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"We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention
of you in our prayers"
 
 1 Thessalonians 1:2 (KJV)
 

In The Garden Daily Devotional
Series: A Walk Through Matthew  (Mathew 7)
Jesus The Teacher - Pt 5
"OPEN WIDE For Destruction"
Pastor Wayne Clabaugh

Scripture Reading: Matthew 7: 7-11
Scripture Text:"
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Mat 7:13,14 (KJV)

There is not much use for the word "narrow' in today's vocabulary. The big word of the day concerning media and news is the word "viral". It refers to an explosion of exposure to the masses and is considered to be something to seek after.

The Bible clearly tells us that going "viral" is not always a good thing. It seems like everything that goes viral in the Christian World lately has had to do with our short-comings and our failures as Ambassadors for Christ. It reminds me of those words of Christ in Matthew 24 where Jesus says,

"Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." Matt 24:9-12 (KJV)

Folks, He is speaking here of the last days. And for those who like to hold to the theory that it had to do with the persecution of the Christians in and around 70 AD - look at Matthew 24:8. It says there.

"All these are the beginning of sorrows."

That phraseology and mindset is not 70's AD speech. It is Apocalyptic speech - end-times speech. It is speech that fits the time we are living in today.

I have questioned as I'm sure that you have questioned, "WHAT'S GOING ON?" "It seems like ALL HELL is breaking loose and darkness is prevailing."

That's because you are living the prophecies of Jesus. And the more evil that can be turned loose and the more doubt that can be placed in your mind... the wider the road is paved for destruction.

We have churches right now that are swallowing the bait of the tempter - hook, line and sinker. They are being "eased upon" for lack of a better term, to dress down when the come into the house of God. He doesn't care what you look like. he loves you and you're being there is all that matters. Okay, I'll buy that one - But why does the preacher spend $125 for a pair of jeans that have the knees ripped out and the backside half gone - sporting a t-shirt that it looks like he slept in, and a hair-style that my three year old grand daughter could do for him without him spending and arm and a leg and three hours at some ladies salon somewhere? Jesus wasn't no hippie! That's the way a lot of these guys are wanting to portray (betray) Him. He was and is the KING OF KINGS AND THE LORD OF  LORDS! Are you telling me that you'd wear a pair of ripped up jeans and a T to go see the QUEEN OF ENGLAND? I can GUARANTEE YOU THAT YOU WOULDN'T. You wouldn't get in. The Bible says, "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so." That means more than just proclaiming it with your mouth. It means dressing the part. What gets me is that many of these people will wear a nurses uniform all week or a Suit and tie to teach at some university... but Sunday is a day to "dress down" and hang with the folk. What's wrong with that? IT IS THAT WIDE ROAD TO DESTRUCTION ALL OVER AGAIN and because the "SPIRITUAL GEEK CROWD" is doing it - they all feel they need to follow along... play the game.

Oh how I thank God for that "strait gate", that "narrow way" that leads to life and grace and mercy and relationship not with the fellowship... but with the one who spread out His Arms and died for you.

Drift away brother if you want to - allow the emergent church to sweep you off you feet and explain away the gospel to be something that is about the fellowship and readying the body of Christ for eternity with Him: an endless  stream of worship and fellowship with the family of God. Well let me tell you my friend I've got a sneaky suspicion that when the 24 elders threw their crowns at the feet of Jesus - they weren't wearing any cheap paper Burger King Crowns... They were made of solid Gold and their robes of the finest cloth that was spun in such a way that no Earthly manufacturer could replicate. Now, I didn't want to make this all about clothing here this morning - but if the Lord is going to go to all of that extreme to give us the very best in heaven - why shouldn't we be willing to put away the "Spiritual geek Jeans" and dress with the very best we have every time we come into His presence?

WIDE IS THE GATE TO DESTRUCTION AND MANY SHALL FOLLOW THE DRUM-BEAT OF THE FALSE PROPHETS OF THE DAY... LET ME JUST SAY THAT THE GOOD OLD TIME RELIGION IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME. OH, I KNOW I WILL BE LAUGHED AT FOR SAYING THAT, BUT I WILL BE WALKING THROUGH THE NARROW DOOR HAVING LAID DOWN MY DESIRE TO FOLLOW THE CROWD AND TO KNOW HIM AND THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION BEING MADE WHAT CONFORMABLE UNTO HIS DEATH. Philippians 3:10

Let's pray.

Father - I am so tired of the song and dance of religion today and I so desire for the worship of truth  and beauty in the spirit - like we used to yearn for as a church. Now every worship leader and every religious prognosticator has an explanation of what Jesus "REALLY" meant. O thou Christ of burning  cleansing  flame, send the fire, send the fire, send the fire! Thy blood bought gift today we claim, Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire! Look down and see this waiting host, Give us the promised Holy Ghost; We want another Pentecost, Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire! In Jesus Name. Amen.

Words of Entire Song

Thou Christ of burning, cleansing flame,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Thy blood bought gift today we claim,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Look down and see this waiting host,
Give us the promised Holy Ghost;
We want another Pentecost,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

God of Elijah, hear our cry:
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To make us fit to live or die,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To burn up every trace of sin,
To bring the light and glory in,
The revolution now begin,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!