United Church of God

Letter From Ron Barker - July 6, 2019

Letter From Ron Barker

July 6, 2019

The Narrow Gate

Last week we looked at "The Broad Way." Tonight, we will look at what Jesus Christ called the "Narrow Gate".

The narrow gate of God's way of life is hard and not popular.

Matthew 7:13-14 NKJV  "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  (14)  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Why is the gate narrow?  Why is it difficult?  What makes it hard?  Did Christ not say that His yoke is easy, and His burden is light?

Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV  Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  (29)  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  (30)  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

The way that Christ taught was much easier than the way that the religious leaders of the time taught.  They put many restrictions and extra laws on the people.  In the midst of a Sabbath keeping society, they made the Sabbath a chore.  The Sabbath was never to be a chore, it was not a punishment on God's people, it is given to be a delight.

Living God's way of life is a simple life of truth.  If the way is difficult, it is difficult because it make us be different from the society around us.  It is not easy to go against the grain.  Few people find the narrow gate because when confronted with the truth of living God's way of life, they would rather not make those changes in their lives.  It can be much easier for some to just stay on the broad way, and continue the same path that the majority is taking.

Another reason that many do not find the narrow gate is deception.  We know that Satan deceives the whole world.  He has his own religions, his own customs, and his own way of life.  All of which are destructive.  As we saw in the Sabbath note from last week, some ask for this deception.  (Isaiah 30:9)  They do not want to be told that they are living a life of sin.  There is a saying that many stumble across the truth, and continue on as if nothing happened.  The same principle can be true of God's way of life.  Many find the narrow gate, but reject it because it is just easier continue on the path they have been walking.  Change can be hard.

Jesus Christ is the door or gate we must enter, and though living His way in a sin-filled world can be challenging, He is always there to help us.  The reward for living the way that Christ taught is an abundant life.

John 10:7-10 NKJV  Then Jesus said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.  (8)  All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.  (9)  I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.   (10)  The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

So, we see there is a reward now for living God's way of life.  We know that it leads to eternal life, and being a part of God's family, but there are benefits for now as well.  An abundant life is one that prospers while those around them struggle.  An abundant life is a person who can be calm when those around them worry and fear the future.

There is so much more to being a Christian than just going to church once a week and giving an offering.  It takes courage and strength to change your daily life.  This may seem to be too much for some, but God makes the impossible possible.

Mark 10:25-27 NKJV  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."  (26)  And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, "Who then can be saved?"  (27)  But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible."

God will never ask us to do something without giving us the support needed to accomplish the task.

Have a great Sabbath. 

Ron Barker