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5 Non-Negotiable Truths About Eternal Life, Part 1

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
September 13, 2023 12:00 am

5 Non-Negotiable Truths About Eternal Life, Part 1

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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September 13, 2023 12:00 am

Listen to the full-length version, watch the video, or read the manuscript for this message here: https://www.wisdomonline.org/teachings/luke-lesson-73 Like the “COEXIST” bumper stickers we see on cars, the worldview that many paths lead to heaven is pervasive and politically correct in our culture. But this concept, that “all roads lead to God” is not a new philosophy; in fact, Jesus confronted the same issue during His earthly ministry. The world will call it “intolerant,” “judgmental,” and “exclusive,” but the truth remains: narrow is the path to life.

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Truth is narrow. We need to stop trying to make people comfortable by somehow denying or hiding from them the narrow claims of Christ. If you want into the kingdom, there's one door. There's one way. In fact, Jesus clears it up.

Again, he says in John chapter 10 in verse 90, he actually says it this way. Am the door. If anyone enters by me, they shall be saved.

I'm the door. It's only one. The paths lead to heaven is pervasive. It's considered the politically correct view in our culture.

It's also wrong. This concept that many roads lead to God is not a new philosophy. In fact, Jesus confronted the same issue during his earthly ministry. Now, the world will call what Jesus says intolerant, judgmental, and exclusive. I hope that you're among those who call it the truth.

This is wisdom for the heart. Today, Stephen begins a message called five non-negotiable truths about eternal life. The average person on the street today believes salvation can be custom-made, that you can custom a design, your robe of salvation, so to speak. One author cataloged a number of well-known religious and cultural leaders, and they expressed this common belief that one size fits all.

You determine the size, and it'll work for anybody. Just be sincerely religious, of course, and it'll all work out. There are many paths to God. Among them, he included the famous quote by Gandhi decades ago who said, All the great religions are fundamentally the same. It's very common today to hear that idea. He also quoted a well-known religious leader who said, I'm against any religion that says one faith is superior to another.

I don't see how that is anything different than spiritual racism. The author quoted popular talk show host who said, One of the biggest mistakes humans make is to believe there is only one way. There are many diverse paths leading to God.

Of course, the problem, there are many, but one that comes to mind with this prevailing view is that this is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible, in fact, clearly states the opposite, and that's the troubling thing about true Christianity where Jesus said he was the only way, not one of many, but the only way to the Father, John 14 six. The question I would have in my mind is if Jesus is only one of many ways, why did he come to die? Why would he need to? Why go through the agony of separation from the glories of heaven and die on a cross?

Why go through all of that rejection and suffering and pain? Surely he's intelligent enough to know that if there are many ways, he could just simply point to one of them and save himself the trouble. The truth is the popular view out there allows people to sit in the seat of God. They become sovereign. They go to heaven on their terms.

What's comfortable with him? So Jesus essentially becomes that proverbial burn their saddle, that that little pebble in their shoe that makes everybody uncomfortable, which is why the world today only wants really to quote Jesus in a few ways. One of them would be the golden rule.

Treat everybody like you want to be treated. We'll quote Jesus as having said that, and they're quick to quote that golden rule and then tell everybody that Jesus, for the most part, talked about love and nothing more beyond that. They obviously haven't read what Jesus said. In fact, we're about to hear him say something very troubling, something that will never gain the same status as the golden rule.

To this day, something never repeated on talk shows and never quoted by religious leaders. When Jesus said what we're about to see and hear, it offended his world and it offends ours today. Now it all begins with a question. We're in the gospel by Luke.

If you're new to us around here, we're in Chapter 13. We're about to pick it up at verse 22. And as we work our way through this encounter, by the way, I want to structure our thoughts along the lines of five points, five points in this outline. I don't ever want to be accused of giving you only three points. So here's five, whether you want them or not. And I want to call them five non-negotiable truths about eternal life.

And I might add the word troubling to the world at large. Here's the first non-negotiable truth. Salvation demands a heart of humility. Now let's pick it up at verse 22.

