Tim: Well, I want to ask you guys a question. Now think with me here. If Jesus walked in here tonight, He did walk this earth. God became flesh. He walked this earth as a man. Many saw Him. Many talked with Him. Let’s suppose the Lord Jesus came back to the earth bodily. Just as He was 2000 years ago, and He walked into this place tonight. And instead of me up here, He came up. And you had the opportunity to ask Him any questions you wanted to ask Him at all. What would you ask Him? Anybody have any idea what they might ask Him? I mean, if He came up here, and He was at your disposal to answer questions…
Now, you have to think. This is the God-man. He has the right answer for any question that you might ask Him. What would you ask Him? I’ll tell you, I would have some questions I’d want to ask Him. It was that way with His disciples when He walked this earth. There were times that they did ask Him; there were times that they wanted to ask Him, but they were afraid to ask Him. And He knew they were afraid, and He would ask them what they wanted to ask Him. But, anything come to your minds? Anything at all come to your mind that if Jesus Christ was here right now that you would want to ask Him. What would you ask Him?
(from the room) Why is it so hard to get out of the flesh? So hard to go from flesh to the Spirit?
Tim: Why is it so hard to go from the flesh to the Spirit? Why is it hard?
(from the room) I mean, I know it’s supposed to be hard, but some days it just seems really hard.
Tim: Sin is entrenched deep. It’s not only hard. It’s impossible aside from the power of God. In fact, it takes a miracle of creational power to free man from the power of sin. It’s so strong. Anybody have another question that they’d ask? How about this one? Lord, how many of the people here are truly saved? Lord, are there going to be many saved? Do you know what? We don’t have to guess at the answer to that question. Do you know why? Because His disciples in Luke 13 asked Him that exact question. Lord, are there many going to be saved? Now you remember this: This is God in the flesh. This is the One who knows all the right answers. This is the One that even knows the questions that ought to be asked. His disciples asked Him, “Lord, are there many going to be saved?” And do you know what He said? It was so common with our Lord to take a question and make it real personal to people. He didn’t just say yes or no. He said guys, this question pertains to you. You’ve asked the question, “Will many be saved?” What in the world? What do you think the answer is to that question? I can tell you this. That from time to time, the church I was at before the one I’m at now, and then where I am right now, I’ve talked to a lot of people on the streets and I’ve talked to a lot of people at their front doors in some door-to-door evangelism. I’ve been in nursing homes and in prisons. And do you know what most people believe? Most people are on their way to heaven. Most people are going to glory.
I can remember Matt (Matt preached last night) – Matt and I went to a little housing complex right there by where we live and I remember one young lady, we asked her, are you going to heaven? And she said, well, I’m in the church choir. In other words, what was her answer by saying that? Yes. I’m going there. And you know what? You go down through this complex and you go from door to door to door, and you spend years and decades even talking to people about their souls and guess what you find? Everybody’s going to heaven. Everybody’s got that taken care of. Do you know why they’ve got it taken care of? Because just like many of you here they said that little prayer.
You know, that was me. Growing up I remember I’d find a little tract and it had this sinner’s prayer on the back, and I’d say that sinner’s prayer, and I thought, you know the Bible says something about believing in Jesus Christ and I believe that He was true so I must be on my way. And you know what the vast majority of people around us believe just that. You can look at the percentage of people that believe they’re on their way to heaven. Here were the disciples, and they came to the Man, the God-man, who knows the answer to that question. They said, “Lord, are there many going to be saved?” And He threw it right in their lap. And He said, “You…” You. This pertains to you. He says I’m going to tell you you better strive to enter in. Because there are going to be many that are going to seek to get in there and they’re not going to be able to. Many are not going to be able to get in. That’s in Luke 13. Back in Matthew 7, Jesus said it this way: “Few there be that find it.”
