Better than coffee... really?

I love coffee!!!  It is a necessity in the morning!!!  Somehow, I am not quite right until I have had a couple of cups.  What could possibly be better than a cup of that wonderful concoction?  Well, how about coffee served in a cup made out of a frosted cookie?  Delicious, enticing, scrumptious, marvelous and exciting are but a few of the words that come to mind.  Having coffee like this would be like receiving blessings upon blessings.  Which reminds me of one of the best known passages in all of scripture... 

Psalms, Chapter 23

 1  Yahweh is my shepherd:
I shall lack nothing.
  2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
  3 He restores my soul.
He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
  4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
Your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
  5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil.
My cup runs over.
  6 Surely goodness and loving kindness shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in Yahweh’s house forever.

The God of Heaven blesses those who follow him.  He loves us and cares for us far more than we could ever imagine. I especially like the last part of verse five because it reminds me of wonderful coffee; a second cup, maybe even a third, given to me in a way that makes it even more desirable, a cookie container.  Wonderful are the blessings of God!!! If God gives us blessings like this, can you possibly imagine what dessert would be like?????

Bible Reading, Feb. 18

Feb. 18
Genesis 49

Gen 49:1 Jacob called to his sons, and said: "Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which will happen to you in the days to come.
Gen 49:2 Assemble yourselves, and hear, you sons of Jacob. Listen to Israel, your father.
Gen 49:3 "Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength; excelling in dignity, and excelling in power.
Gen 49:4 Boiling over as water, you shall not excel; because you went up to your father's bed, then defiled it. He went up to my couch.
Gen 49:5 "Simeon and Levi are brothers. Their swords are weapons of violence.
Gen 49:6 My soul, don't come into their council. My glory, don't be united to their assembly; for in their anger they killed men. In their self-will they hamstrung cattle.
Gen 49:7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel. I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.
Gen 49:8 "Judah, your brothers will praise you. Your hand will be on the neck of your enemies. Your father's sons will bow down before you.
Gen 49:9 Judah is a lion's cub. From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down, he crouched as a lion, as a lioness. Who will rouse him up?
Gen 49:10 The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs. To him will the obedience of the peoples be.
Gen 49:11 Binding his foal to the vine, his donkey's colt to the choice vine; he has washed his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes.
Gen 49:12 His eyes will be red with wine, his teeth white with milk.
Gen 49:13 "Zebulun will dwell at the haven of the sea. He will be for a haven of ships. His border will be on Sidon.
Gen 49:14 "Issachar is a strong donkey, lying down between the saddlebags.
Gen 49:15 He saw a resting place, that it was good, the land, that it was pleasant. He bows his shoulder to the burden, and becomes a servant doing forced labor.
Gen 49:16 "Dan will judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.
Gen 49:17 Dan will be a serpent in the way, an adder in the path, That bites the horse's heels, so that his rider falls backward.
Gen 49:18 I have waited for your salvation, Yahweh.
Gen 49:19 "A troop will press on Gad, but he will press on their heel.
Gen 49:20 "Asher's food will be rich. He will yield royal dainties.
Gen 49:21 "Naphtali is a doe set free, who bears beautiful fawns.
Gen 49:22 "Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine by a spring. His branches run over the wall.
Gen 49:23 The archers have sorely grieved him, shot at him, and persecute him:
Gen 49:24 But his bow remained strong. The arms of his hands were made strong, by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, (from there is the shepherd, the stone of Israel),
Gen 49:25 even by the God of your father, who will help you; by the Almighty, who will bless you, with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb.
Gen 49:26 The blessings of your father have prevailed above the blessings of your ancestors, above the boundaries of the ancient hills. They will be on the head of Joseph, on the crown of the head of him who is separated from his brothers.
Gen 49:27 "Benjamin is a ravenous wolf. In the morning he will devour the prey. At evening he will divide the spoil."
Gen 49:28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father spoke to them and blessed them. He blessed everyone according to his blessing.
Gen 49:29 He instructed them, and said to them, "I am to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite,
Gen 49:30 in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite as a burial place.
Gen 49:31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah, his wife. There they buried Isaac and Rebekah, his wife, and there I buried Leah:
Gen 49:32 the field and the cave that is therein, which was purchased from the children of Heth."
Gen 49:33 When Jacob made an end of charging his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the spirit, and was gathered to his people.

