Outline: Begins with the questions as to what life is and the purpose of life. Is there a life that is completely satisfying? Answer is in Jesus Christ. Satisfaction and purpose, peace and security is found in Him. Explains how to get it; the importance of it; definite choice needed. Wide gate, narrow gate. Believing, accepting--not doing--is how. Real life is to be found in Jesus. We must give up our will and accept God's will. We have to go through the narrow door. Plan of salvation.
|Theme:||Death; Cleanse, purify; Saviour of Sinful Men; Salvation; Forgiveness; Heart, soul of man; Punishment for guilt; Eternal / everlasting life|
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Life! What is life? Is it simply the beating of our hearts in our bodies? Is it a vapor which comes for a short time and then disappears again? What is the purpose of life? Is it simply to be born, to spend a few years of happiness or unhappiness on this earth, and then to die? Life changes, and people change. What can one cling to? Is there something solid that we can depend on? Something real which doesn't disintegrate? Something pure which does not become tainted? Is there a hope which does not end in disappointment? Is there a life which is true, full and completely satisfying?
Yes, there is. It is to be found in Jesus Christ. Do you know Him? Even if you don't know Him, He knows you and watches over you, because He loves you. It is He and He alone Who can satisfy you fully and give you the kind of life your heart is longing for. Listen to His words: "I am the way, the truth, and the life." Outside of Him you are on the wrong road, condemned to death, and to eternal punishment. Jesus offers true life to everyone without any exception - to you and to me. If you accept it you will find the real purpose of life. You will not be living in vain, but life will have an infinite value for you. God has a plan for your life, a plan of peace and security. It is worth everything to discover that plan. To miss it is to miss one's whole life and be surrounded by emptiness. And what is even more terrible, is to walk straight toward an eternity of condemnation and suffering after death. - Because life does not stop at death.
To get this real life, one must be willing to make an exchange - to give up his own will and accept the will of God. You must give in to Jesus Christ, submitting yourself completely to Him. Is this difficult? No, because Jesus Christ Himself helps us make the right decision. And yet there are many people who have refused to do so, because they have not understood that the apparent losses do not compare with the present and future gains. In the Gospel of Matthew, 7:13, 14 we read: "Heaven can be entered only through the narrow gate! The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide enough for all the multitudes who choose its easy way. But the Gateway to Life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it." It is a serious thought, that each heartbeat draws us nearer to eternity which will be spent in joy or in suffering. A third eternity does not exist. And the decision as to where we will go, must be made while we are here. After death it will be too late. The broad door invites us to come in, and the broad highway tempts us to take an easy journey. No changes are required and no effort is needed.
On the contrary, the door to life is narrow. You must renounce sin, and have a renewal of heart, which is conversion, in order to go through it. Each one has to decide for himself. We must not be like sheep and just follow the crowd, believing or rejecting as they do. To receive this kind of life is a strictly personal matter. My friend, do you attach any importance to your soul? What value do you give to this part of yourself which will live beyond the grave? Our stay on this earth is very short compared to the long eternity. Do you know that after death, your soul will continue to live forever? What is your choice? Do you choose to go through the narrow door and find real life? - New life, that begins today?
But perhaps you are asking, "What must I do, to go through this narrow door and find eternal life?" To be saved from going to eternal death, there is really nothing anyone can do, because Jesus has done everything for us. You simply have to believe in what He has done, and that He did it for _you_, personally. You have to believe that by dying on the cross He took the load of _your_ sins, and that by shedding His blood He took the punishment which they deserved. Yes, Jesus has accomplished everything. There is nothing left to be done.
Therefore, come to God, through Jesus, Who is the only Way. Humble yourself before Him and recognize that you are a poor sinner, who has nothing to offer. Confess your sins to Him one by one, small or great. Tell Him you are sorry, and that you will turn away from them. Ask Him to forgive you because of Jesus, Who died for you. He will do it, and He will give you His Holy Spirit to purify you and live in you. Then you will find that you _are_ on the narrow road of true life. This is _real_ Christianity. Day after day, as you follow Jesus, your heart will be at rest, and the Holy Spirit will help you to live a new and pure life which is pleasing to God. He will give you strength to face the rigors of life. Death itself will hold no fear because for you, it will simply be the gateway to heaven.