You know what? Twenty years ago when I first came to Christ, that was an astounding verse. Even though I was saved, that scared me, that shocked me. Jesus Christ in Matthew 7:14 says “Few there be that find it.” Listen. Not only are few going to find it, but He says that many that want to get in, won’t be able. Does that terrify anybody? It ought to. It ought to in a day and an age when everybody just believes getting to heaven is an easy thing. The fact is, Jesus said it’s a hard thing. This may sound shocking to some of you. You may not have heard this before.
You know why? Because it’s very likely that many of you are exposed to the idea today that one, being saved is easy, two, God just hovers around out there right over your head wanting to do you good, wanting to make you rich, wanting to give you health, wanting to give you everything that your heart desires. Basically, that’s the religion of today. You come to God and He’s just going to make you happy. He’s going to give you everything you want. He’s going to make life prosperous for you. He’s going to make sure you get a good job, beautiful spouse, that you’re not going to be sick. That’s basically what’s taught today. Come to God and you’ll be able to speak in tongues and rattle off and do all sorts of crazy things, and you’ll be able to run around and it will just be one big exciting, fun thing. And you’ll probably get rich in the midst of it if you’ve got enough faith. That’s basically what’s said today.
And here’s Jesus, the One who had the answers. And He says, “Few there be that find it.” And if you’ve got a Bible, I see a lot of you don’t, if you’ve got a Bible, you can look there. Not only does He say in Matthew 7:13-14, He not only says that “Few there be that find it,” He says the way to get there is hard. That doesn’t sound like what’s being taught today, does it? I mean, come on, you guys be honest with me. Is this something you hear? What I’m telling you right now. That few there be that find it, and that getting there is hard, and many are going to seek to get in there and they’re not going to be able. Is that new to any of you? Or is that just, oh yeah, we hear that all the time? What do you think?
Well, let me throw this in your lap. If few there be that find it, and many that think they’re going there and are trying to go there, don’t in the end get in, and only few find it, and the way is hard, then is it not likely… By default, if few there be that find it, then what? What’s the opposite? Many don’t find it. And if you don’t find life, what do you find? Death. It says destruction. So if many find destruction, and few find life, is it not likely that among this group that I talk to right now, is there not a great possibility that many of you are going to find destruction? And only few of you are going to find life? Is that not consistent with what Jesus is teaching there? Is that not concerning? Does the word “destruction” just go over your head and through your ears and off your back as just a light matter?
Let me describe destruction for you. You know Jesus gave us the most vivid descriptions. He called it outer darkness, a place of torment, a place of weeping, gnashing of teeth, a place of fiery furnace, a place where there smoke of the torment of the people that are there go up forever and forever. It speaks about the fury and the wrath of God the Almighty. You know why there’s weeping there? Do you know why some of you will weep there? Some of you that hear my voice, will indeed, I have no doubt, weep in that place, for a variety of reasons, but one of them is this: Listen: You know the devil fell. The devil was an angel. The devil and a third of the angels of heaven fell into sin. And do you realize this? When they fell, that was it. Their judgment was final. Do you realize you were not the first to sin? The devils, the demons, they sinned first. God never sent them a Savior. God never sent them a way of escape. God never sent them a remedy for their sin. God never offered them hope, never offered them heaven, never offered them good, grace, mercy. They were damned. In fact, we’re told that the lake of fire was created exactly for them. Do you know one of the reasons that some of you will weep in destruction the way you will weep? Can you imagine if as a demon, you find yourself in the lake of fire? The fiery furnace where there is fire and brimstone and torment for your sin. Can you imagine if you were them and you find yourself there? There will be sorrow on their part. There will be torment, there will be pain. There will be anguish, there will be sighs, and groans and wails.