Feb. 18, 19
Matthew 25

Mat 25:1 "Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Mat 25:2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.
Mat 25:3 Those who were foolish, when they took their lamps, took no oil with them,
Mat 25:4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
Mat 25:5 Now while the bridegroom delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
Mat 25:6 But at midnight there was a cry, 'Behold! The bridegroom is coming! Come out to meet him!'
Mat 25:7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
Mat 25:8 The foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'
Mat 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, 'What if there isn't enough for us and you? You go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.'
Mat 25:10 While they went away to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.
Mat 25:11 Afterward the other virgins also came, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us.'
Mat 25:12 But he answered, 'Most certainly I tell you, I don't know you.'
Mat 25:13 Watch therefore, for you don't know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
Mat 25:14 "For it is like a man, going into another country, who called his own servants, and entrusted his goods to them.
Mat 25:15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one; to each according to his own ability. Then he went on his journey.
Mat 25:16 Immediately he who received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents.
Mat 25:17 In like manner he also who got the two gained another two.
Mat 25:18 But he who received the one went away and dug in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
Mat 25:19 "Now after a long time the lord of those servants came, and reconciled accounts with them.
Mat 25:20 He who received the five talents came and brought another five talents, saying, 'Lord, you delivered to me five talents. Behold, I have gained another five talents besides them.'
Mat 25:21 "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'
Mat 25:22 "He also who got the two talents came and said, 'Lord, you delivered to me two talents. Behold, I have gained another two talents besides them.'
Mat 25:23 "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'
Mat 25:24 "He also who had received the one talent came and said, 'Lord, I knew you that you are a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter.
Mat 25:25 I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the earth. Behold, you have what is yours.'
Mat 25:26 "But his lord answered him, 'You wicked and slothful servant. You knew that I reap where I didn't sow, and gather where I didn't scatter.
Mat 25:27 You ought therefore to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received back my own with interest.
Mat 25:28 Take away therefore the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents.
Mat 25:29 For to everyone who has will be given, and he will have abundance, but from him who doesn't have, even that which he has will be taken away.
Mat 25:30 Throw out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
Mat 25:31 "But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.
Mat 25:32 Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
Mat 25:33 He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Mat 25:34 Then the King will tell those on his right hand, 'Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;
Mat 25:35 for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in.
Mat 25:36 I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me.'
Mat 25:37 "Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you; or thirsty, and give you a drink?
Mat 25:38 When did we see you as a stranger, and take you in; or naked, and clothe you?
Mat 25:39 When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?'
Mat 25:40 "The King will answer them, 'Most certainly I tell you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'
Mat 25:41 Then he will say also to those on the left hand, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels;
Mat 25:42 for I was hungry, and you didn't give me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink;
Mat 25:43 I was a stranger, and you didn't take me in; naked, and you didn't clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you didn't visit me.'
Mat 25:44 "Then they will also answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and didn't help you?'
Mat 25:45 "Then he will answer them, saying, 'Most certainly I tell you, inasmuch as you didn't do it to one of the least of these, you didn't do it to me.'
Mat 25:46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." 



