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The Narrow Way And The Broad Way (part 1)

1 Corinthians 13:11Paul refers to immature Christianity, one that could lead to the broad-way brand that leads to destruction.

11 When I was a child [3516], I used to speak like a child [3516], think like a child [3516], reason like a child [3516]; when I became a man, I did away with childish things [3516].

NASU


NT:3516 nepios (nay'-pee-os)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from an obsolete particle ne- (implying negation) and NT:2031; not speaking, i.e. an infant (minor); figuratively, a simple-minded person, an immature Christian:

KJV - babe, child (+-ish).

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

a. an infant, little child (Matthew 21:16)

b. a minor, not of age (Galatians 4:1)

c. metaphorically, childish, untaught, unskilled (Matthew 11:25)



Matthew 7:13-14Jesus’ teaching on the confining way of eternal life for the flesh, and the broad way for the fleshly nature that leads to destruction.

13 "Enter through the narrow [4728] gate; for the gate is wide [4113- “a broad way, a street”] and the way is broad [2449- “broad, spacious”] that leads to destruction [684], and there are many who enter through it.

14 "For the gate is small [4728] and the way is narrow [2346- “to crowd, to press, to suffer affliction, to be troubled”] that leads to life, and there are few [3641- “little, small, few of number, multitude, quantity, or size”] who find [2147- “to find for oneself, to procure, get, obtain,” with the suggestion of accomplishing the end which had been in view (Hebrews 9:12)] it.

NASU


NT:4728 stenos (sten-os')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

probably from the base of NT:2476; narrow (from obstacles standing close about):

KJV - strait.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

narrow, strait

(Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words)

from a root stenseen in stenazo, “to groan,” stenagmos, “groaning” (Eng., “stenography,” lit., “narrow writing”), is used figuratively in Matthew 7:13,14, of the gate which provides the entrance to eternal life, “narrow” because it runs counter to natural inclinations, and “the way” is similarly characterized; so in Luke 13:24 (where the more intensive word agonizomai, “strive,” is used); RV, “narrow” (KJV, “strait”) in each place. Cf. stenochoreo, “to be straitened,” and stenochoria, “narrowness, anguish, distress.”


NT:684 apoleia (ap-o'-li-a)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from a presumed derivative of NT:622 [“to destroy fully”]; ruin or loss (physical, spiritual or eternal):

KJV - damnable (-nation), destruction, die, perdition, perish, pernicious ways, waste.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

1. actively, a destroying, utter destruction: as, of vessels (Romans 9:22)

2. passively, a perishing, ruin, destruction

a. in general: let thy money perish with thee (Acts 8:20)

b. in particular, the destruction which consists in the loss of eternal life, eternal misery, perdition, the lot of those excluded from the kingdom of God (Rev. 17:8,11)



Luke 13:22-30When asked if only a few were being saved, Jesus replied, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where [“what place, state, source, or cause”] you are from [“you are, have been, belong to”].” This is a similar picture of what will happen to the foolish virgins.

22 And He was passing through from one city and village to another, teaching, and proceeding on His way to Jerusalem.

23 And someone said to Him, "Lord, are there just a few [3641- see def. above in Matthew 7:13-14] who are being saved?" And He said to them,

24 "Strive [75- see def. below] to enter through the narrow [4728- see def. above in Matthew 7:13-14] door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.

25 "Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, 'Lord, open up to us!' then He will answer and say to you, 'I do not know where [4159- “what place, state, source, or cause”] you are from [2075- “you are, have been, belong to”].'

26 "Then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets';

27 and He will say, 'I tell you, I do not know where [4159] you are from [2075]; DEPART FROM ME, ALL YOU EVILDOERS [KJV/NKJV; “all you workers [2040] of iniquity [93]; [2040]- “a workman, a laborer, one who does”); [93]- “injustice, morally wrongfulness (of character, life or act)”].'

28 "In that place [the “place” He referred to in verse 25] there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown [1544- “to eject, to cast out, to drive out, to send out, to cast off or away”] out [1854- see def. below].

29 "And they will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God.

30 "And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last."