But can you imagine if you find yourself there? After God sent His Son into this world to save sinners? Can you imagine if you find yourself in the lake of fire when there was a way offered you out? When a Savior came into the world who came specifically to seek and save sinners? When mankind was given a remedy for his sin? And not only that? But you remember back to that time in June of 2010 when people came from this church on the east side of San Antonio and they came and they told you about Christ and they showed you the way out, and they told you the Gospel, and they said that if you would flee to Christ you could find salvation from your sin. Can you imagine what weeping? It says weeping and gnashing of teeth. Do you know what gnashing of teeth is? Can you imagine? I had it. I had it. It was set right there before me. And I said, nope. I want my sin. I don’t want Christ. I want my sin. I’m still young. I want sex. I want the fun. I want the party. I want what this world has to offer. And I don’t want Christ. I’m going to go drink deep of this world and maybe sometime else, I’ll take care of that.
And all the time, God was saying, That was the day of salvation! This day is the day of salvation, and you passed it by. And now you’re damned, and you’re in that lake of fire, and you had it. It was right there! It’s like Christ said, He offers you drink. And He says, if you will, He says, drink the water of life. Drink freely. Come take it. If you will, whosoever will. Come and drink. And you will grind your teeth at the thought, “What a fool I was!” And you will weep, not only because you were a fool, you will weep because eternity will be placarded over everything. Your torment isn’t for a moment. You know what it’s like when we get sick. You know what it’s like when we get injured. There’s always this hope, God created our bodies to heal. Well, I won’t be sick for long. I won’t have to suffer for long, even if I’m experiencing this pain, the pain goes away. You get cut, you get the break, you get the scratch, you get injured, the sprain, it heals. But in hell, there is no healing. It’s forever and forever and forever and forever… Few there be that find it.
So here’s what Jesus said, He said ok here’s what this is like, it’s like two gates. You can understand a gate. There are gates in fences. Sometimes you find gates in a wall. A gate. A gate is simply a sort of door, right? And Jesus says this is how it is. You have a narrow gate, and you have a very wide gate. Two gates. And both of the gates are places that we enter. A gate is for entering, right? People walk through gates. That’s what they’re there for. And Jesus says that on both sides of these gates, there’s a path. There’s a way. You have the narrow gate, and beyond the narrow gate is a narrow way. And it’s difficult. Over here, you have a wide gate, followed by a very broad path. And Jesus says it’s easy. And you know what He says? Few go in the narrow one. The vast multitudes go in over here. You say, but I go to church. You know, the people on the broad way, we find just a few verses down in Matthew 7 these people went to church. In verse 21, there are people that say, “Lord, Lord…” They’re people that use His name. They’re people that sang songs just like were sung tonight. They had the name Lord on their lips.
And if you look at verse 22, they were doing things: prophesying and casting out demons, doing many mighty works. See, they were in the church crowd. See, that’s no protection. Jesus doesn’t say going to church is the way. So you have the narrow; you have the broad. Guess what? The crowds are going in over here. Few there be that go in this way. And you know what? Not only is there a gate. Not only is there a path beyond it. But there’s an end. There’s a big gate, a large way, at the end, destruction. Narrow gate, followed by a narrow path, at the end, eternal life. Few there be that find it. Does that concern anybody here that you may be headed to destruction? How can you know? How can you know if you’re on that narrow way? Let me tell you this: Few there be that find it. You know what that means? That means those on their way to heaven are in the minority. And you know what that means? That means one thing’s for certain, that those that are on their way to heaven, they’ve left the crowd.
You see, I know some of you. You go to church, you have parents that go to church. you’re here at the camp. You say well that must mean something. The vast multitudes of San Antonio they’re not in church tonight, but I am. But like I said, Jesus shows us a little further, many of the people on this broad way over here, they’re people that go to church. They’re people that say, “Lord, Lord.” They’re people doing many mighty works. I know some of you. You’ve got a little bit of religion. But you, aside from that little religion, you are just like the world. You are just like the multitudes. You’re just like the crowd. Because the truth is, you play the same video games that the world plays. And you go to the same movies that the world goes to. You laugh at the same things that the world laughs at. Watch the same t.v. shows that the world watches. You love the fashions of the world. The idols of the world, the rock stars, the movie stars, the sports stars. They’re your idols as well. The cars the world loves, the motorcycles the world loves, the fashions they love, the magazines they love. You love the same. You may have some conservative parents that don’t let you stay up as late or don’t let you watch, but you know in your heart you desire those same things. You want them. The truth is, you’re just like the crowd.