It is not strange that the first day of the week was chosen by our Lord as the day in which we should assemble to worship Him. Even at the very beginning, when the prophecies of old were being fulfilled in the establishment of the church, we notice that it occurred on the first day of the week. In Acts 2:1, the writer records that it was on the day of Pentecost that the events, which are contained in that chapter, occurred. It was on this Jewish holy day that the apostles were baptized with the Holy Spirit, as Jesus had promised (Lk. 24:49; Acts 1:7-8), and preached repentance and remission of sins for the first time (Acts 2:38).
As we find in Lev. 23:15-16, the day of Pentecost was determined in this way: "And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord." The "day after the Sabbath" would be Sunday, or the first day of the week. It was not because of tradition however, that Sunday should be that day on which the saints would continue to meet.
Jesus instituted the Lord's supper with the words, "...Do this in remembrance of Me." (Lk. 22:19) Though He spoke these words to His apostles, it must be noted that in His great commission, Jesus instructed these same men that part of their responsibility to those whom they were to baptize was to be "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you..." (Mt. 28:20) Certainly, the command to "remember Me" in the observance of that memorial was as much intended for all Christians. But what has this to do with understanding when the church is to assemble to worship the Lord? Simply that the Lord's supper was observed by the first-century church on the first day of the week as an act of worship.
There is no doubt that this is so, for Paul rebuked the church at Corinth for profaning the observance of the Lord's supper "when you come together in one place..." (1 Cor. 11:20) Then upon rebuking them, he said, "For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread." (1 Cor. 11:23) Finally, in Acts 20:7 we notice that Paul preached in Troas "on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread..."
It was on the first day of the week that the church at Corinth was instructed by Paul to "lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper..." (1 Cor. 16:2) The reason being, "...that there be no collections when I come." Why the first day of the week? First, because it was the prescribed time for them to meet to worship, therefore the most logical time to lay by their offering. Second, it made it unnecessary to have a special collection upon the arrival of those who were to transport the gift to the needy saints at Jerusalem. Finally, because Paul, as an apostle, was one of the "ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us..." (2 Cor. 5:20) by apostolic authority.
In days gone by, even to the present time, the frequency of the observance of the Lord's supper and laying by an offering has been perverted to correspond to the desires of men. Such action reflects a how-little-can-I-get-by-with attitude. Since the bible gives no frequency for this observance, but only states the day, it is obvious that it can only mean every first day of the week. The Jews would not have questioned the frequency of the Sabbath day which was to be "remembered" and "kept holy" under penalty of death for failure to do so, (See Ex. 31:14-15)
To the children of God, as students of His word, these truths are certainly not new but merely serve as a reminder that it is not by accident, tradition, or of human design that the first day of the week is to be set aside as a day in which God's family assembles to worship Him and edify one another. There is no more solemn an occasion than to meet in the presence of our Creator "where two or three are gathered together in My name..." Indeed, it is not a time to be taken lightly, as can be seen in the admonition and warning of Heb.10:25-26 where willful forsaking of assembling together is called sin.
It is interesting to note the severity of punishment for those who failed to "keep the Sabbath." (Ex. 31:12-17) In warning the Hebrews not to forsake the assembling of themselves together, Paul enhanced the urgency of his message by reminding them that those who "rejected Moses' law dies without mercy..." (Heb. 10:28) If we were confronted by such warning in the New Testament to those who fail to assemble on the first day of the week, our attitude would probably be drastically different. But we are faced with an even greater punishment for such willful neglect: "a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries." (Heb. 10:27) To fail to assemble and have enough consideration for our brethren to admonish them to assemble with us, is classified as willful sin.
Brothers and sisters, can you say, "I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go into the house of the Lord.'"? (Psm. 122:1) What is your attitude toward assembling on the first day of the week?

- Gary V. Womack - (1978)

The Father Who Won't Let Us Go by Jim McGuiggan

The Father Who Won't Let Us Go

Almighty Father, those presence fillest all things; we thank Thee that Thou canst by no means be excluded from the work of Thy hands. We thank Thee that Thou has made us realize Thyself, and that Thy purposes are beyond defeat. We have shut ourselves in, girded the mind with strong arguments, repeated our unbelief like a creed, but we have never escaped Thee.
We have striven to walk alone in pride, sufficiency and ostenstation, and then some thought of Thee has shattered all our wilfulness and we have gone softly ever afterward, and prayed: God be merciful to me a sinner.
We have plunged into sin, we have turned from the bright ideals which plagued us, we have stabbed our own complaining souls, drugged our conscience, poisoned our minds, set up idols, made our hearts like helland lo, Thou art there.
We yield to Thee, O God, for Thou art stronger than we. We cannot escape Thee without forsaking our reason, our hope and our joy. We cannot do without Thee, unless we surrender all that comforts and all that inspires. Forgive us our folly, pardon our wandering, make room for us within Thy gracious love.
Spending Time with Jim McGuiggan

