Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of August 10, 2008

Matthew 7:13-14
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

The narrow way is the way that God says is right in the Bible. The broad way is the way that seems right to a person (Proverbs 14:12), and is often the popular way. The narrow way to heaven is through faith in Christ alone. The broad way is any other way that makes sense to a person. After we are saved, following the Lord’s instructions as to what pleases Him is often considered by many to be narrow, but that narrow way is the path of blessing.

Years ago I was asked to go visit a family by one of my friends who had met the people through door-to-door work. He told me that they were interested in the Gospel and that they had some questions that he thought I could answer. When I got there, the man of the house starting asking me questions. It was obvious that they were antagonistic questions and not the kind of questions that a person who was really interested in the Gospel would probably ask. As I tried to answer some of his questions, all of a sudden he got mad and said, “You preachers don’t believe your own Bibles.” Of course, he was a little more descriptive than that. He took a round house swing at me and pushed me out of his house. Fortunately, he only grazed me with his fist, but he certainly left an impression on me. I figured out later that he considered me to be the “preacher” while my friend was just an ordinary person to him. He made it clear that he didn’t trust “preachers.”

I would like to believe that this fellow had treated me unfairly, yet the longer I preach, the more I understand his frustration. We are taught that the Bible does not change, that God does not change and that the way of salvation does not change. Then we are told that everything must change if we are going to keep our young people and meet the needs of parents who are raising children. I understand why methods should change but I don’t understand how basic Biblical doctrine can change. I believe that this has become a great hindrance to the preaching of the Gospel because any one with a good mind reading the Bible will know that we Christians are picking and choosing what we want to believe today. I have been told that we need to believe the essentials and that the nonessentials should not be an issue. The difficulty is, I never dealt with nonessentials when I was raising my children. I had too many essentials to waste my time on nonessentials. I suspect that if the Lord said something, it was essential as far as His children are concerned as well.

There are many things that the Bible teaches about personal morality and about the way a local church should function that are being set aside today. I keep asking myself, “Just what are my boundaries? Do I have convictions or do I just have preferences about these things? Where is that line that I will not cross?” When some of us question present day practices we are considered legalistic. However, I feel judged by those who consider themselves accepting and liberal when I suggest that God knew what He wanted and that Biblical principles have not changed.

When we look at the local church today, the Lord says it is his temple. That means it is a place where God dwells and the way it functions is important to Him. 1 Corinthians 3:17 says, “If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” He seems to be saying that we need to be careful with church doctrine and practice because the church is sacred to the Lord. I personally do not want to help destroy what is precious to God.

It is one thing to be disobedient in areas where we have not been taught the truth. It is another thing to know what the Bible teaches and to say that those things are no longer essential when it comes to being obedient to the Lord.

While it may be considered narrow to walk the narrow way that God has laid out in the Bible. I would hate to think that someone might be stumbled because I act like I don’t really believe what the Bible says.

Bruce Collins

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