He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem. And someone said to him, Lord, will those who are saved be few? Stop for a moment. In other words, how many people are getting into this kingdom that you've been telling us about? What's that number?

Give me a ballpark figure. Keep in mind, by the way, that the average Jewish person in this predominantly Jewish audience in this stage, hearing the king announce the coming of his kingdom, would have automatically assumed they were getting in because they were related to Abraham. They're in the right family tree. They've got that blood coursing through their veins therein. So they would assume that everything's all right. In fact, if you go back and study the Mishnah collection of codified laws and commentary dating back even prior to Jesus, it was around when he was preaching. The rabbis were teaching from the Mishnah, and I quote one key statement of theirs.

Here it is. All Israelites have a share in the world to come. So the Pharisees, the religious leaders, held to this. If you're related to Abraham, you're an Israelite, you're in. Now, earlier, the Lord had said something rather troubling, recorded by Matthew in his Gospel in Chapter 7, when he said the white gate is the gate of the Pharisees, and it leads to destruction. There is this narrow path, and that's the true way to enter the kingdom. So if you keep that in the back of your mind, you come to this individual's question.

We'll call him a he. He's asking this question, and he's more than likely troubled. If the Pharisee's way is broad and it's wrong, how many Jewish people are getting in after all? In addition to that, he might want to know how many Gentiles could get at it, although he can't conceive of that idea. In fact, you might notice from his question that he assumes it's not going to be that many now.

Did you notice? Will those who are saved be few? Truth is, he's worried. He's troubled. We're not told what's going on in this individual's life, but we know the Lord would know his heart. More than likely, what this curious person is really asking is this, Lord, am I getting in? What about me? Can I tell you right now at this juncture in our study today, that is the most important question you will ever ask and answer.

Am I getting in to live with the king? Notice he says, how many, Lord? He wants a number.

He'll do the math. But instead of giving a mathematical answer, Jesus gives him a metaphorical answer and turns it around on him, really. You'll notice verse 24 again, and he said to them, that is to this person asking the question and then to the entire crowd, strive to enter the narrow gate, the narrow door.

How many people are getting in? The Lord says, well, let me tell you what it is they're trying to get in. It's a narrow door. Strive to enter the narrow door.

Now, don't misunderstand. The Lord is not saying here that you've got to work your way in. And if you work hard enough, you're going to be able to squeeze through that door. He didn't give us the dimensions.

You're probably thinking, I'm hoping it's a 42 long, maybe 43 long after Thanksgiving. Maybe I'll get in. No. The Bible clearly teaches we're saved by grace through faith. It's not a result of works, lest any man should boast.

Ephesians 2, 8 and 9. The word striving here is a word that refers to remaining focused. It has the idea. In fact, it's used in the Greek world, in the athletic world for an athlete staying focused.

His eye on where he wants to run, jump, throw. In other words, don't be distracted by the false views of the broad way. Don't fear off that path. Stay focused on this door.

This is the way. I like the way Darryl block and his wonderful commentary on this text writes, this word is not suggesting you can somehow work your way to God. It's a word that refers to being on a quest, and he uses it in parallel with the Old Testament concept in Proverbs chapter two, where Solomon says, seek after wisdom as if it were silver. Search for it like hidden treasure, and then you'll find what it means to fear or to trust in the Lord.

Proverbs chapter two, verses one through five. In other words, do you really want it? Do you really want this? Is this treasure to you? A true believer would say, this is treasure to me.

The fact of everything I have, Jesus is the greatest treasure I have. You say, well, isn't everybody like that? Have you talked to people? Talk to people all the time and and, you know, I try to turn the corner and conversation and. As you can imagine, I'm busy with people who make appointments with me and I don't get out much. And so if somebody comes to my home to repair something, I got him.

I'm ready. I invite him into my study, kind of let him look around a little bit, and I'll try to turn the conversation. And I found people that are open and interested, and I found people that as soon as I mentioned something spiritual, their eyes glaze over. And I can tell this is going nowhere. They don't want it.

