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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Road That Leads to Life
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Matthew 7:13,14—NIV)
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6—NIV)
"I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture." (John 10:9—NIV)
There is a gate that opens to the road that leads to eternal life.
The gate is small. The road is narrow. Only a few people find that gate and walk on that road.
We speak of making a decision for Christ and being baptized with the Holy Spirit as "getting saved." The truth is, these compose the "small gate." The Gate is Christ and you have to look carefully to find it.
But it is the road of continual, consistent repentance that finally leads to eternal life! That Road also is Christ. Receiving the blood atonement gives us the authority to travel the road to life. Receiving the Spirit of God gives us the wisdom and power to travel the road.
The atoning blood and the Spirit are the authority and power, but the road is something else again.
Let's think about the road, because our salvation in Christ depends not only on going through the gate but also on traveling the road.
The second and third chapters of the Book of Revelation are among the most important of the Scriptures. They show us how to travel the road that leads to life.
The rewards to the overcomer are gained by us each day as through Christ we overcome the problem of the day. The rewards are increments of personality added to us as we overcome. They are steps to the Throne of God and to attaining the first resurrection from among the dead.
The Christian church of Smyrna can be used as an example of how we are to travel the road of discipleship but the same could be said of any of the seven churches.
To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: "These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan." (Revelation 2:8,9—NIV)
The Lord Jesus appears to the angel (spirit) of the church in Smyrna as "him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again." This is because the challenge facing the believers in Smyrna was that of continuing in faith that He who began a good work in them would finish the work in glory. Christ is the First but also the Last. He died but came to life again. You may be going through a terrific challenge. Your future may seem bleak indeed. But Christ will finish in glory what He began in your life if you remain in God's prison. Don't ever forget that!
Christ understood the afflictions of those believers. Christ did not tell them they never would be afflicted or if they had faith they would be able to escape all afflictions. Christ told them something infinitely more valuable: "I know your afflictions." Friend, Christ knows your afflictions. Never doubt that for one minute. He has not forgotten you.
To be continued.