Folks, the crowd is on the way to destruction. And it’s easy. You see, it’s easy because you can be religious. You can play religion. You can say, hey, I said the sinner’s prayer. I did the little deal. And it’s real easy. Because you can just go along with the crowd, you can go along with the world, you can go along with the flow. And Jesus says there’s destruction at the end of it. You know what He says in Matthew 7:23? He says, “Depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.” You see, the real issue is, though you have a little bit of religion, you’re just as lawless as the world. You love sin. You love what Jesus came into the world to save us from. Few there be that find it.
That should startle you guys. Look, our lives are… the sands of time. You guys have seen an hourglass. And the sand falls. And there’s only so much sand in there, right? You’ve seen an hourglass? There’s only so much sand. That’s your life. Your life only has so much sand. The time allotted to you is falling right now. It’s very limited. And when it runs out, how many in this place are going to find destruction? It’s one thing if you lived your life the prostitute, you lived your life the heroin addict, you lived your life out there and you knew you just totally botched it. In the end, you expected to go to hell. You know that you lived bad. But can you imagine the shock on judgment day? Can you imagine the weeping? The weeping. To hear those words?
You’re thinking, “Lord, won’t you receive me? I did the church thing.” And He says, “I never knew you.” Why is the way to heaven so hard? Have you guys ever been told that the way to heaven is hard? Why is it so hard? Basically, it’s hard for this reason. Look, guys. The whole world is willing to say a little prayer. What does a sinner’s prayer sound like? How many of you have said the sinner’s prayer? What does the sinner’s prayer sound like? What do you pray? “Jesus, please come into my heart.” You know one of the dangerous things about that prayer? You don’t find it anywhere in the Word of God. Nowhere. That’s not how Jesus said heaven is attained. But you know what we’ve got? We’ve got a world full of people that are happy and ready to say, “Jesus, I’m a sinner. Please come into my heart.” And then you go enjoy all the idols, all the sin, love the same garbage on t.v. that the rest of the world loves; dress like them, look like them, pursue all the things that the world wants. Everybody wants to be able to say the little prayer as fire insurance to get out of hell and then go live it up and have their sin. Everybody loves to say the little sinner’s prayer and then go sleep with their girlfriend or their boyfriend. And think well, I’ve got this taken care of. I know this may not be exactly right, and I know God may not approve of this, but I said the prayer.
Listen, does that sound easy or hard? Does it sound easy or hard to go say a little prayer and then just live it up and enjoy all your sin? That sounds real easy. You know what, that sounds real similar to a broad way that’s easy, but the end is destruction. Destruction. Versus, over here you’ve got life. Life. But the way is narrow. You know what that means? That means that if you’re going that way, most people are going to think you’re a fanatic.
I remember 20 years ago, I came to the Lord. You know what, when I was growing up in high school, most of my buddies were wild men. We didn’t think about church. We didn’t think about Christ. We didn’t even know what John 3:16 was. We were watching football one time, and there was this John 3:16 in the end zone. What is that? One of the guys said something, Oh I read that, it’s from the Bible, and what does it say? He said something – I don’t think it was anywhere close to being right. But we were all mystified by it. We didn’t know. We were just a bunch of wild pagan guys. But in my class, there were a couple guys that were religious. Two of them. In all my class, I think there were only two religious guys. One was Catholic, one was protestant. Well, you know what? When God saved me, I joined a church softball league, and we were going to go out into the outfield and take batting practice out there because the other team had the infield. And on that team was this guy I went to high school with, and as I walked by him, he said, “I have heard you have become a ‘Jesus freak.'” And I turned around and I looked at him, and I thought of all people that I went to high school with that I would have least expected that from it was this guy. Because I thought you were religious! And I said to him, “Curt, how else can you be when you find Christ?” And what I realized for the first time, Curt was religious. But he was on the broad way. He didn’t know a thing.
