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Lesson # Matt. 7:13-14
Study Material - Matt. 7:13-14
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
13 'Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. 14 'For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.
Good and bad, heaven and hell, righteousness and evil, good and wicked, narrow gate and wide gate. All these demonstrate contrasts in life. And, no middle ground. You are either in fellowship or out of fellowship, advancing in your spiritual life or regressing in your spiritual life. Life, like time, does not stand still. You are either enhancing your eternal investments or losing them.
So it is in life. We live day to day. We have choices from day to day. We may choose to study our Bible or skip a day or more. It is much easier to ignore Bible study, than it is to discipline ones self to maintain a daily study. Granted there are not too many daily study programs out there in the world that help us along, but they are out there. We can even open our Bible for ourselves each day and read something at least. There is no shortage of Bibles available. So there is no excuse.
If a person is really interested in God, then God will lead him to a Bible study that will work for him. If a person is not very interested, then he will not likely find anything that will interest him.
The distractions and lures of the world are often too great. Thus the wide gate. Our sin natures saturate our physical bodies. We all have needs and desires. Most people are ruled by them. We all have our wants and wishes and our first tendency is to follow our five senses. If we see it we can understand it. We tend to want to work or hustle for what we think we want. Some want to not work for what they want. Many just do not see beyond the physical world and into the spiritual realm. Although we all know that light and sound and wind exist, even if we cannot see them, but we do sense them, so we believe that they are real. We can measure them, so we have more assurance that they exist.
The lure of the world is great, from the sexual desires, to food desires, to power desires to wealth desires, to laziness desires, and far more. We are daily bombarded with the advertising of the day - cars, motor cycles, homes, clothing, cosmetics, tools, social clubs, fine dining, pets, the life of the free and wealthy, concepts of adventure and travel, the list is endless. And we are bombarded everyday by TV, radio, newspaper, magazine, you name it. There is always something nicer than what we have. My pentium computer was wonderful - four years ago. A huge leap from the 286 I had. Now it is like a 'Model A' and slower than molasses when compared to the faster computers out there now. No matter what you have, there is always something better and of course more expensive. So the pressure is on you.. Peer pressure. Keep up with the neighbors or social group with whom you associate. Work longer hours. Don't work at all. Watch TV. Read rag magazines. Go out every night. Who wants to stay at home anyway?
The wide gate is the easy path to follow in life, or so that is the general perception. But it is a wrong perception.
The narrow gate? Why is it called that? First, because there is only one path to spirituality. Its beginning through faith in Jesus Christ. Second, there is only one sphere or environment in which to live the spiritual life - fellowship. Third, there is only one means of spiritual growth - Bible doctrine. Fourth, there is only one means of living the Christian life - through application of Bible doctrine to ones daily life. Fifth, there is only one means of happiness and fulfillment in ones life - attainment of spiritual maturity. Sixth, there is only one means of physical and mental peace in ones life - through the residence of Christ (Bible doctrine) inside of you. Seventh, there is only one ultimate completion of ones life - through the glorification of God by means of His victory in this angelic conflict through your advancement to maturity against all the odds you face in life.
All the goals that one can have, can be obtained in life through advancement to spiritual maturity. Yet it is not you achieving this goal, but God, for you. The world is visual and with powerful lures, but they are lies and deceptions all geared to ruin your eternal destiny. Unfortunately most travel the easy path, the path that appears promising because they believe the opinions that the world bombards them with throughout their lives.
The spiritual life and its blessings are not so obvious, therefore easy to ignore. Besides there is a lot of anti-religious opinion out there in the world, as well as a lot of false religion in the world to misdirect a person. Most do not stop to think through the information and sort out or discern what is right and what is wrong.
Few is the number that have the desire first, to want to learn and then grow up spiritually, and then fewer still is the number of believers who actually follow through. Test yourself. Most read this study, but have you tried to sit down and rewrite it? Takes a little more time to copy something already written. How about writing something original without following something already written for you. Takes more time. Now try to do it daily, and everyday. Now I'm teasing you of course. I work daily like all of you, but every day I sit down and open my notes and begin to type. Sometimes the words flow easily and I surprise myself. Other times I have to look up something in a reference and that slows things down a bit. I don't type several days ahead so I can take some time off, but do each lesson daily, in the evenings, and then upload them to the web site. Then the following morning I send them on their way to you all.
This is what I like to do with my down time. I enjoy it. You have other callings in your life and I am glad that I can provide a daily study for each one of you so you will have a convenient way of having a daily study program, and therefore an opportunity of seizing your eternal future.
Do not get distracted by the world and all the other things out there that you could be doing. They are more fun? Perhaps for the immediate moment. But when pressures strike, then those distractions will not help you. Only God can do that. Following the narrow gate is merely the self discipline of studying your Bible every day (without exceptions), and regardless of the excuses that might be convenient. If you are out late one night, then when you get home simply turn on your computer and print off your e-mail lesson and read it. How long can that take? Also you should get one of those little Psalm/Proverb pocket size books, and read it nightly. Don't try to read a lot, but think through what you do read, and make it real to you. How much effort can that take?
The wide gate vs. the narrow gate. God knows where your motives lie, and will judge and reward you accordingly. If you choose to be lazy, then you fool only yourself. Your destiny is not limited to what you enjoyed in the world today, but your destiny is in eternity. You have the power of your own preparation.
Be ye wise, or be ye foolish?
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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