NASU


NT:75 agonizomai (ag-o-nid'-zom-ahee)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:73; to struggle, literally (to compete for a prize), figuratively (to contend with an adversary), or genitive case (to endeavor to accomplish something):

KJV - fight, labor fervently, strive.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

1. to enter a contest; contend in the gymnastic games (1 Corinthians 9:25)

2. universally, to contend with adversaries, fight

3. figuratively to contend, struggle, with difficulties and dangers antagonistic to the gospel

4. to endeavor with strenuous zeal, strife, to obtain something; followed by an infinitive (Luke 13:24)


NT:1854 exo (ex'-o)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

adverb from NT:1537 [“denotes origin, from out of, out from”]; out (-side, of doors), literally or figuratively:

KJV - away, forth, (with-) out (of, -ward), strange.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

1. without, out of doors

a. adverbially (Mark 11:4)

b. it takes the place of a preposition and is joined with the genitive, without (Luke 13:33)

2. after the verbs of going, sending, placing, leading, drawing, etc.

a. adverbially (Matthew 26:75)

b. as a preposition with the genitive



Other [75] verses:


John 18:36 – “…then My servants would be fighting [75]…” (NASU)


1 Corinthians 9:25 – “Everyone who competes [75] in the games exercises self-control in all things… (NASU)


Colossians 1:29 – “For this purpose also I labor, striving [75] according to His power, which mightily works within me.” (NASU)


Colossians 4:12 – “…always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers…” (NASU)


1 Timothy 6:12 – “Fight [75] the good fight of faith…” (NASU)


2 Timothy 4:7 – “I have fought [75] the good fight, I have finished the course…” (NASU)



Matthew 22:8-14See the note below.

8 "Then he said to his slaves, 'The wedding is ready, but those who were invited [2564] were not worthy [514- “deserving, having weight, befitting, of one who has merited anything”].

9 'Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite [2564] to the wedding feast.'

10 "Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found [2147- see def. in Matthew 7:14 above], both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests.

11 "But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes,

12 and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?' And the man was speechless.

13 "Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and throw [1544- see def. in Luke 13:28 above] him into the outer darkness; in that place [“where you are from” in Luke 13:25 above] there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

14 "For many are called [2822], but few [3641] are chosen [1588- “select; by implication, favorite; picked out; chosen by God”]."

NASU


NT:2564 kaleo (kal-eh'-o)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

akin to the base of NT:2753; to "call" (properly, aloud, but used in a variety of applications, dir. or otherwise):

KJV - bid, call (forth), (whose, whose sur-) name (was [called]).

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

1. to call

a. to call aloud, utter in a loud voice (Hebrews 3:13)

b. like the Latin voco equivalent to to invite

1. properly: eis tous gamous (Matthew 22:3, 9)

2. metaphorically: to invite one, eis ti, to something (1 Thessalonians 2:12)

2. to call i. e. to name, call by name

a. to give a name to (Matthew 10:25)

b. Passive kaloumai with the predicate nominative to be called, i. e. to bear a name or title

c. kaloo tina, with an accusative of the predicate or a title of honor, to salute one by a name (Matthew 23:9)


NT:2822 kletos (klay-tos')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from the same as NT:2821; invited, i.e. appointed, or (specifically) a saint:

KJV - called.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

called, invited

a. invited (by God in the proclamation of the gospel) to obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God through Christ (Romans 8:28)

b. called to (the discharge of) some office (Romans 1:1)

kletos [NT:2822] – “called, invited,” is used, (a) “of the call of the gospel,” (Matthew 20:16; 22:14), not there “an effectual call,” as in the Epistles (Romans 1:1, 6-7; 8:28; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 24; Jude 1; Revelation 17:14); in Romans 1:7 and 1 Corinthians 1:2 the meaning is “saints by calling”; (b) of “an appointment to apostleship,” (Romans 1:1; 1 Corinthians 1:1).

(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)


In this passage, Jesus teaches about His wedding feast at the end of this age. A man with an invitation that he had received from the king, came to the wedding feast but wasn’t dressed in the proper, or acceptable attire for the occasion. Because of his lack of concern, thinking it didn’t matter how he came, that he was in no matter what, the king commanded his servant to bind him, hand and foot, and to throw him into the “outer darkness” where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (see the Bible studies Outer Darkness, and Binding And Loosing). Obviously, he should have listened and prepared for the event with much greater concern.

So how does this apply to us today? The wedding supper of the Lamb, who is Christ, draws near. Those who have accepted His invitation, his calling for salvation, receiving it from Him for themselves, must now be resolved in regards to putting on the proper attire lest we too find ourselves being thrown out of the feast.