The Divine Paramedic by Jim McGuiggan

The Divine Paramedic

"Isn't that a bit radical?" That's what he said. We'd been close friends some years ago but our friendship lost its way. Life has a way of working out like that. We'd been talking about the awful suffering of the world and I was claiming that the world's suffering was God's redemptive chastisement by which he intends to bring the world to glory. I had said that we rebelled, God in loving holiness responded in chastisement and so the combination of our sin and God's relentless love means suffering (that affects even innocent babies and righteous people). He was thinking of the horrific suffering in the world when he said, "Isn't that a bit radical?" What could I do but agree?
But, then, what a paramedic does is radical when he comes to a car wreck and sees people on the verge of dying in agony. These caring professionals rip open a woman's throat and shove a tube into it so she can get life-giving air. Or they break open the rib cage and shoot electricity through heart muscle or they grab a saw and rasp their way through a child's leg to keep it from dying in a fire that any moment will devour the child.
I'd say that was a bit radical!
I suppose in the end that it all depends on how we assess the situation. Is life worth having? If yes, rip out the throat, amputate the arm or leg or force the tube into the fluid filled lung. However radical all that is even gentle and loving parents would want it so if it meant ultimate life and health for the one they love. They'd share the agony but they'd urge the medic to invade.
There is suffering in the world because the universe has had a horrendous moral wreck and the divine Paramedic will not permit us to go down in flames without attempting to rescue us! It doesn't really matter that we aren't able to see our danger and loss in a true light. It doesn't matter that we don't love him or ourselves enough to care about real and glorious living. It only matters that he sees our loss for what it is and that he loves us enough to do what he knows is necessary.
It's rubbish to say of a paramedic that he shreds the bodies of the endangered people because he's sadistic-precisely the reverse is true! It isn't pain and loss he enjoys; it's life and health that he relentlessly pursues. It is nonsense to say of God's chastisement that it is vengeful over-reaction-it is a holy lover that cannot let us die that's at work.
In part, it's our sinfulness that leads us to say physical trauma is real and moral trauma is not. God knows better.
You might find my Celebrating the Wrath of God book useful.
Spending Time with Jim McGuiggan

Matthew: The Difficult Way To Life (7:14) by Mark Copeland

                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                    The Difficult Way To Life (7:14)


1. In His sermon on the mount, Jesus spoke of two ways...
   a. The way to destruction - Mt 7:13
   b. The way to life - Mt 7:14

2. In describing these two ways, He pointed out the 
   a. The way to destruction is broad, and many chose to 
       follow it - Mt 7:13
   b. The way to life is difficult, and there are few who       find it - Mt 7:14

[If we desired to be saved, to experience eternal life, 
there will be hardship along the way.  As we use this lesson to contemplate "The Difficult Way To Life", we note 
first that...]


      1. By Jesus in our text and elsewhere - Mt 7:14
         Jn 15:18-20;16:33
      2  By Paul to his fellow disciples - Ac 14:22
         2Ti 3:12
      3  By Peter in his epistle - 1Pe 4:12
      -- Jesus and His apostles have given full disclosure          that the way
         to life is difficult

      1. Satan himself, who seeks to devour - 1Pe 5:8-9
      2. People who think us 'strange', who may ridicule 
         and ostracizeus - 1Pe 4:3-4
      3. The lust of the flesh, with its bad habits - 
         1Pe 2:11
      -- Without and within, there are forces at work 
         making the way to life difficult

[Forewarned, what should our attitude be?  Though the way to life is difficult...]


      1. By Jesus in His sermons - Mt 5:10-12; Lk 6:22-23
      2. By James in his epistle - Jm 1:2
      3. As did the apostles, when persecuted - Ac 5:41
      -- Jesus and His apostles say that we should rejoice.  Why?

