Aloha Friday Message – August 23, 2019 – Hold that door for me!

1934AFC082319 – Hold that door for me!

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     Luke 13:24 24 Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able.

Aloha nui loa, ʻŌmea! Today we will look at some pretty stark words from Jesus to his Disciples. In the 2000 or so years since these words were spoken, there has been much analysis of the text and other passages connected to it. We’ll look at a little of that today, but mostly I want to write about why “narrow” is such an important work in Christian life. Are you ready? Then let’s begin.

Here are several additional passages that relate to today’s Key Verse:

Matthew 7:13-14 13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. 14 For the gate is narrow and the road is hard (constricted) that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Matthew 7:21-23 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 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 deeds of power in your name?’ 23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.'”

Mark 10:25 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.

Matthew 7:15-19 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? 17 In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Matthew 24:3-5 When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered them, “Beware that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah!’ and they will lead many astray.”

Let’s begin with Matthew 7:13 – that broad highway to destruction of which Jesus speaks. What does he mean by destruction? The Greek word used there is ἀπώλειαν apōleian from ἀπώλεια (apóleia) {ap-o’-li-a} “cut off” as someone or something is completely severed from whatever could/should have happened had they not strayed off from what is righteous. This is the same Greek word used and translated as “perdition.” Those “bound for perdition” (See Revelation 17:11 for example) will be utterly destroyed. That road that leads to utter, eternal destruction – the road to Hell – is wide and lovely (paved with good intentions, heh?), and many wish to follow it. They believe in the dawn of a New Age.

In this New Age, there is the evolution of a new consciousness. This revised reality comes from an enlightened understanding of how the universe acts on our behalf to show us the inner deity we all possess but do not recognize. The evidence is right in front of our eyes in the Aquarian Age and was clearly predicted in the “Mayan Great Cycle.” We, as the Children of Gaea (“Mother Earth”) will be able – if we raise our level of consciousness to full realization and actualization of our inner divine being – to capitalize on this “tremendous opportunity for spiritual growth” so we can readily and properly embrace genuine humanitarianism that unties the whole world into one massive village where, according to one of the principle theme songs of this “great movement” there will be one government, one way for all, as we unite in group consciousness and realize we are all God because we at last understand “Christ Consciousness.” Belovéd, there are literally “billions upon billions” of aspiring luminaries who believe that horsepuckey. In their cosmogeny of the universe, they believe that the spiritual masters they have been anticipating have arrived and (paraphrasing Pogo) “They are US!” That is a very Wide Road indeed, wide as the whole wide world. The problem of course comes up when it’s time to leave the road on Earth and go to the Road Beyond. You see, there’s a bit of a “bottleneck” there: The Narrow Road and the Narrower Door.

Many will try to enter that narrow door, but they cannot; it is too difficult for them because they want to “take it all with them” – after all they are gods – and that just doesn’t work because that’s not how God created it. We are reminded of Mark 10:25 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God. These befuddled souls who worship “The Universe” count themselves as the richest of all because they have discovered their divinity. Their own prophets and prophecies absolutely verify what Jesus said of them in Matthew 7:15-19 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? 17 In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” Once again, if we look at the Greek words used in this passage, its impact becomes clearer. Here, when Jesus says “bad” tree or fruit, the Greek word is πονηροὺς (ponērous) {pon-ay-ros’}. It is a word that means evil, bad, wicked, malicious, slothful – literally, pain-ridden, emphasizing the inevitable agonies (misery) that always go with evil.

What are the fruits of these “evil trees” to and through whom “the universe” has disclosed their Christ Consciousness so that Jesus is portrayed as just an ordinary human being who “evolved himself to godliness” through progressive enlightenment? Up until just recently, only Jesus had self-realized his own deification. Sharing that with us, the message is that we are all gods and that brings us one step closer to finding your inner Christ-Self. Here’s the rub: Beware that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah!’ and they will lead many astray.”

New Age authors like Wayne Dyer, Eckart Tolle, Neal Donald Walsch, Deepak Chopra, Louise Hay,  Anthony Robbins, Oprah Wiinfrey, Mooji, and best-selling-author and presidential candidate Marianne Williamson tell us that Jesus is not the only path to Heaven. This is because man is divine by nature and not separated from God because of sin. There is no absolute final truth and no scripture (such as the Bible or any other “sacred writings”) that defines any exact and entire doctrine or religion. Religion is irrelevant because each of us can create our own religion based in our own truth as we understand our own divinity and preferences. Therefore it is immaterial if we get it right (or wrong) because there is no right or wrong, and besides either way, we can always be reincarnated and try again until we “get it right.” – But there is no right so we may not ever get it. But that’s OK, too, because the only way to live forever is not to die, and you do that by expanding your consciousness.

Marianne Williamson, mentioned above, has drawn attention to herself as a “very spiritual person” who believes the tripe in A Course in Miracles, that its two scribes, Drs. Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford, authorized for publication by the Foundation for Inner Peace in 1975. I guess that’s as close to a Bible as you can get for these folks. In 1993, it gave rise to The Circle of Atonement, a group that will guide us through this “communication from Jesus of Nazareth through a human ‘scribe.'” It is a new Gospel from a new Christ.

My oh my! We should be reminded to echo the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 5:8 Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me. God anoints, men appoint. Isaiah 45:1 1 Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped to subdue nations before him and strip kings of their robes, to open doors before him — and the gates shall not be closed. This is why we read in Isaiah 40:3 A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. and Matthew 3:3 This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’” (See also Mark 1:1-3, Luke 3:3-4, and John 1:22-23). God built the road/staircase to Heaven, earthlings did not, have not, will not, cannot do that because – no matter how often they chant it to themselves, no matter how many chakra they align, no matter how expanded (or inflated) their consciousnesses be – THEY ARE NOT God.

Last week we looked at how Jesus talked about bringing division and fire. These jesters of the universe – trying to claim they speak for Jesus – say they want the world to sing the same song and  share a Coke (although many prefer a toke instead). They claim to have heard the Word, but somehow it doesn’t apply to them because they have transcended that outdated collection of myths and mistakes. Here’s what happens to them as told to us in James 1:23-24 23 For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; 24 for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like.

That door, that gate at the end of the Road – it’s not a swinging door that opens for ingress and egress. It is, perhaps, much like that quote attributed to Rev. C. H. Spurgeon which describes it something like this: Over the front of Heaven’s gate is a sign which reads “Whosoever wills let him come.” Upon entering we discover that a sign above the inside of the door says “CHOSEN IN CHRIST BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.”

Belovéd, we do well to recall the Parable of the Wedding Banquet in Matthew 22:1-14 – especially that last verse: 14 For many are called, but few are chosen. Some believe there are exactly 144,000 souls in that “few.” Others believe you can’t follow the road unless you find the road. I’m in that group. Sometimes I wander off-road and get lost in the brambles, but when I come back I find that the road I follow is like a straight pencil line drawn across a humongous floor upon which many have applied great quantities of paint, and sand, and riches, and filth, all set in swirls and splatters; but the line is always there, always straight, always narrow, and always findable.

I walk the line, and I see the Narrow Door. When I get there, Someone will hold it open for me. Let’s go there together, then, and cross that threshold to the Place where God is on his Throne and we are called to minister there.

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Biblical languages inserts from Bible Hub (Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages) Visit at http://biblehub.com

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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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