John spoke of the feast and the preparation of the bride in his revelation;


“Let us [“us” being the “loud voice of a great multitude in heaven” in verse 1 and 6] rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready [2090- “the act of preparing, to make ready, preparedness, readiness”].” It was given [1325- “granted”; see John 1:12 – given/granted the “right” to become] to her to clothe [4016- “to cast around or about, to put on, array”] herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited [2564- see def. right above] to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.”

(Revelation 19:7-9/NASU)


The announcement from the Lord is that the wedding draws near. How we as Christians respond through our heart preparation will determine our place at His table. It will decide whether or not we will be allowed continued access or be bound and thrown out into the horrors of the tribulation, a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth. Lord, help us in our moment of stubborn hesitation, confirming this word to whoever reads this as truth.



Isaiah 40:1-5See the note below.

1 "Comfort, O comfort My people," says your God.

2 "Speak kindly to Jerusalem; and call out to her, that her warfare [6635- “a mass of persons, an army; fig., hardship, worship”] has ended, that her iniquity [5771- see def. below] has been removed, that she has received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins [2403- “an offence (sometimes habitual sinfulness), and its penalty, occasion, sacrifice, or expiation; also (concretely) an offender”]."

3 A voice is calling, "Clear [6437- “to turn away, to put out of the way, to make clear, to clear away”] the way [1870- “a road, a journey, a manner, a habit”] for the Lord in the wilderness [4057- “a desert, a wilderness, uninhabited land”]; Make smooth [3474- see def. below] in the desert [6160- “a desert; from 6150 (in the sense of sterility)”] a highway [4546- “a highway, a raised way, a public road”] for our God.

4 "Let every valley [1516- see def, below] be lifted up [5375- “to lift up, to carry, to remove, depart”], and every mountain and hill be made low [8213- “sink down, be humiliated, to set in a lower place”]; and let the rough ground [6121- “deceitful, sly, slippery, steep, hilly”] become a plain [4334- “a level place, uprightness; fig. straightness”], and the rugged terrain [7406- “roughness or bound up, impeded, the impassable or mountain chain”] a broad valley [1237- “properly, a split, i.e. a wide level valley between mountains”];

5 Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken."

NASU


OT:5771 `avon (aw-vone'); or `avown (2 Kings 7:9; Psalm 51:5 [OT:7]) (aw-vone')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from OT:5753; perversity, i.e. (moral) evil:

KJV - fault, iniquity, mischief, punishment (of iniquity), sin.

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

perversity, depravity, iniquity, guilt or punishment of iniquity

a) iniquity

b) guilt of iniquity, guilt (as great), guilt (of condition)

c) consequence of or punishment for iniquity


`avon [OT:5771] – “iniquity”; This word is derived from the root ‘awah, which means “to be bent, bowed down, twisted, perverted” or “to twist, pervert.” The Arabic cognate ‘awa means “to twist, bend down”; some scholars regard the Arabic term ghara (“to err from the way”) as the true cognate, but there is less justification for this interpretation.

`Avon portrays sin as a perversion of life (a twisting out of the right way), a perversion of truth (a twisting into error), or a perversion of intent (a bending of rectitude into willful disobedience). The word “iniquity” is the best single-word equivalent, although the Latin root iniquitas really means “injustice; unfairness; hostile; adverse.”

(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)


OT:3474 yashar (yaw-shar')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

a primitive root; to be straight or even; figuratively, to be (causatively, to make) right, pleasant, prosperous:

KJV - direct, fit, seem good (meet), please (will), be (esteem, go) right (on), bring (look, make, take the) straight (way), be upright (-ly).

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

to be right, to be straight, to be level, to be upright, to be just, to be lawful, to be smooth

a) (Qal)

1) to go straight

2) to be pleasing [see the Bible study Well Pleased], to be agreeable, to be right (figurative)

3) to be straightforward, to be upright

b) (Piel)

1) to make right, to make smooth, to make straight

2) to lead, direct, to lead straight along

3) to esteem right, to approve

c) (Pual) to be made level, to be laid smoothly out

d) (Hiphil) to make straight, to look straight


yashar [OT:3474] – “to be straight, be smooth, be right.” This verb, which occurs rarely has many derivatives in the Bible. In Akkadian the verb isharu signifies “to be straight, bring in order,” and the noun misharum denotes justice and an upright way of life. The Hebrew word has many related words in other Semitic languages (Phoenician, Ugaritic) and even in Egyptian.

