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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

By Believing in the Power of the Gospel,
We Must Enter by the Narrow Gate


< Matthew 7:13-14 >
“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.Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”


In today’s scriptural passage, our Lord commanded us to “enter by the narrow gate.” What, then, is this narrow gate that He would tell us to enter by it? And what did He mean by the wide gate? All of us must now walk on the narrow and difficult way. To do so, we must believe in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit even more ardently, and we must walk only by our faith in the Word of God. Sure, we could leave the narrow way and turn to the easier, wide way, but we must not do this, for the Lord has told us to walk on the narrow and difficult way.

There are many in this world who do not like to enter by the narrow gate through the difficult way. Because the way seems too narrow, difficult, and dangerous for them, and only a few come to find on it, they are reluctant to embark on it, and they even think that anyone who is on this way can only be foolish. However, such faith is not of a wise believer.

It is on the narrow way that the wisdom that leads to life is found. Those who are on this way to life are clearly wise. So such people do not hesitate to embark on this way, though they may be only a few. While it is true that there are many in this world who do not like the narrow way, this is not the case for everyone. Although their number may be very small, there actually are people who look for the narrow way and are glad to walk on it. For everyone, to be saved from his sins, he must absolutely enter by the narrow gate.



The Narrow Way Is the Way of Truth, the Way to Eternal Life


Countless people in this world profess to believe in Jesus, but many of them are actually walking on the wide way from their failure to realize and believe that Jesus took upon all the sins of the world by being baptized by John the Baptist. Those who are walking on the narrow way know that they are on the right way to eternal life, for they believe in the truth that the baptism of Jesus took away all their sins once for all.

But who among the Christians of this world knows this mystery of the narrow gate and the difficult way? Even the so-called evangelicals of this age do not know that Jesus took upon the sins of the world through the baptism that He received from John. The significance of the baptism of Jesus is that it holds the amazing truth of salvation, which Jesus bore the sins of this world and was crucified for us.

Yet the nominal Christians who believe in Jesus as if they were merely practicing one of the many religions of the world think that it was only on the Cross that Jesus forgave all their sins-such Christians know that their sins remain intact in their hearts. Among the so-called evangelicals, many claim that one can become sinless just by believing in Jesus as the Savior. They even mock us, saying, “All that we have to do is believe in Jesus as our personal Savior. So why do we have to know and believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit?” They insist that it’s okay to just believe themselves to be sinless, and thus, are refusing to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. But in fact, they are actually walking on the wide way of the world, following and assimilating with the majority of the secularized Christianity.

If the Lord spoke to us about the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then we must be glad to receive the power of the remission of sin by believing in this gospel of salvation as it is. By believing and spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we are in fact walking on the narrow and difficult way. Those who are walking on the narrow way must admonish those who are on the wide way to return to the Word of God and follow it. No matter what the circumstances may be for the believers of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, when the Lord Himself has told them to go on the narrow way, then they must walk on this narrow way by faith.

Yet since so many Christians have made so many compromises with the people of this world to walk on the wide way, how could they ever receive the remission of sin into their hearts? Such Christians who are living their lives while compromising with the people of the world still have their sins intact in their hearts, and they are only walking on the wide way to ultimately reach their destruction, despite professing to believe in Jesus as the Savior.

The Apostle Paul said, “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” (Romans 6:3). He also said, “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His” (Romans 8:9). The results of believing in Jesus as the Savior are to be saved from sin, to become sinless, and to have the Holy Spirit dwell in the heart.

Though the Holy Spirit cannot be seen by our eyes, He is the Spirit of Truth that descends on those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by Jesus. And the role of the Holy Spirit is to bear witness to such believers of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, assuring them, “The Lord has perfectly saved you from all your sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. You are therefore now sinless.”

