Kingdom.02 Choosing the right road.

March 12, 2008 at 1:37 pm 1 comment

The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven (found only in Matthew’s gospel) are mentioned almost 160 times in the New Testament.  When you include “kingdom” words like throne, ruler, law, obedience, covenant, nation, blessing, bow down, power, Lord and others, you begin to see that this Kingdom theme permeates all of written revelation.

There is a Kingdom lifestyle for Kingdom people.  There is a right way and a wrong way to live.  We are, as followers of the King, to submit to our King’s rule and live as He has demonstrated for us and called us to live.

As I write about the Kingdom, I will refer often to the 109 verses of hard hitting Kingdom principles that are found in what we commonly call the Sermon on the Mount.  This is Jesus’ longest teaching on Kingdom we have in our possession.  This extended teaching concludes with these words:  Not all people who sound religious are really godly.  They may refer to me as ‘Lord’ but they still will not enter the Kingdom. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in Heaven. (Matthew 7:21)

Apparently, just because we sound like we get it, doesn’t mean we do.  Words are cheap, actions speak louder than words. That is a clear Kingdom principle, that is found not only in the Gospels, but in the entire Book.

Just before Jesus said what is recorded in v.21 He very carefully, by way of four sets of contrasts, let’s us know what it takes to come into the Kingdom: You can enter God’s Kingdom, (Jesus says) only through the narrow gate.  The highway to hell is broad and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way.  But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it. (7:13-14) Doesn’t make much sense to write anymore about the Kingdom till we know how to get in, or what the choices are.

You come in to the Kingdom through a narrow gate and on to a narrow path.  Few people find this path and fewer yet will make the choice to enter the narrow gate and on to the narrow path.  If you choose the narrow path you find life.  As with any contrast, the opposite is true.  Many people find the wide gate that leads to a wide road and the choice to go with the wide road leads to death.

Kingdom living does not appeal to everybody, though everyone has the opportunity to choose the narrow gate and the narrow road. 

The wide gate and wide road is difficult to resist, its seductions are many and very attractive.  The wide road has room for your opinion and your personal value system, it has room for doing your own thing and living according to your own rules.  The wide road is wide in order to accommodate all comers.

The narrow road does not need to be any bigger than it is because only those who chose to submit to the King’s authority and His Revelation are able to travel on it.  Absolutes are prevalent and values are defined. Opinions are not really needed because the King has spoken.

The difference between the narrow road and the wide road is dramatically seen in where each road ends.  The narrow road ends in life, a life of hope, peace, joy, satisfaction, wonder, relationship, meaning, purpose… The sooner you get through the narrow gate the sooner you can experience the Kingdom life and begin to participate in advancing the Kingdom by walking out your destiny.

While the King has great patience with His creation, you cannot run on the wide road forever.  Some have gone by the narrow gate many times thinking they will catch it next time around but the reality is that roads end and the wide road ends in a road that literally never ends.

Outside of the old city of Jerusalem there was a garbage dump.  It is said that the fire burning there never went out.  It was a foul smelling place that, over the years just kept getting worse, never better.  When Jesus says that the wide road leads to destruction it is this dump He is referring to.  In other words if you miss the narrow gate leading to a narrow road you will finally run out of road and end up in the moral garbage dump of the universe, a god less environment where there is only despair, fear, anger, frustration, same old thing everyday, loneliness, randomness and a total lack of purpose…

Jesus our King says, enter God’s Kingdom through the narrow gate.  Make the decision, take the exit and enter the narrow road.  It isn’t an escalator it’s a road.  In other words, you can’t just stand there and be taken to your destination.  You have to decide to enter.

The Kingdom life, the life you were created for, must be chosen.  There are three steps you must take to get on the Kingdom road:

  • You must enter with your mind.  You must recognize that there is absolute truth and it is only found in the person of our King-Jesus.  He said, I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father (gets on the narrow road) except through me. (John 14:6)
  • You must enter with your heart.  You must see how different the Created is from the ones He created.  We fall way short, all the time, of His standard.  Falling short is called sin.  We are sin-full and our King is the only One who can empty us of that sin.  The Apostle Paul said it this way: Every one has sinned and fallen way short of His glory. (Romans 3:23)
  • You must enter with your will.  It’s your choice.  You have to want it and be willing to leave your own kingdom and submit your self to His.  When you choose to come, His promise is to never turn anyone away. (John 6:37)

Get it? Make sense?

More Kingdom “stuff” to come.

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Entry filed under: Authority, Belief, Blogroll, Christianity, Church, Culture, Faith, Holy Spirit, Institutional church, Jesus, Kingdom, The Father, Thoughts.

Monday Morning Meanderings. Vol.35 Kingdom.03 …then, finally, the end will come.

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Doug Wright  |  March 13, 2008 at 8:27 am

    great word. We know that the road is narrow and the gate small but it is designed to be just right to accommodate all who believe.

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