts are divided between Jesus and the things of the world. Laodiceans want to maintain a level of control over their lives; they will trust Jesus only to a point. They do not have the understanding that Jesus is in control when very difficult situations come against them; their knowledge is lukewarm.
    At best, their understanding of who is saved, by the grace of God, and who is not saved is only lukewarm. It may be said, they do not fully comprehend the strait gate and narrow way.
    Their teaching may consist of some sound doctrine mixed with confusion, false doctrine, deceit, doctrines of men and denominations, new fads, or other distortions of Scripture that come along.
    They may have a great church complex, a magnificent choir, large attendance, much money coming in, a vast radio and television ministry, an extensive mailing list reaching multitudes with a monthly magazine, and many letters and telephone calls coming in. They may be claiming to have won many souls, but if the message being proclaimed is only lukewarm, then that is all they are.
    The following should be considered. Sound doctrine is disappearing; most people will not tolerate it. One might ask, "What would happen if sound doctrine was being taught?" The answer is found in the Scriptures. In the days of the apostles, sound doctrine was being taught in Laodicea; however, it was rejected. The Laodicean church was only lukewarm; this is unacceptable to God.
    For those who may wonder if lukewarm is really so bad, Jesus gives the following warning.

4-WARNING

    I WILL SPEW (or spit)
   THEE OUT OF MY MOUTH. The entire Laodicean church will be spit out and perish. There will be such a small number from this church that will repent, not even the word "few" is used as it was in the "dead" church of Sardis. The lukewarm will not be taken when the Rapture comes.

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