      1. Which is why Paul gloried in his tribulations - 
         Ro 5:3-4; 2 Co 12:10
      2. Which is why James told us to rejoice in our 
         trials - Jm 1:2-4
      3. "In the difficult are the friendly forces, the 
          hands that work
         on us." - Rainer Maria Rilke
      -- Can we begin to see why God would allow the way 
         to life to be so difficult?

[So rejoice, not resent, when trials and tribulations befall us on the way to life.  What may appear to be stumbling blocks may in fact be stepping stones to victory.  
 Especially as we consider why...]


      1. He will not allow us to be tempted beyond our 
         ability to endure
         - 1Co 10:13a
      2. He will provide a way of escape, enabling us to 
          endure - 1Co 10:13b
      3. This includes strength to stand strong
         a. His Spirit to empower the inner man - Ep 3:16;            cf. Ro 15:13
         b. His armor to protect, and fight the good fight          - Ep 6:10-13
      -- Through God's providence and provision, we have 
           the ability to be victorious!

      1. He provided an example of suffering, for us to 
         follow - 1 Pe 2:21
      2. We should look to Him, as we seek to endure -
         He 12:1-4
      3. Even as Stephen did, emulating His forgiving 
         spirit - Ac 7:54-60; cf. Lk 23:34
      -- Through Jesus' example, we have the inspiration 
         and motivation to succeed!


1. This is not to say we will never misstep along the way to life...
   a. As Christians we sin - 1Jn 1:8,10
   b. When we stumble, we have mercy and forgiveness - 
      1Jn 1:7,9

2. So as we travel on the way to life, finding it at times to be difficult...
   a. Let's not be surprised
   b. Let's not be resentful
   c. Let's not be defeated

But as the writer to the Hebrews penned in his epistle...

   "Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and 
    the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your 
    feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but     rather be healed."

   "Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without 
    which no one will see the Lord:"

   "Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace     of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause    trouble, and by this many become defiled;"
                                            - Heb 12:12-15

And as Paul confessed in his epistle...

  "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."    - Php 4:13

Note:  The idea and main points for this study came from a daily devotional written my cousin and brother in the 
 Lord, Gary Henry.  Visit his website at WordPoints.com to find lots of good material!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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Matthew: Are You On The Right Way? (7:13-14) by Mark Copeland

                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                  Are You On The Right Way? (7:13-14)


1. Everyone is on a spiritual journey as they travel through life...
   a. Whether religious or not, we travel a spiritual path
   b. Every day we make choices that affects the direction in which we
      are headed

2. Many people think that the paths we can travel are many...
   a. In one sense that may be true; there are all kinds of religions
   b. But in another sense there are really only two paths or ways

3. In His sermon on the mount, Jesus spoke of these two ways - Mt 7:
   a. Each with its own beginning, each with its own end
   b. One way is heavily populated, the other is traveled by few

4. Where are you in your spiritual sojourn?
   a. Are you on the right way?
   b. Are you heading in the right direction?

[To answer such questions, let's look closely at what Jesus said.  Note
first that...]


      1. "for wide is the gate..." - Mt 7:13
      2. This "gate" represents the beginning to the "way" that leads
         to destruction
      3. It is described as "wide"; evidently it is a gate which:
         a. Allows many to enter with no sacrifice on their part
            1) It does not require giving up anything
            2) One is allowed to bring along whatever "baggage" they
               a) E.g., materialism
               b) E.g., prejudice, hatred, an unforgiving spirit
               c) E.g., believe whatever one wants to believe
         b. Is therefore chosen by most people
            1) For there are no restrictions concerning belief and
            2) It also opens the way to "the path of least resistance"

      1. "Enter by the narrow gate.." - Mt 7:13
      2. This "gate" represents the beginning, or starting point, to
         the "way" that leads to life
      3. Why is it "narrow"?  Because it is a gate which:
         a. Requires self-denial and obedience - cf. Mt 16:24
         b. Has no room for...
            1) A consuming desire for earthly goods - Mt 6:19-20
            2) An unforgiving spirit - Mt 6:14-15
            3) Self-righteousness - Mt 6:1
            -- As Jesus has already stressed in His sermon on the mount

[These two "gates" are only the starting points.  Let's now take a
closer look at the fact that...]


