The Inspiring Word
Sermon on the Mount
Pastor Terry Cheek Th.D.
Thanks for returning to another publication of “The Blue Ridge Christian News” and our article “The Inspiring Word”.
For this publication of the BRCN we will continue our study of God’s word and the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount. In May, we looked at what has been affectionately referred to as the golden rule. Many have spoken to me about how God’s word spoke to them from last month’s article and I’m truly humbled that God will use it to touch hearts and lives. That is truly an answered prayer. You see, before I write each article I pray about the content, then before I sent it to the BRCN staff I pray again that God will use it to bring folks closer to Him and for His glory. God does answer prayer! I wanted to give testimony of how He uses those who submit themselves to His work and spreading His gospel.
For June let’s take our Bible and turn to Matthew 7:13-14 where we read: “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: (14) Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Many of today’s popular study Bibles lump these verses into a passage with verse 12 as part of the Christ’s teaching on the character of those who follow Him. I tend to agree with some of the older scholars and theologians, I lean more toward a separation. I see this passage speaking to us about salvation.
The Pharisees and religious crowd of Jesus day mixed no words about their feelings regarding who would get into heaven. Only those with blood lineage. There was a problem, this blood lineage was attributed to Abraham and not Jesus. Jesus taught us a simpler truth and in our passage, we hear Him describe it as a strait gate.
Not only did Jesus teaching contrast the views of the religious elite of His day, His teaching contrasts the contemporary views of the religious elite living today. In Romans 4:16 we find assurance that salvation comes only through faith in Jesus Christ. That faith is the lineage of Abraham which makes every born again Christian descendants of Abraham’s seed. If nothing else was written that alone should bring us to humble praise of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I find it eerily strange that during Jesus day the orthodox Jew claimed
to have the final word on who would inherit the kingdom of God. The Scribe, Pharisee, Sadducee, Doctor and Lawyer; all were looked up to in admiration, because they were expected to have and communicate the truth of God’s word. Yes, they possessed academic knowledge, but their heart was far from God. They not only walked through the wide gate, they deliberately led others in the same direction. Unfortunately, the very same thing is happening in places of worship today. The well-educated religious leaders in our places of worship are giving messages that proclaim salvation without the blood of Christ. We too. often hear messages of prosperity, passion, prestige and the all-inclusive statement that God will never send anyone to hell, that all will be saved. We are told the Bible contains error and it isn’t inspired by the Holy Spirit. We are told same sex marriage is accepted by God just as much as traditional marriage. The liberal and legalistic religious pendulum is swinging just as wide today as it was when Jesus spoke these words.
Couple the width of liberal and legalistic religion with the movement of liberal socialistic government imposing their agenda through judicial overreach, executive action and compensated protest, and you find a very wide gate for many to walk through. A gate which leads to destruction and an eternal hell.
I thank God, the Church isn’t that place of worship, it’s a heart of worship! A heart which is found in only one place, it exists only in those who have experienced Romans 10:9-10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” The Lord tells us plainly there are few that will find this gate, though it is strait and narrow it is in plain sight and wide open. Have you found it? There are Bible believing Churches in this area with pastors who preach the word of God as inerrant and infallible, with compassion yet without compromise. You’re invited to begin with us at Calvary Missionary Baptist Church at 4548 NC-226, Marion NC. We are one of several congregations found within the pages of the BRCN. And, don’t forget to read all the articles in the BRCN, God will touch your heart in ways you never imagined. Until next time may God keep you firmly in His grip!
Terry is the Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Marion, NC.