You know what? When you’re in the minority, people think you’re in a cult, people think you’re a radical, they think you’re a fanatic, they think you’ve lost your mind. Why? Because, if you’re among the few, if only a very few find it, but the many are over here guess what? You don’t look like them! You’re different from them. Because you went through a different gate, you’re on a different way, and you’re headed to a different end. And it isn’t the same. You’re on a hard way. And that way is not like their way. So they’re cruising through life easy, and they see you over here, you’re on this hard way. You’re struggling. You’re struggling to fight sin. You’re struggling with the temptations of the world. The onslaughts of the devil, seeking to follow Christ. And He takes you through some hard places. And there you are, and they’re just cruising along, and they look at you, and they think, you are too rigid. You’re not right. I mean, just stop with that.
My step-dad came in in total frustration, when God saved me, he was trying to set me up to date some young lady from Michigan State. And I wouldn’t call her. He gave her my number. She was leaving messages on the answering machine and I refused to call. And he came in to my bedroom in total frustration, and he said, “Religion is ok, but you’ve taken it too far.” But see that is what the people on the broad way think. You Christians are radicals. And I’ll tell you this, you get on that narrow way, and the world’s going to look at you that way. They’re going to say you’re too tight, you’re too rigid, you’re too narrow. You’re a freak. I don’t know how many times people have called our church a cult. Why? Because we’re not like most churches. Why? Because most churches are saying say the sinner’s prayer and God’s going to make you healthy and wealthy. And then they run around the pulpit speaking in tongues.
Let me tell you, the Bible says through much tribulation we will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. That’s why that path is difficult. Listen, Jesus comes to you tonight, and He says, I offer you heaven. And I offer it to you freely. and though that way be hard, that doesn’t mean that you have to come pay Me a whole bunch. He doesn’t say that it’s something that you have to purchase at great expense to you. He purchased it at great expense to Him. But lest you be deceived here tonight, He says, Come to Me and I will give you life freely. But His call is always this: Follow Me. That path is very narrow because Jesus is leading the way on it.
And He takes us down a road that you and I would typically not choose if we had it in our power to choose. But you know what? He takes us down that path in love, compassion… And He takes us down a path where He comes in, and He will cut your idols away from you. And He will cut pride away from you. You know what’s difficult about that path? It’s a path of humility and humbling. The people on this – they can have their pride. You know what pride is? It’s self-love. You just love yourself. You know why most people don’t get on the narrow way? It really comes down to that. Self-idolatry. You see, people on the broad way, they can have their self, their selfish desires, their selfish ways. They can have it “my way.” I can get to heaven and I can go my way.