One occurrence of the verb is in 1 Chronicles 13:4: “And all the congregation said that they would do so: for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.” In this usage yashar has the sense of being pleasing or agreeable. In Habakkuk 2:4 the word implies an ethical uprightness.

(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)


OT:1516 gay' (gah'-ee); or (shortened) gay (gah'-ee)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

probably (by transmutation) from the same root as OT:1466 [“exaltation, arrogance, pride, a lifting up”] (abbreviated); a gorge (from its lofty sides; hence, narrow, but not a gully or winter-torrent):

KJV - valley.

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

a valley, a steep valley, a narrow gorge


Similar to Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 7:13-14, and Luke 13:22-30, the Lord is describing the “narrow way” in this passage from the Old Testament, through Isaiah, who is often referred to as “The Messianic Prophet” because of his numerous prophecies that were fulfilled in Jesus. The Lord tells the prophet to “speak kindly to Jerusalem; and call out to her, that her warfare [i.e. “severe trials, hardship”] has ended, that her iniquity [perversity, i.e. (moral) evil; depravity, guilt”] has been removed, that she has received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins [“an offence (sometimes habitual sinfulness), and its penalty, occasion, sacrifice, or expiation”].”

Israel had sinned greatly against the Lord. His people had waded deep into depravity with their idolatry, injustice, immorality, and negligence to His words of warning through His messengers. Through His judgments on the nation by her enemies, God would spare a remnant through whom would come the Messiah and His new kingdom.

The first 39 chapters of Isaiah speak of the period when the Assyrian’s ruled over them. Chapters 40-66 prophecy of the coming exile in Babylon. Right at the beginning of this future prophecy through Isaiah of Israel’s being enslaved again, there is a future promise of God’s deliverance. His mercy would be revealed after their being doubly chastised by their enemies. This phrase is used in a couple other passages as well within the Bible.

The first, again because of the sins of His people against Him, the Lord declared through Jeremiah;


“For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity concealed from My eyes. I will first doubly repay their iniquity and their sin, because they have polluted My land; they have filled My inheritance with the carcasses of their detestable idols and with their abominations.”

(Jeremiah 17:17-18/NASU)


And then in John’s Revelation who prophesied of the coming judgment against Babylon, the great harlot who has become “a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird” (Revelation 18:2);


“I heard another voice from heaven, saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven [see the Bible study The Nephilim And The End Of All Flesh], and God has remembered her iniquities. Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her. To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, “I SIT as A QUEEN AND I AM NOT A WIDOW, and will never see mourning.” For this reason [a false sense of security] in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong.’”

(Revelation 18:4-8/NASU)


Don’t miss the Lord’s severe warning to us today. He is specifically warning His people (i.e. Christians), to come out, to separate from the great spiritual harlot at the end of this age, not participating in her sins so as to then receive of her plagues. This is why there has been a delay of His wrath on our nation in particular. He is giving His people time to separate from all that He will soon judge.

Most Israelites ignored the Lord’s cry through His prophets in the Old Testament. They had a false sense of security in Him. Many in the church today, while joining in the sin of the world, tragically choose to believe the same, that they will be protected from His soon coming wrath on all the nations while willingly participating in the wickedness of the world. If not repented of, it will cost them their place at the wedding feast of the Lamb.

Paul prophesied of the “mystery of lawlessness” that would be at work among God’s people right before His return. He said there would be a rebellion, a great apostasy, a falling away from devotion to Christ among His followers, to many people’s destruction. In fact, He declared that these “sons of destruction” will;


“…oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple [the temple of His body], proclaiming himself to be God… And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”

(2 Thessalonians 2:4, 8-12/NIV)


The Lord has been warning us for years to separate from that which he is judging in our land. If we will listen and repent, when necessary, He will forgive us. But if we continue to cling to wickedness, we will perish with it. Many in the church who have refused the love of the truth have already been given over to their sin. As the Lord spoke to my wife, the unrepentant and rebellious among His people will, like Israel, “curse Me and die.” This is what it means to be a son and daughter of destruction...


(See part 2; Revival In The Wilderness)



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