Monday, September 25, 2017

By Max Solbrekken, D.D.

   Millions today are groping in the darkness of despair as they journey down life’s road toward eternity!
    Multitudes have not found the way of true happiness and joy and are searching for peace and an answer to life’s problems, heartaches and ills.    
Many others have known the true essence of life but somehow have gone astray, lost the way and are haphazardly adrift on the sea of life.
     The saying goes, “When in Rome do as the Romans do”, or “Follow the crowd”. The great bulk of humanity are doing just that. They are following the crowd. Take the easy way out or the path of least resistance.        The sad part is that the crowd is not always right, and the path of least resistance is often the wrong path which becomes a rut into which the journeyer finds himself bogged down. Chained by bad habits and inability to say “No” to evil suggestions and fettered by wicked companions, such a person becomes an easy mark for Satan.
     My dear friend, perhaps you are one of the restless multitudes in this rut, the broad road that the Bible speaks of which will eventually take you to doom and damnation in Hell, unless you repent of your sins and get off this road.
     The Bible says: “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death”. (Prov. 16:25)
     It seems natural to do what others are doing, however, the natural man is often motivated by the lusts, greed and prides of this wicked world. The Carnal man is sinful and out of fellowship with the righteousness of God. Therefore, the natural man is at enmity with God.
     God's word states: “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Rom. 8:7); “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God,” (James 4:4)
     Sinful man cannot do good unless God intervenes and changes his nature through the process of new birth: “Jesus answered and said unto him, verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
    Look around and follow the current events in the news media to realize that this world is corrupt and continually getting worse with wars, social and political upheavals, increases in the crime rate, immorality, sex perversion and broken homes.


    In other words, the CROWD is corrupt and getting worse. If you follow this crowd you will find yourself in bad company and serious trouble spiritually!
    The Bible 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”. (Matt. 7:13-14)
     Jesus urged, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able”. (Luke 13:24). To strive means to “put some effort” into finding the right way.
    It must be very important to enter the straight gate or Jesus would not have admonished us to STRIVE TO ENTER IN. The reason is that the wrong road leads to an eternal hell, and the right one takes you to Heaven.        The Bible says: “Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction and many there be which go in thereat”.
     Many are on this broad road because the gate is wide enough to take in everyone, regardless of a person’s wickedness, evil habits or unrighteous companions. There is plenty of room, and no questions asked - that is of course, until it is too late to get off. The murderer travels this road together with the gambler, drunkard, liar and thief.
    It is the broad road and is easy travelling because this road has a slight downward grade, although not very noticeable at the start. The self-righteous Church member who has never been saved together with the modernistic theologian, the atheist and the communist, all have plenty of room to travel without even rubbing shoulders, because the road is so wide.
    The alcoholic, drug user, the unfaithful, deceptive wife or husband, rich and poor, well and sick, young and old, respected and despised, educated and illiterate, bond and free, all may travel.
     Caution is thrown to the winds and off you go merrily on your way - the music blares and you sail along! TRAVEL NOW - PAY LATER, SEEMS TO BE THE SLOGAN - Yes, this is the broad road to destruction. JESUS warns you to get off it NOW. Don't stay on it a minute longer. Jump off it immediately and enter the Straight Gate onto the NARROW Road that leads to LIFE and Eternal Bliss!


    You may ask, “How do I know which road I am on?” I am glad you ask that question, because I have the answer for you. The Bible says, “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”. (Rom. 3:23) “There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Rom. 2:10) “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me”. (Psalms 51:5)
    The Scripture tells us that through Adam’s transgression the whole human race was plunged into sin. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Rom. 5:12) Through the Scripture we see that everyone is born in sin and because of the fall, the human race inherited the stigma of sin.
    Secondly, we learn that man’s nature is sinful and he is a sinner by choice. The Bible says: “All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”( Isaiah 53:6) ; “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9)
    “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Psalms 14:1-3)
    We have now established the fact that all human beings are sinners, not only by birth and nature, but also by choice. Jesus exhorts everyone to, “Enter into the strait gate”, because everyone naturally is on the broad road to start with, and must turn off to get on the right road.
    ALL A SINNER MUST DO TO GO TO HELL IS TO CONTINUE WHAT HE IS DOING, but there is a way of escape. There is a way out and salvation is available for everyone who believes and turns to the Lord. Jesus Christ came to redeem us and save us from our sins, the power of Satan and the broad road.
    Lost souls must call out to God for mercy, receive His wonderful salvation - purchased by Christ’s blood and get on the narrow road and enter the straight gate which takes us to Heaven. Jesus said: “Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God”. (John 3: 5)
    Here is your answer - All those who have not had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, been born again by the incorruptible Word of God and by the Spirit of God and had their sins washed away by “the precious blood”, is on the broad road and lost in their sins!


    The Bible states that because, “Wide is the gate and broad is the road”, many will go in thereat. The broad road is crowded with journeyers travelling toward their doom and destruction.
    In Matthew 7:14, the Bible declares, “Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life and few there be that find it”. He asked how many would be saved? He answered: “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able”. (Luke 13:24)
    The Gate to Heaven is straight - no crookedness can enter there. Foolish pride must be swept away. There is no room for human reasoning because the gate will not move, be enlarged or slanted to take in the new ideology, theories or curricula of sinful, carnal humanity. Some preach that there are many ways to be saved and gain admittance into the Kingdom of God.
    This is utterly false. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” (John 14:6)
     Jesus did not say, I am one of the ways, but He said I AM THE WAY. No wonder our Lord said, “Strait is the gate”, for that gate will not bend or expand to accept any other doctrines or beliefs except the words, teachings and doctrine of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. 
    The gate that Jesus spoke of will not conform or change to fit the traditions or customs of a changing world and a carnal, secular society. NO, THANK GOD! The Gate that leads to God and Heaven is FIXED forever and is as unchanging as God Himself.
      Anyone entering this gate must humble himself, and in order to enter the straight gate must do so on his knees leaving behind him all his unbelief, pride, lust and greed. There is no room for excess baggage as the individual passes through this gate. Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “straight” as Jesus used it here as, “Being in a right line”. 
    That right line is God’s way - none other will do!

