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The Agonizing Gospel

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Here’s a great article from Bryan Daniels who has a blog called “Chief of the Least.”

“Strive to enter in at the narrow gate.”
(Luke 13:24)

Jesus would not be a minister of evangelism/missions at your church. It’s likely he would have never gotten past your search committee. You may not even want him on a visitation team. Not if you attend a church like most in modern American “churchianity”.

A cursory reading of Scripture shows that many times instead of making it easy for people to come to him, Christ put up formidable barriers to their coming. The harshness of tone and content in his invitation was usually in direct correlation to the hidden pride of his hearers. Amazingly, Christ didn’t always hit an inquiring person with a John 3:16 or a Mat 11:28 like we do. The Rich Young Ruler got smacked with the Ten Commandments when he came in Mark 10. The Pharisees were told their mom [slept] with the devil in John 8. Christ referred to a needy Samaritan woman as a dog when she asked for help in Mark 7:28. In general, his call in the Gospels consisted of “Turn your back on everything you know, and come die with me.” To which the response was either instant obedience to the command or “This dude’s crazy!” and “He just has a demon.”

So it shouldn’t surprise us that when Christ was met with a seemingly simple question, he handled it in an utterly unique and refreshingly blunt way. In Luke 13:23, as Jesus is teaching and journeying towards Jerusalem, an inquirer asks, “Lord, are there few who are saved?” Far from a simple “Yes” or “No” answer Jesus gives this response: “Strive to enter in at the narrow gate” (Luke 13:24). Read the rest by clicking here.

16 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing bro! God bless you and yours!

  2. I think you got your answer. It just wasn’t quite what you wanted.

    • Or maybe Jim didn’t understand why Jesus answers in these wonderfully creative ways.

    • Wow, Jim. That is a perfect example. Whew boy! Wow!

    • Do you really find this effective evangalism?

    • Steve’s brand of evangelism is quantity over quality. It doesn’t matter how weak and ineffectual the message is, he just wants to get it out to as many people as possible.Sure, it’s incredibly unlikely that anyone would be converted by a tract, but odds are that SOMEONE is out there that will fall for it.

      Instead of putting effort into a stronger, better-crafted attempt, they put effort into mass production and gimmicks.

    • Yes Bath Tub, very effective! Words like these have the ability to prick the conscience and in affect show a person their lost condition and desperate need for a savior! Are you so blind that you can’t see? (2 Corinthians 4:4)

  3. What an outstanding post! There is much joy connected with the Christian life but much “sorrow and heaviness of heart” as well. I read several months ago what A.W. Pink had to say on the same subject:

    Entering the Narrow Gate signifies the heart’s acceptance of Christ’s holy teaching. Ah, my friend, to really and actually enter this “Narrow Gate” is no easy matter! These words do not picture salvation as a thing of simple and easy attainment. That Jesus should utter such a statement, clearly implies that there are formidable difficulties and obstacles to be overcome, and that slothful nominal professors will surely not enter in.

    Why is such striving necessary to “enter” the narrow gate?

    First, because SATAN is striving to destroy your soul. “Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour!” 1 Peter 5:8

    Second, because natural appetites of the FLESH are striving to destroy you: “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims–abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” 1 Peter 2:11

    Third, because the whole WORLD is arrayed against you. It will seek to draw you by its alluring promises, its Delilah-like deceits, and fatal enticements. Unless you overcome the world, the world will overcome you to the eternal destruction of your soul.

    From what has been before us, we may plainly discover why it is that the vast majority of our fellow-men, yes, and of professing Christians also, will fail to reach Heaven–it is because they prefer . . .
    sin, to holiness;
    indulging the lusts of the flesh, to walking according to the Scriptures;
    self, to Christ;
    the world, to God.

    Men refuse to . . .
    deny self,
    abandon their idols, and
    submit to Christ as Lord
    –and without this, none can take the first step toward Heaven and enter through the narrow gate!

    • SteveL Wrote “Fundies refuse to . . .
      deny ego,
      abandon their arrogance, and
      submit to Christ as Lord
      –and without this, none can take the first step toward Heaven and enter through the narrow gate!”

      Fixed it for you SteveL. No need to thank me.

      • Chris, you’re incoherent plus you fixed nothing! You didn’t quote me but the words of the commentator I quoted. Pay attention; it might pay dividends!

    • Steve L. wrote:

      From what has been before us, we may plainly discover why it is that the vast majority of our fellow-men, yes, and of professing Christians also, will fail to reach Heaven–it is because they prefer . . .
      sin, to holiness;
      indulging the lusts of the flesh, to walking according to the Scriptures;
      self, to Christ;
      the world, to God.

      Or, maybe, they don’t accept unsupported supernatural claims that don’t make sense.

      But that explanation isn’t as demonizing as the one you listed… so, there’s that.

      • Nohm, just like Chris, you quoted the commentator, not me. But at least you didn’t change the words as he did.

        “Or, maybe, they don’t accept unsupported supernatural claims that don’t make sense.”

        As I wrote in another post, the Bible is to be believed, lived out – cover to cover or don’t consider yourself a true Christian! It is certainly true that the Bible contains some statements which we in our present state of knowledge are not able to fully understand. We are still learning about the original languages, the Hebrew and the Greek. There are a number of words or idioms which only occur a few times in Scripture, and it sometimes happens that even the best scholars are not in full agreement as to their exact meaning. But as I wrote before, the Christian life is a life of faith. Hear these words from Hebrews 10:38; “But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” Every “Christian” lives by faith in the Son of God! Galatians 2:20

      • Steve L wrote “Chris, you’re incoherent plus you fixed nothing!”
        You didn’t quote me but the words of the commentator I quoted. Pay attention; it might pay dividends!”

        Just a few points.
        1) Since you agree with the comentator you quoted it doesn’t make any difference who wrote it now does it you little ego worshipper you.

        You also assert I am incoherent. Let’s see:

        Can you admit that you have been wrong on this thread and others? No! Ergo ego worship.

        Do you always assume that you are right and others are wrong especially about the correct interpretation of scripture? Yes! Therefore you are arrogant.

        Now since you are arrogant & worship your own ego you can hardly be following Christ who did neither can you?

        Conclusion to quote Steve “enough of this nonsense about you being a Christian. You never were!”

        Seems pretty coherent to me. Perhaps you don’t have a good grasp of the English language.

  4. Bryan wrote “Christ referred to a needy Samaritan woman as a dog when she asked for help in Mark 7:28.”

    Let’s deconstruct this shall we?

    Point one the Samaritans were treated as being sub-human by many Jews of Jesus’ day. Think negos in the early 19th century in the US.

    When the woman comes to Jesus seeking hep he refers to her as a dog.

    What do you call a female dog Bryan? Yep. That’s what she was called.

    So she humbles herself and comes to a jew ‘a group that had persecuted her people’ and gets called [in modern parlance] a female dog for her troubles.

    Really understanding and truthful.

    Hey I have an idea. To understand why this approach is less than loving why don’t you and Steve go down to Harlem and preach on the street corner, every so often using the “N” word. Then see what happens.

    Of course you’ll fail to learn anything from this. The one thing you’ll never change is your ego worship. You’d both prefer to reject the truth in all unrighteousness instead & twist the scriptures to your own destruction.

  5. Chris, you’re incoherent !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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