And I usually stop because they're not interested. That's what he's talking about here. The fact that he refers to this narrow gate, assumes or implies that humility is in this quest.

Nobody's riding their high horse into the kingdom. Almost gives you the idea that you're stooping, as it were, and humility to get through the door. But keep in mind as well, the concept of a narrow door isn't so much about its size as it is its singularity. This is narrow.

This is the only way. There aren't many. And listen, beloved, the gospel is narrow. We need to understand that it's going to be received as exclusive. It's as narrow as the answer on your first grade math test in school.

You did not get points for getting close. There was one answer. I was reminded of that. My mother is now with the Lord. As of last year, she kept up a big box for each of her four sons.

I had forgotten about that. And all the memorabilia, sports letters. But my mother kept every one of my elementary school report cards. I don't know why. Blackmail, maybe?

I'm not sure. But she kept them. And I pulled out my first grade report card.

And let's just say it was below sea level, if you understand what I mean. And it made me sympathize for my dear mother. But I looked and there was my math grade. Nothing to tell you about it, other than I needed to continue learning. But next to it in handwriting was my teacher's note.

That said, I believe your son needs extra help. I never did like her. I did. Math is narrow. Truth is narrow. That runway your plane has to land on is narrow. That prescription your doctor gives you is narrow. How many pills you take is narrow. I don't care about that.

I think I want to get this instead. No, it's narrow. This is narrow truth. We need to stop trying to make people comfortable by somehow denying or hiding from them the narrow claims of Christ. If you want into the kingdom, there's one door. There's one way. In fact, Jesus clears it up.

Again, he says in John chapter 10 in verse 90, he actually says it this way. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, they shall be saved on the door. It's only one. I love the fact that this metaphor makes it clear that everybody entering the kingdom gets in the same way.

Whether poor or rich, a prince or a peasant connected. You get in the same way through the same door. Now, Jesus moves here from metaphor to parable. Here's the second non-negotiable truth about eternal life.

Before we go any further, there's a time limit on your personal invitation. He goes on to say here in verse 24, again, strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Now, that sounds like a lot of people want to enter the kingdom of God, but they just can't get in. I mean, they're trying, but they can't get in.

We don't know why. Maybe they messed up the secret handshake or forgot the secret password, but God doesn't want them. They want God, but God doesn't want them. No, that's not what Jesus is saying. Keep reading.

Here's why they can't get in. Verse 25 tells us why. When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you notice this, begin. Now you begin. You stand outside and you knock at the door saying, Lord, open to us. He will answer, I do not know where you come from. There's no way of saying, I don't know who you are.

We're not related. See, these people in this parable only want to enter after they realize that Jesus was telling them the truth. And now it's too late.

He's using a rather common illustration, by the way. His generation would have immediately understood where the gates of a city would be closed at nightfall for security. People returning to the city after those gates were closed had to find lodging outside the city gates, the city walls. Inns were developed around those gates where they would stay regardless of their standing, regardless of their social status. The gates were closed.

Same would be true of a household closing its doors at night. So Jesus is delivering this truth, even if it's uncomfortable and non-negotiable, there is a time limit to the offer of salvation. And that time limit happens to be the length of your life.

That's how long we have. When you die, God closes the door. The Bible says man is destined to die once and after that face the judgment, Hebrews 9.27, which is why the Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 6 and verse 2, Now is the day of salvation. Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year, not when you kind of get your stuff together. Now, today, Hebrews 4.7 says, Today, if you hear his voice, harden not your heart. You see, there's a biblical principle about hardening. Don't harden your heart because the longer you do, the harder it becomes. Why would you believe that if you don't want Jesus now, that 20 years from now you're going to wake up and say, you know, I want him after all.

No, your heart is hard 20 years longer as you've rejected him, which is why those of us who work in the ministry of the church understand fully well the truth that the older a person becomes, the less likely they are to give their heart and life to Jesus Christ. The day that you die. Chuck Swindoll writes on this text is the day the door slams shut.

