The Bible tells us that each of us, everyone, has sinned, and we are not able to attain the Glory of God, or live a life to please God on our own. The sin that we live in, and the sin that we live out, will cause our death, and our Spiritual death, which is absence from God for eternity.
Because God hates sin, He must cause death, but because God loves us, His Creation, He has provided a way for each of us to avoid Spiritual death, and have the gift of Eternal Life, through Jesus Christ, His Life on this earth, His death, His resurrection, and His promise to return for all who have faith in Him, call upon His Name, repenting of sins, and live as the Word of God directs.
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6 ESV
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
That part sounds easy enough, and many people have heard a speaker, felt guilty when they heard the truth, and prayed a quick prayer. Many children have done this also, perhaps in Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, or another similar gathering.
What happens during the rest of one’s life is also important.
Jesus told many who were listening to Him, that the gate is narrow to walk through for salvation, to be on a different path than the rest of the world.
Once we go through that Gate though, it does not mean that the path again widens out, and we act in the same way as before, or the same way that the majority of the world acts and lives.
“”Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
Matthew 7:13-14 ESV
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. KJV
14 how strait [is] the gate, and compressed the way that is leading to the life, and few are those finding it! Young’s Literal Version)
I was one of those who prayed and asked Jesus Christ to forgive me, and come into my life when I was young, 8 years old, and was immersed in water baptism at 12 years of age. I was serious at the time, and for a number of years did my best to stay on the narrow path. I slid off at times of course like everyone does, repented, and was lifted back on again by God’s Holy Spirit.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9 ESV
In doing this over and over again, my times off the path became longer, and my path became wider, until I was no different than others in school, or that I knew, when I was about 17 or so.
I knew my life was wrong, I knew I was living in sin, but I tried to justify my life, by saying I was no different than others who I had gone to church with, and of course I did “pray that prayer” when I was 8, so I was doing OK. In times of honest thought though, I truly doubted my salvation, thinking if I was serious with God why am I living this way, and if I died during that lifestyle why would God take me to be with Him in Heaven, so I was not settled. Everyone thought I was happy during that time, but they didn’t know the inner conflicts.
Of course I wasn’t really paying attention to God’s Word during those years, where Jesus Christ also says.
“”Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
“On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’” Matthew 7:21-22 ESV
When we are a Christian, our lives should be different from those who are not Christians.
“Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” Matthew 3:8 ESV
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2 ESV
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Apostle Paul wrote the words telling us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. We are also told to not be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewal of our mind so we may test, and know what the will of God is for each of us as Christians.
Of course, during those years while on the wide path, I was not paying attention to any of these words.
In my mid twenties, I finally listened to the Holy Spirit, even though I had heard Him during those many years. At this time I did completely repent of my sin, and commit my life to Jesus Christ. With the Strength, Help, Guidance of Holy Spirit, I am endeavouring to walk on the narrow path. The path is narrow, but it is the best place to be.
A few questions for consideration, questions I ask myself:
-Are my thoughts in a way that would be pleasing to God, or self pleasing?
-Do I think of pleasing friends more than pleasing God?
-Do I watch TV programs / movies that are worldly, or pleasing to God?
-Does my way of dress follow the styles of entertainers, or is it modest?
-Do I feel I need to justify what I do, or say?
-Do I justify actions by saying “others in church do it”?
-Do I fear loneliness, or lack of friends, if I choose God’s way?
We do not have to walk the narrow path of the Christian life on our own. Jesus Christ Himself, said the Holy Spirit will come to us. Holy Spirit drew us to Jesus, and He will help us live a righteous life to Glorify Jesus.
“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” John 16:7-11 ESV
If you have any concerns at all, repent and ask Jesus to forgive you of all sin. Please look in the Bible, the New Testament. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide and give understanding to what you read.
If you are not attending a Bible believing, Bible teaching church, look for one in your area, check online, ask Christians you know. Try to connect with a strong Christian to mentor and help you.
God’s Blessings to all as we walk the Path of God together, rejoicing in Him.