The hymn writer penned the words:
Just as I am without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God I come, I come.”

    Without exception, everyone must come the same way, and there is no respect of persons - rich and poor, educated and illiterate, wise and foolish - all must come in through the same gate and conform to the straightness of this gate. There is no favoritism or partiality.
     There is only one way to God, Heaven and eternal life. It is a definite, certain and fixed way, and that way is Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world. Jesus said, “I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved”. (John 10:9). Here Jesus emphasizes that there is only one door, and to be saved we must come through Him.
     There are not many doors to God’s Kingdom, but one only - the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus says, “No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me”. (John 14:6) There it is! Mohammed, Buddha, Confucius, Shiva or the Pope will not do - the Virgin Mary, St. Peter or the angel Moroni cannot save you.     There is no other way to be saved than by and through God’s Divine Resurrected Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. St. Peter declared, “There is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved”. (Acts 4:12)
                   THERE ARE MILLIONS OF GODS!
    The heathen have millions of gods and false Christs, but there is only ONE TRUE CHRIST and His Name is the Lord Jesus Christ - the only one who is able to save you. The Bible says, “There is one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus”. (1 Tim. 2:5)
     Jesus Christ the resurrected Saviour is the mediator between Almighty God and sinful man.
     Millions of people seek peace and forgiveness by bathing in some river or by having holy water - supposedly blessed by a religious person - sprinkled upon them. Others, by making pilgrimages to shrines, reciting repetitious prayers continually, counting beads or doing penance by lying on spikes, walking on coals of fire, beating themselves and even carrying a cross on their back or abstaining from food.
    BUT, OH, HOW FUTILE! WHAT A WASTE OF TIME AND ENERGY WHEN WE KNOW THE TRUTH - when Jesus Christ has paid the penalty for our sins and has shed His blood; suffered and died so that we can be forgiven, healed and blessed; and that He rose again from the dead and lives forevermore!
    There is only ONE Who can give peace to troubled minds, joy to tortured hearts, new life to the lost and forgiveness to the sinful, and I must shout it out loud and clear, His Name is Jesus. He alone is the Saviour of the world. The hymn writer stated:

What can wash away my sin,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me pure within
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh! Precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

    God's Word says, “Without shedding of blood is no remission”. (Heb. 9:22); “The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7). Many ask, “Why could not Buddha, Mohammed or the Pope be saviours as well as Jesus? The answer is very simple!
     The Bible declares, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. (John 3:16). God had only One Son, and His only begotten Son’s name was not Buddha, Mohammed, Shiva or Pope Pius.  The name of God’s Son is JESUS.
    The angel said to Joseph: “Thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins”. (Matt.1: 23); Jesus said, “As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you”. (John 20:21); “As Thou hast sent Me into this world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” (John 17:18)
     Jesus repeatedly stated that He is the Son of God. (John 5:18; 10:30 - 33; Mark 14: 61,62) And don’t forget that Jesus Christ was the only One Who died on the cross for our sins, fulfilling the Old Testament prophesies (Isaiah 53:4,5; Matt.8:16,17; 1 Peter 2:24), and we read that Jesus was, “declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead”. (Rom. 1:4) Praise the Lord!
    So we see that the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead sets Him apart from all other men of all ages and gives final proof to the fact that He was, is and always will be the Divine, Holy Son of God and the only Saviour of the world. Jesus Christ stands completely and altogether above everyone else because He was the only one who had power to rise from the dead.
    A dead man cannot help you and all of those other people who have been mentioned are dead and gone, but Jesus Christ lives on in power and greatness; resurrected and alive; able to save and deliver all who come unto God by Him. (Heb. 7:25)
    Now I want to ask you a pointed question: Who's Side are you on? On which road are you travelling? As you read these lines I must remind you that you are on one of these roads, either the broad road with the wide gate which will take you to an eternal hell, or the narrow road with the straight gate that brings you to Heaven and Eternity with God. There is NO middle road and NO neutral ground. You are either on one road or the other.
     We are all travellers into Eternity. Every person living today is on one of these roads. If you have not given your heart and life to God and accepted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, Lord and Master, then you are a lost soul on the road to hell, and will never have peace, joy or happiness in this life or the one to come, if you continue in the way you are going.
    TODAY, AS YOU READ THESE LINES YOU CAN COME TO JESUS AND BY FAITH TURN YOUR LIFE OVER TO GOD; GET OFF THE BROAD ROAD AND GET ON THE ONE THAT LEADS TO GLORY.            “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9)
     As the Holy Spirit moves upon you, will you not surrender your entire life to the Lord; slip down on your knees in prayer to God; cry out for mercy as the publican did in the Bible, “God, be merciful to me a sinner”; (Luke 18:10-14)
      Accept the full and free salvation that God offers you now, and you will enter the straight gate and be on the narrow road of Christian living. Jesus said, “Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. (Matt. 11:28) Amen.