For He is the Spirit that bears witness to the Word of Truth in the hearts of the believers of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, it is no longer possible for any sin to be found in their hearts. He dwells in the hearts of the born-again, and let their minds have the concrete testimonies of salvation. The Holy Spirit bears witness, in other words, that all the sins of this world were passed onto Jesus’ body when He was baptized by John the Baptist. The Holy Spirit empowers those who walk on the narrow way, giving them faith, leading and teaching them in all things with the Word of truth, and holding them steadfast. By reminding us of the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit that has washed away our sins, the Holy Spirit strengthens our souls, minds and bodies. He testifies, in short, that Jesus was baptized for us and died on the Cross for us.



Those Who Believe in And Follow the Gospel of Truth Are the Ones Who Are Walking on the Narrow Way

Those who walk on the narrow way are spiritual priests that deliver those who have fallen into their destruction from their sins. They are the very believers of the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. And the Lord is pleased with such people who are on the narrow and difficult way. No matter how difficult this way of the righteous is, because it is the way that saves others from their sins, we must all go on this way. And we must serve the gospel day and night to deliver from sin all those who are yet to receive the remission of their sins. Those who are still on the wide way, in other words, must be led by us so that they may also enter into the narrow gate. Such people, who are walking on the wide way, must remember that though this way may be comfortable for them, if they continue to follow it, they will ultimately end up on the way of destruction.

Here, those who are walking on the wide way refer to the hypocritical Christians who have compromised with the people of the world and are as a result walking on the path of their own destruction. They are the ones who stand against the gospel truth of the water and the Spirit, claiming that it is right for them to still have sin despite believing in Jesus.

What did our Lord say about such people who are on the wide way? He said, “Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.” Put differently, there are many Christians whose sins remain intact and are falling into their destruction, even as they profess to believe in Jesus, from their failure to know the gospel truth of the water and the Spirit. Yet it is this false faith of theirs that attracts people, and it is their wide way of destruction that people follow.

They teach that all that Christians have to do is just be virtuous. But such is a seriously flawed teaching that far deviates from the truth. This kind of teaching is quite different from the gospel truth of the water and the Spirit that has made us sinless. Despite this, the people of this world find the faith of those who do not believe in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit more attractive. Although such nominal Christians have not received the remission of their sins even as they attend church, they still gain the approval of the secular people if they just live virtuously. But God does not approve this kind of faith as the right faith.

Therefore, those of us who have chosen the narrow way are living our lives in God’s Church that preaches the gospel of the water and the Spirit, His Word, and following His will. We have heard and believed the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, and we have thereby been saved from all our sins and become sinless once for all. And after being saved from our sins, we have become God’s workers who lead other souls to the way of life. Thus we have become the ones who are walking on the narrow and difficult way.

However, most Christians do not believe in Jesus for the purpose of being washed from their sins, nor do they want to become righteous. It is deeply disturbing to see that such kind of faith is becoming increasingly more widespread, and that its supporters are so boastful while walking on the wide, secular way. They always blow their own horns, regarding themselves as very wise. They don’t even realize that it is wrong for them to walk on the wide way, and yet perversely, they continue to denounce the born-again who are walking on the narrow way to be foolish.

Even Christian leaders are oblivious to the fact that they are actually walking on the wide road without even realizing. For them, to be recognized by others and gain worldly reputation is one of the most important matters, and quite unfortunately, their faith also attracts and draws many people, just like a politician who is good at showmanship is able to draw many voters. They know well what people like and want to have. They say what pleases people rather than what pleases God. They are false teachers and the servants of Satan. The true servants of God never do what these false teachers do. As the Apostle Paul said, “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).

Therefore, we have even more reason to cast aside the faith of the world and follow the gospel of the water and the Spirit that leads us to this narrow way that pleases our Lord. To do so, we must believe that the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the truth that puts us on the narrow way, and we must follow it as such. Placing our faith in the written Word of truth, all of us must follow this way. We must understand why our Lord told us to enter by the narrow gate, and we must follow it by faith. We must realize why the Lord said that few find this narrow way that leads to the gate of life because of its difficulty, and we must follow and serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

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Those of us who have been born again have already come into the narrow gate, for we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And we are also walking on the narrow way together with the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

The righteous who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit simply cannot embark on the wide way, for it is written, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17).

I give all my thanks to our Lord who has put us on the narrow way.

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