But all you have to do is look at the Scriptures. When Jesus came into this world, everybody He called, He points to them and He says, “Follow Me.” And if we follow Jesus, as we’re walking behind Him, He says over His shoulder, “Learn of Me.” “I am meek and lowly in spirit.” And He will break our pride. He will break our self-trust. He will purge us and cleanse us of idols. You know what He says? “Unless you forsake all that you have, you cannot be My disciple.” That sound easy or hard? Luke 14:33 “Unless you forsake all that you have, you cannot be My disciple.” That does sound hard. Jesus says, I will save you, but I did not come to bargain. I will be precious. I will be all. I will be the object of your affections. I will be the object of your worship. I will be the object of your devotion. I will be Lord in your life. I offer you salvation. But He offers it to you on His terms. You know what’s easy about the broad way? No terms! They’re your terms. You pretty much set the terms. People on the broad way, they pretty much say, hey, we’re going to heaven, we said the prayer, and the terms are, Oh, God is just so loving, He couldn’t possibly throw me into hell anyways. My terms. I can have whatever sin…
And you know what? People on the broad way, you know how Jesus describes them in Matthew 7:23 and He says, “Depart from Me…” you workers of iniquity or you workers of lawlessness. You know what people on the broad way do? They commit all this lawlessness, all this iniquity, they do all the things God hates. But they imagine God in heaven just smiling at them. It’s real easy. They just recreate God. Oh, God understands… yeah, I’m sleeping with my girlfriend but God understands – we love each other. I know I went to that movie, that R-rated filth that He probably doesn’t approve of, but come on, I mean He obviously understands that we need to laugh sometimes. So, it’s easy. You just explain all your sin away. You know, yeah, it’s probably not the best thing, but God is just pleased with me, He smiles on it. In the end, you find out. In the end, you come expecting heaven.
Can you imagine what it will be to hear Jesus say to you, “Depart.” That’ll be it. There will be no plea. There is no higher court. You cannot appeal. He is the authority. He is the Judge. When you stand before the judgment seat of Christ, His verdict is full and final and complete. Permanent. And when He says, “Depart.” You will depart. Listen. Jesus Christ came into this world to offer a way to life. You see, I’m not up here tonight telling you there’s no way. I’m just telling you the way is narrow. That is a glorious reality. That is one that ought to make you shout for joy. There is a way! You’re not like the demons. God has provided a way.
You know what? Listen, if you want to go to heaven, does it matter that the way is narrow or broad that gets there? The fact is, if there’s a way there, there’s a way there. And what I find in the Scriptures is it’s broad enough for you to fit on. No, not with your sin, your baggage, garbage, idolatry… you’ve got to repent to get on that way, and you’ve got to follow Christ that way. And He’s going to take you through hard ground. But so be it! There’s a way! And in the end, there’s life! And let me tell you about life. Destruction may sound read bad and it is. In fact, it’s so bad, Jesus says if you’ve got to cut off hands, gouge out eyes, cut off feet not to go there. And He’s talking about idols, He’s talking about sin. If you’ve got to do radical amputation to get to heaven, He says you better do it. He says it is better to radically amputate those things in your life that you want to hold on to, cut them off and get to heaven. Rather than to keep them and perish in hell. Jesus said it is a fearful place. It is a place you don’t want to go. It is a place, listen, if you go there, you go there. And it’s done and it’s final. But He comes and He says, at the end of this is life. And He says that He promises to give men life more abundantly.
In fact, there’s several places in the New Testament where He calls it paradise. And we see this picture in Matthew 13 of those that go there shining like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. We find that there are pleasures forevermore at His right hand. We find there that Christ Himself in all of His glory is the object of the love and the affection of those that are there.
Listen, I have to think that one of the reasons that there is such weeping in hell, it’s not only for the hell they get, but it’s for what they could have had. I imagine that Jesus Christ will be the most fearful object imaginable to those who are being cast away. Think with me. Can you imagine if it’s you that comes there on that day? And Jesus says, “Depart.” But you see there were other people, other people just like you with the same sins. And Jesus is smiling at them. And even as fearful and terrible as He is to you, you’ll recognize immediately there is such glory, there is such beauty, you’ll realize these people found the riches of all riches. They found that which is bringing them a joy; they have glory that is everlasting. An eternal weight of glory. You will see what you could have had. It was offered to you. And the thing is, if you’re told to depart, you’ll not be able to say, mom, dad, it was your fault. My friend that sat next to me, distracted me, we walked out that night and immediately… you know what? Every sinner that rejects Christ and finds destruction in the end… one of the reasons to weep is because you will know it was all your fault. You’ll only have yourself to blame. What misery. You were the cause of your own spiritual suicide. You did it to yourself. When life was offered to you, you willingly and freely chose to reject it. What weeping, what bitter sorrow. Jesus Christ went to that cross and He suffered the very wrath. He suffered that destruction to open a way.
