what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Mat 16:26
WILL A MAN GIVE IN EXCHANGE
FOR HIS SOUL?
PART TWO AND THREE
And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. How narrow [is] the gate and having been constricted [is] the way which leads to the life, and few are the ones finding it! Nu 22:26 Matthew7:14
The narrow way is not only the way to life but it a call to discipleship. Described for us in Matthew 7 if we are to embrace true Christianity then we must do so by entering its Gate which is safe-guarded by the Lord Himself. Called straight, this road is said to be narrow, that is restrictive. Those who enter it borders find their selves hemmed in on every side. Unlike the regulations that govern travel on everyday roads, the rules for pilgrimage on this highway have been written on the hearts of those traveling therein. They will not be swayed from their final destination for they are the Lord's redeemed.
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them]. Eze 36:26,27
But the way is narrow! And the cost to enter is death to self. When the Lord asked, "What will a man give in exchange for his soul" He did so to awaken the conscience of a soul that was obviously unaware of the pending danger it was headed toward. The Scriptures gives us an example of such a person. Let's take a look. "And the rich man thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, [and] be merry. But God said unto him, [Thou] fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? Luk 12:18,19,20
Here is a person that choose the broad way over the narrow way and it cost him his eternal soul. Total separation throughout all eternity. The Bible does not say without provocation "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Proverbs 16:25
What are you living for? And what are you willing to risk your eternal soul on? The stakes are high. To enter the road that leads to life takes the greatest care and thought. Therefore we should make every effort to see that we find ourselves on it. 1Peter 4:7 says, "Everything will soon come to an end. So be serious and be sensible enough to pray." Don't get caught by surprise. A call to discipleship and life in Jesus will lead away from the broad path where the flesh loves to travel. The flesh not only loves much company but it delights in taking others down the road to destruction. Romans 1:32 reminds us, "Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."
Like death and hell, the flesh is never satisfied (Hab 2:5 ). Matthew 26:41 says, "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak." This verse is crucial to understand what lies ahead for us as disciples traveling the narrow way.The way that has been marked out for us is hedged up on each side. It is filled with afflictions and tribulations on every side. Paul shares his testimony with us in when he wrote, "our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without [were] fightings, within [were] fears. Confirming the souls of the disciples, [and] exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. " 2Corinthians 7:5 Act 14:22
Why am I telling you all of this? Because there are those who would tell you that once you are "born again" you will never have another problem. The truth is we are not in heaven any more then we are free from trouble once we have entered the strait gate. Peter exhorts by saying, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you. But rejoice" 1Peter 4:12
way to death is open, broad, and heavily populated. That's because we have bought
the great lie that life (eternity) looks like death and death (activity) looks
like life. And so the Lord says, "broad is the way that leads to destruction
and many there be that go therein." Yet they go in on their own accord. For
when God was clearly manifested to them they chose not to honor Him as God but
change the truth of God into a lie. Therefore they go head long into destruction,
falling easily and without any resistance.
Luke 13:24 admonishes us, "Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able." The word "Strive" means to struggle, literally (to compete for a prize.) Is Jesus the prize you are seeking for in life?
Is having Jesus so important to you that you would be willing to enter a way that is not only difficult but unpleasant to the flesh to walk in. The flesh loves the path of least resistance. The flesh loves to walk at liberty without controls or restraints. But most of all the flesh is attracted to the multitudes. I trust I have your attention.
Will you be amongst the multitude that are unwilling to give up their worldly interests in order that they may gain Christ? God stands ready to give you all the assistance you need in Philippians 2:13 we read, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure." Jesus came to show us the way to Life. On account of His resurrection He offers the most complete assistance to persevere. Through His Eternal Spirit He gives the greatest encouragement to build us up in the way. Acts 20:32 states, "I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified."
having said all of this there will be those who are so bound to the flesh, passionate
about their own desires, and determined to carry out their own vain imaginations,
like the rich man we spoke of earlier; to these the road that leads to life will
be shut tight.
This is the greatest lost one can ever experience for what does it profit a man says Jesus if he should gain the whole world yet lose his own soul.
The one thing that will keep us from entering the narrow way is sin. And with that in mind the Author of Hebrews writes, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us; Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1,2
Yes, the way is narrow. We mst be willing to lay aside all sin and ANY weight that would hinder us along life's treacherous way. Self must be denied and the body brought under control. So narrow is the road that losing an "eye or a hand" along the way is considered little cost. We are called to a life of endurance, to fight the good fight, to resist temptation on every hand, to be watchful, to live seriously, to walk circumspectly, and take up our cross daily and follow Jesus. Such is the life of a disciple. And such is the Life of those who chose to walk the narrow way.
If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise. And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. Pr 24:10 Eph 5:15 Mar 4:17
May God grant you wisdom and grace as you consider these things.
For The Glory Of His Name
Whether By Life Or Death
THINK ON THESE THINGS - ACT ON THESE THINGS