      1. "...broad is the way" - Mt 7:13
      2. The way that leads to destruction is broad because it allows:
         a. Any behavior one desires
         b. No need for reformation or changes in one's "lifestyle"
      3. Many people love this path
         a. They think they are "free"
         b. They believe they are "open-minded"
         c. They view themselves as "tolerant" of others in this same

      1. "...difficult is the way" - Mt 7:14 (NKJV)
         a. "...narrow the road" (NIV)
         b. "the way is narrow" (NASB)
         c. "narrow is the way" (KJV)
         -- The picture is one of a narrow and difficult path between
            two cliffs
      2. The way that leads to life is "difficult" because it requires:
         a. A righteousness that exceeds that of many religious people
            - Mt 5:20
         b. A change in our behavior - cf. Mt 5:21-7:12
      3. Because of its difficulty, many choose not to travel its path
         a. They think it too "confining"
         b. They think it is too "narrow-minded"

[As Jesus describes the two gates and the two ways, He also reminds us


   A. THE MANY...
      1. "There are many who go in by it" - Mt 7:13
      2. We have seen reasons why this is so:
         a. The entrance is wide:  "Come as you are!  No changes
         b. The way is broad:  "Make your own rules!  Believe what you
            want!  Do what you want!"
      3. This is the way people travel by default;  unless they are
         actively seeking the narrow path, this is the one they will

   B. THE FEW...
      1. "there are few who find it" - Mt 7:14
      2. As proven true so often in the past, only few will be saved
         a. E.g., the millions lost in the flood vs. the eight saved on
            the ark
         b. E.g., the hundreds of thousands lost in the wilderness vs.
            the two who entered the promised land
         -- So Jesus warned on another occasion - Lk 13:23-24
      3. That it must be "found" suggests effort must extended
         a. As Jesus said in Lk 13:24:  "Strive to enter through the
            narrow gate..."
         b. Even then not all will be saved:  "...for many, I say to
            you, will seek to enter and will not be able."
         -- Not just effort, but the right kind of effort - cf. Mt 5:6;

[Finally, we note that Jesus tells us that...]


      1. "...broad is the way that leads to destruction" - Mt 7:13
      2. Paul wrote of the "everlasting destruction" that is to come
         - 2Th 1:7-9
         a. Upon those who know not God
         b. Upon those who obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ
      3. John described it as "a lake of fire" - Re 20:15; 21:8
      -- A most sobering thought are these words of Jesus:  "...there
         are many who go in by it." - Mt 7:13

   B. LIFE...
      1. "...difficult is the way which leads to life" - Mt 7:14
      2. This "life" is the "everlasting life" received at the judgment
         - Mt 25:46
      3. It is the "gift of God", given at the end - Ro 6:22-23
         a. To those who have been set free from sin - cf. Ro 6:3-7
         b. To those who became slaves of God and of righteousness
            - cf. Ro 6:17-18
         c. To those who bore the fruit of holiness - cf. Ro 6:20-22
      -- Another sobering thought are these words about the way that
         leads to this life: "...there are few who find it." - Mt 7:14


1. So we have seen that Jesus describes:
   a. Two gates
   b. Two ways
   c. Two groups
   d. Two destinations

2. Are there many roads that lead to heaven?
   a. Many people like to think so
   b. That all religions lead to heaven
   c. That it really doesn't matter what you believe or do, as long as
      you are sincere

3. But according to Jesus...
   a. There are only two roads (ways)
   b. One leads to life, i.e., heaven
   c. The other road, filled with many people with many different
      beliefs, leads to destruction!

4. Are you on the right way, the only way, that leads to life?
   a. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes
      to the Father except through Me." - Jn 14:6
   b. The way that He provides is a narrow one, for He requires that
      people keep His commandments - Mt 28:19-20

Will you be among the few, or the many?  Let Jesus direct you along the
narrow way that leads to eternal life!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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