Yes, it’s narrow. But like I said before, so what? If it will get you to heaven, who cares? He suffered the wrath of God, that you might have life and have it more abundantly. Today is the day of salvation. Don’t put it off. You don’t know if you have tomorrow. And I have seen it. God is in the business of, oftentimes, letting people hear the truth, hear the message of life, right before He cuts them off. Lots of people… That step-dad I told you about… God brought him and sat him under the Gospel, he had a heart attack. Then he had a stroke. Then he had cancer. Then he was dead. And he rejected all the way to the end. I have preached a number of times to people – within two weeks, a month, they were dead. The Lord is very merciful to let you hear a word of truth and a message of life. Jesus Christ says to you right now, “Follow Me.”
You say how do I do that? I can’t see Him. You call unto Him. You cry out to Him. You say that sounds like a sinner’s prayer. No, I’m not talking about any little formula that you do. I’m talking about if you’re sitting there today and you realize that you’re not a good person. He came to seek and save. You know why this narrow way is hard? Because people that go in there realize they deserve hell, they realize they’re bad people, and they realize they’ve got a ton of sin that reaches up to heaven and screams against them. And they go in that way no matter how hard it is because that is the way where Christ is and they need Him and they see in Him a suitable Savior.
You know why that way is so easy? Because the people that are on it, if you ask them, are you good people? Yeah, we’re all just a bunch of good old boys. We’re good people. Of course, Christ is going to accept us in the end. They’re good people. But let me tell you this, the Spirit of God came into this world to convince and convict men of sin. And convince you that your righteousness is rags. It is filthy in God’s sight. You have nothing to offer Him, no matter how good you’ve been, it’s been so plagued and so corrupted by sin that God cannot look at it, cannot stand it, God cannot accept it. And you deserve hell. You deserve it.
Listen. One thing nobody’s going to argue that goes and ends up in destruction in the end. Nobody is going to argue the fact that they deserve to be there. But I’ll tell you before they get there, before judgment day, that way is so easy because people think, “I don’t deserve hell.” “I’m a pretty good person.” Think with me about the answer. We asked this girl, “are you going to heaven?” “Well, I sing for the church choir.” That’s not what we asked you. But you see, people on that road… Of course, if I sing in the church choir, I’m a good person. It’s just easy. It’s just like a flowing river. You just flop in there and you go with the flow. This way’s hard because you’re going against the stream all the time. You’re going up river. You’re going against the world, you’re going against everybody around you, people in your family, people that were your friends… they suddenly don’t want to be your friends anymore. Why? Because you love what they hate, you hate what they love. And they don’t want to run with you anymore.
That’s what happened to me. You ask most of these guys out here that have been converted. That happened to them. You don’t run with the same crowd anymore. But if you’re sitting here today and you have a sense, what this guy’s saying is right. I do deserve hell. I know it. I’ve done enough things in my life to warrant hell a hundred times over. You realize that unless you find a Savior, that’s exactly where you’re headed. You see, there is a picture in the Scriptures of a man, he wouldn’t even look to heaven. And he beat on his breast. He said, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” Jesus said that man went home justified.
You know what that means? It means that he went home declared righteous. He went home saved. He went home on the narrow way. But you get in there not by saying I’m a pretty good person, I say my little sinner’s prayer. Nope. If that’s all that’s happened to you, you’re on this way. And I’ll tell you, get off. Because you’re in the flow, you’re in the current, you’re going to perish in the end. You say, well, I’ve never heard that before. It doesn’t matter if you’ve heard that before. This is what the Scripture says. You need to search it for yourself. You need to read Luke 13. Read Luke 14. Read Matthew 7. This is what Christ is saying in the Word of God. Read Luke 19. This is what He’s saying. The Bible says you’re going to have all sorts of people that are going to come and tickle your ears. The world is full of ear ticklers that are going to tell you the way to heaven is easy. But if they tell you that, then be certain, what they’re really doing is they’re trying to put you on the broad way. They’re just lying to you. They’re deceiving you. And they’re destroying you. And it sounds good; it sounds easy. But in the end, there will be hell to pay.
