2: The Narrow Gate

By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. (Hebrews 11:4) Abel offered up to God a blood sacrifice while Cain offered a sacrifice without blood. Abel’s sacrifice pleased God while Cain’s sacrifice pleased himself. He thought that through his own effort he could please God, and was not willing to acknowledge the fact that through the sin of his parents he had fallen from God’s favor. He came to God thinking he was acceptable in his present condition, but the path of human superiority is not acceptable to God for many reasons. Cain thought he could come to God without a mediator. We all know the blood sacrifice of Abel was a representation of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.

Man is the nastiest creature on earth. He does things that no other animal would do, and he subjects himself to worship the creature instead of the Creator. Every person on earth can look to the heavens and see the glory of God. Man has no excuse! The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. (Psalm 19:1) It is written in the heart of every man. They know God, but they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Romans 1:21) The further we get away from creation, the more man is going to sin, and the more he will believe in his heart that he is superior to God.

Today we have those who accept part of the Bible as truth, but disregard other parts because it does not fit into their lifestyle. They don’t deny the truth, they just ignore the parts that are inconvenient. Then they use spiritualism or the imaginations of their mind to create a religion that suits their behavior, and there is a tremendous cost to the followers of this lifestyle. If anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:19)  Every cult or false religion has some basis in the truth. The creators of these denominations take passages from scripture and twist the meaning to accommodate their belief system. This is heresy.

Ideology is just another ball and chain for modern man. We were never intended to be a part of the world, but we have chosen to be bound over by religious customs instead of accepting the freedom of Christianity. Anything we cannot understand or explain we worship. Since God’s way does not suit our sinfulness, we look elsewhere to fill the void, and only find loneliness, unhappiness, and depression. Everywhere we look we find people worshiping the external things of the world. It is a huge problem with the modern-day church because we spend our time with religious rituals rather than worshiping God in spirit and in truth. “The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24)

The word “church” is not a very good translation of the Greek word ekklesia. It is a substitution that is misleading. The word church in its original German form meant house of the Lord, or temple. This is not what Paul the Apostle had in mind when he penned his New Testament letters. A better definition is “assembly.” Ekklesia was not, and is not, a religious term. It has nothing to do with a building, or a physical location. I believe it has sent the body of Christ in the wrong direction. Just imagine for a minute if we took all the trillions of dollars we have spent on buildings over the centuries and invested it into the great commission. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” (Matthew 28:19-20) If we sent missionaries, educational booklets, and videos all over the world to further the knowledge of Christ, how different would the world look today?

  God is everywhere: we do not have to go to some specific building to worship Him. He is available right there where you sit. We are a walking, talking sanctuary, and if we are worshiping God in spirit and in truth we can do this anywhere. This is just one of the many enslavements that mankind has created for themselves. Some denominations say we can only eat certain types of food on certain days. Some say if we abide by their religion we are holy, and if we don’t we are not. Some say we can worship only at specific times or days during the week, while others say we must be facing in a particular direction. We are placing God in a jar and putting Him on the shelf until we are ready, at the time and place of our choosing, to bring Him into our presence. This is totally absurd!

I know you have seen the bumper sticker that spells out “coexist.” It shows the crescent moon, the peace sign, the star of David, and the cross. There are those who would have us believe there is truth in every religion. This is like saying water can be found anywhere, so it must be okay to drink disregarding the condition of where the water is found. Water is never drinkable unless it has been distilled. It contains minerals, bacterium, and countless other things that can be bad for us if we ingest it. When you study the religions of the world you will find truth, but partial truth can be more dangerous to our mind than lies.

We have to remember how Satan works. When he was with Eve he would speak partial truths, and he used trickery to deceive her. He only told her what he wanted her to know, and left out the most important part. There are times we want to believe something even when we know it is a lie. Every false religion in the world starts out with some basic truth and then subtly, and intentionally, moves to deceive. False religions are designed to control the masses, enslaving them into a false belief system. Christianity on the other hand sets you free from sin and the control of Satan.

Most spend their lifetime seeking God on an external basis. They look for Him in people, in places, and in things not even remotely related to Him. We need to proclaim it from the mountaintops that God is Spirit and we worship Him in spirit and in truth. We must apply both principles to have a successful relationship with God. It cannot be spirit alone because spirit without truth is helpless. It cannot be truth alone because truth without spirit would be belief without the fire of faith. There is only one way to worship God. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

For one to worship in spirit, in truth, and through faith, we have to surrender to the truth that God has revealed to us in His word. We have to confess to others that God is who He says He is, admit that we are enslaved by sin, and declare that through the resurrection He has delivered us from the cost of sin, which is death. Then we have to turn away from that sin and turn to God so we walk in the obedience of His word. We walk out of darkness into the light of the glory of God so we discover the true one and only Creator of all things, and not the god of an animal or bird. These facts alone create a communion with our heavenly Father, and enlightenment will ensue.

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