It's locked tight. It's a terrifying thought, isn't it? You see, the apostle Paul will write, Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we seek to persuade mankind. This is not a game. This is life and death. In recent weeks, as we've been studying through the Lord's urgency and his preaching, I've been thinking about one of the most tragic demonstrations of this time.

Limit offer. Of salvation. Rejected until too late. One of the most tragic things we could ever see. I doubt we ever will.

We might. I don't know if the Lord will reconstruct it. But one of the most tragic things we could possibly ever see would be all the marks, all the fingernail marks, all the clawing marks, all the dents and cuts made by hammers and hatchets on the door of the ark. For 120 years, Noah has been preaching to his generation, warning them that a flood is coming. The entire human race is going to be judged by God. Just as we preach today, there is fire coming.

Second Peter tells us it's coming. God is going to flood the planet. Back in Noah's generation, the human race is going to drown in the judgment of God. Their only hope is to get into that ark, not build their own boat.

Get into that ark. The people, if you go back and you study that account, they would laugh and they would mock, and they eventually ignored him. In fact, I don't think anybody even came around after about the second, third year.

Certainly not the 119th year. He's out of his mind. We haven't seen rain. Ecological systems will change after this point, the Bible tells us. There's no body of water near Noah. He's building this huge boat in his dusty backyard. He's a lunatic. And if there is a God, surely God wouldn't judge the human race like that. Who do you think God is? Noah. I mean, who does he think he is? How arrogant, how exclusive, how narrow.

You've got to come through this door. And outside of his family, no one believed. 120 years of preaching.

No one believed. And then it started to rain. The Bible tells us that the currents of water underneath the surface of the earth erupted upward. Rain poured from above.

Water rose quickly. And we read it's too late because of that rather terrifying verse in Genesis chapter 7 where we are told that God had shut the door. Not Noah. God shut the door. How many people wanted to get on that ark once the water started rising? I can tell you, beloved, there were no unbelievers then. They were listening now.

I can't imagine the clamoring, the clawing and the pounding. No one had believed until it was too late. The door was shut. Here's the point of the parable.

We actually have even longer than they did in the sense that it lasts as long as we're alive. This invitation though has an RSVP and there's a time limit to that until it is forever too late. Are you alive? Then send it in. That was Stephen Davey, the president of Wisdom International. This message is called Five Non-Negotiable Truths About Eternal Life. This message is also incomplete.

We're going to bring you the second half of this message next time. We have a resource called God's Wisdom for Your Heart that will help you understand God's offer of eternal life. It's also a tool you can use to share with others. There are three ways for you to access this resource. On our website you'll find it at wisdomonline.org forward slash gospel. We have an app for your phone or tablet and you can look for the Wisdom International app in the app store for your device. On the home screen of that app is a link that says gospel.

We also have bundles of this resource in print for you to share with others. Call us for information. Dial 866-48-BIBLE and we can help you. Stephen is the president of Shepherd's Theological Seminary. The school offers courses both in person and online and that makes it possible for you to study God's word at the seminary level without relocating to our area. Shepherd's Seminary is a fully accredited graduate school with a world-class faculty.

The school offers a unique program that might interest some of you. How would your life be impacted if you were to set aside one year to study God's word, experience authentic community, grow in discipleship, take a trip to do some study in Israel, and earn your master's degree in theological studies all in one year? Shepherd's Seminary offers a program called the Shepherd's Institute and you can experience all that I just described. We've had men and women join us right out of college and before entering the workforce. We've had men join us who believed they were called to be a pastor. They did this program to start their education and then jumped into the Master of Divinity program. Whatever God has called you to, investing one year like this will help you.

The school has campuses in North Carolina, Florida, Wyoming, and Texas. We also have an opportunity for you to save a little bit of money because we have a discount code you can use to get a free application to Shepherd's Seminary. When you apply, simply use the word WISDOM. Again, that discount code is WISDOM and that will give you a free application to Shepherd's Seminary. Visit wisdomonline.org, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page, and you'll see a link to Shepherd's Seminary. Please be sure and join us next time to hear the rest of this message here on Wisdom for the Heart. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-29 04:35:45 / 2023-10-29 04:44:56 / 9

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