Saturday, 7 May 2016

IS THE WAY TO HEAVEN EASY?

                                                                    


Please watch this short video to find out who is telling the truth—Joseph Prince or Paul Washer? 

Whose teaching reflects the way the Bible should be interpreted? Who is distorting the truth?


                                                                         
Notice that there are two gates and two ways (roads) in the passage about getting to heaven:
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.
(Matthew 7:13-14)

This is the picture of heaven in future:
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
(Revelation 7:9-10)

Speaker A (Joseph Prince)

Jesus is NOT referring to eternal life—but about life on earth—in the traditional passage about the way to heaven found in Matthew 7: 13-14. The broad way which leads to destruction does not refer to hell but destruction on earth (physical, emotional, etc).

Many people think that the Matthew 7 passage means that 'many will end up in hell, few will end up in heaven. But this, according to Prince, is NOT what Jesus said.

Getting to heaven, Prince suggests, is not difficult based on the great multitude in Revelation 7 above.

Jesus is the only way (only one door) to heaven.


Speaker B (Paul Washer)

The way to heaven is difficult. First, you have to enter through a narrow gate (Jesus is the only way). Then you will have to walk along the narrow road: Deny yourself, obey God and bear fruits.

Those who merely enter the narrow gate (claim they are saved based on a past decision or 
sinner’s prayer) but later do not actively pursue God (obedience to God by living holy lives and doing His will) will not be able to enter heaven—even though they have decided to follow God once upon a time. They may fulfill their religious duties by going to church on Sunday but their sinful and worldly lifestyle will condemn them on judgment day (Matthew 7:21).

In contrast, genuine believers subject themselves to God’s discipline and allow God to keep them along the narrow way that leads to life (Hebrews 12:8). They not only talk, but walk the talk. “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth” (1 John 1:6). They are changed from within, gradually transformed as a result of the new heart God created in them (Ezekiel 36:26).

Ultimately, where is our heart’s main focus in life? Is God reigning in our lives?

                          
COMMENTARY

Though we can find multitudes from every nation in heaven in Revelation chapter 7, this does NOT discount the fact that there are many, many, many, many more people (majority) who will end up in hell as the Matthew 7 passage reveals.

The white robes of the saints show us that, without holiness, no one will be able to stand in God’s presence. Surely, getting to heaven is not going to be easy.

Many on earth will be heading to hell because they reject Jesus as the only way to heaven. Even among churchgoers, many who merely profess to be believers will not make it to heaven.

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”
Matthew 7:13-14 (NLT)

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad and easy to travel is the path that leads the way to destruction and eternal loss, and there are many who enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow and difficult to travel is the path that leads the way to [everlasting] life, and there are few who find it.”
Matthew 7:13-14 (Amplified Bible) 

According to Jesus' teaching in Matthew 7:13–14, there is absolutely no doubt that MORE will go to hell than to heaven.

“Never were there so many millions of nominal Christians on earth as there are today, and never was there such a small percentage of real ones. We seriously doubt whether there has ever been a time in the history of this Christian era when there were such multitudes of deceived souls within the churches, who verily believe that all is well with their souls when in fact the wrath of God abideth on them."
     Arthur W. Pink, Bible commentator

If so many believers fall under the category of deceived souls, where do you think they will eventually end up after their sojourn on earth? That, of course, will depend on whether you subscribe to the theology of Speaker A or Speaker B.

The last part of Matthew chapter 7 alludes to false prophets (bear no fruit) and spectacular miracle workers (perform signs and wonders but do not obey or know God). Though they may seem like “spiritual superstars”, these two categories will not make it to heaven. So there will be major upsets whereby the “first” will not even get to heaven.

False prophets condemned
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
(Matthew 7: 15-20)

 False miracle workers condemned
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
(Matthew 7: 21-23)

The wise obey God, not only listen to messages
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
(Matthew 7: 24-27)


                       
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