I bid you, come. Come with me. Twenty years ago, Jesus bid me come. And I knew it. I was going to be destroyed. I deserved hell. I knew it. My sin was so wicked and so vile. I knew I wasn’t good. And I heard His voice. It said, “Come.” And I’ll tell you this, has it proved hard? Yep. Harder than I ever could have imagined in the beginning. But I’ll tell you this, though there’s few on it, there are few on it. And so I’ve found others that are on it! And they’re like me. And you say, well, what, the few of you you get to go along all miserable together on that hard road. No, that’s not how it is. As hard as it is, Jesus said, “Follow Me.”
You see, we’re following in His footsteps. This is the path He took. And He promised to be with us. And He gives us joy. And though life here is hard, it’s full of joy, it’s full of hope, it’s full of many glorious realities. And in the end, we get Christ. And we get to be like Him, and we get paradise, and we get joy, and we get to shine like the sun at noontime, in the Kingdom of our Father. We get such glories called in the Bible an eternal weight of glory. We get the riches of Christ. We are heirs to the most glorious fortune ever. And I’m not talking in a worldly sense. And I’m not the one calling this place paradise. Jesus called it that. And if anybody knows the right assessment of things, like I said before, if anybody can answer the questions, He can.
Listen. If you find that this resonates with you. You’re saying yes, this is what I need. Don’t go out of this place tonight and go shake it off and go be foolish with your friends. I mean get serious with the Lord. Do business with the Lord. You go find someplace, and you cry out to Him. Do it right where you sit right now. Plead with Him, “God save me! I see myself to be like that. I don’t care how hard the way is. I need to be saved.” And I’ll tell you, as hard as it is, Jesus is tender. And He’s compassionate. And it’s only hard because as He strips us of our sin, it hurts. And as He smashes our pride, it’s painful. And as He molds us, and causes us to take on more and more of the image of His glory, He has to shatter us, and break us, and crush us, and it hurts. It hurts. But it’s good. He wounds us that He might heal us. But it’s good. Because what He really wants to do is work righteousness in us. He wants to present us blameless and spotless as a bride for Himself in that day. At the end of that narrow way is glory. And you know what? The hard way – it’s only for a little while. And then the glory beyond it is forever. The easy way – that, too, is only for a little while. It’s only easy for a little while. In the end, it gets real hard. Destruction.
And I’ll just leave you with this thought: The Bible says that God is not partial. That’s an important word to leave you with. You know why? Because you are partial. Let me explain. You think much more highly of yourself typically than you ought. Most of us can easily find fault with others, but when the same fault is in ourselves, we don’t see it near as well, right? You know why that is? We’re partial. We’re partial to ourselves. Let me tell you something, God is not partial. You would never throw you into hell. And by the way, that word “throw.” It’s in the Bible. God throws people into hell. You say, I would never throw me into hell. That’s because you’re partial. If you find yourself on judgment day outside of Christ, no matter how much you love you, God will throw you into that lake of fire. He is not partial. But you don’t need to be there on that day without Christ. He bids you this very day, Come unto Me, you that labor and are heavy laden under your sin. Come unto Me. And I will give you rest. Is the way hard that leads to life? Yes. But it’s a restful way. Those two may seem at odds with each other, but they’re not. You can be in a hard place and be at rest. You know why? Because you can be fighting with sin, and fighting with the devil, and still feel the guilt of all my sin lifted off and laid on Christ. You can still battle and feel the freedom of my sin, not in part but the whole is nailed to that cross and I bear it no more. Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord. May God help you.