The Pathway To Life (NKJV)
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- Pages: 6
- Version: NKJV
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“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” (Matthew 7:13,14).
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’” (John 14:6).
God The creator: Jehovah God is the one true God. He is the living God. He is all-powerful, all knowing, and ever present, and by Him all things exist. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (see Genesis 1). God is supreme over all creation. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
The origin of man: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness’ … So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:26-28).
The perfect habitation: “The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed … The Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend it and keep it” (Genesis 2:8-15).
The man and the woman were completely without sin, and had a personal relationship with God, walking with Him in the garden in the cool of the evening (see Genesis 3:8).
God’s prohibition: “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die’” (Genesis 2:16-17). Man was created to be under the authority of God. Being made in the image of God, man has a mind , and a will, he is able to make choices, and his choices determine his destiny. Along with the command, God gave also the consequence of disobedience, “If you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Satan’s presence: The scripture defines Satan as “a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). His purpose is to separate man from God, and make him a servant to sin, keeping him in bondage. He deceives by offering a counterfeit of the things of God, and by denying that there is a consequence for rebelling against God (see 1 John 2:15-17; Galatians 5:19-21). Satan came to Eve in the garden and first questioned God’s motive for forbidding them to eat the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. He then cast doubt upon what God really said, and questioned God’s authority over them, “You will not surely die.” He told her that God was keeping the fruit from her because He didn’t want her to be as wise as He (Genesis 3:1-5).
The origin of sin: “Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked [had sinned]” (Genesis 3:1-6). Adam and Eve had a choice to make, as to whether they would believe God, or believe Satan; they chose to believe Satan. Their sin was the sin of rebellion against God.
The cover up of sin: Adam and Eve knew that they had disobeyed God, and they tried to cover up their sin by their own efforts. They hid themselves because they feared God, and when confronted by God, they each blamed someone else for their sin (see Genesis 3:9-13).
The consequence of Sin: God is righteous in judgment. Adam and Eve willfully disobeyed God, and the day of judgment came. They now stood before God, not in fellowship as in the past, but now in fear of Him. As a result of original sin, man became spiritually dead [separated from God], and not having access to the tree of life, he began to die physically. In the Garden of Eden everything had been ordered by God, and peace prevailed. Now, because of the fall, sickness and disease came upon man. Plants and animals became wild, and man had to work for his daily provision of food, and to struggle to “subdue the earth.”
The grace of God: God, in His grace, killed an innocent animal and made coats of skins to cover their nakedness (the blood of the innocent to cover the sins of the guilty). Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, to separate them from God, for nothing unclean may come into the presence of a holy God (see Genesis 3:14-24).
The inherent nature of man: Adam and Eve had children who inherited their sin nature. God had given instruction by example for a continuing covering for sins, by the shedding of the blood of an innocent animal, and offering it in substitution for their sins. Abel brought a proper blood sacrifice, and God accepted it. Cain brought the fruit of his labor as an offering for sin and it was not accepted. Cain, in a jealous rage, killed his brother Abel (see Genesis 4, Romans 5). God said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them” (Genesis 6:5-7). Throughout the ages, because of his depraved nature, man has overwhelming desires for possessions and power, and he has resorted to evil in order to achieve his ends. All mankind inherited Adam’s nature, and were under the curse imposed upon him (see Romans 5:12).
The personal accountability of man through the law: God called Moses to come up unto Mount Sinai, where He gave to him two tablets of stone upon which were written what we know as the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17). In keeping all points of the law, one could be declared righteous. On the other hand, any transgression of the law would be a sin against God. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Each person was held accountable by God for their own sin. It became evident that no man could fully keep the righteousness of the law (Galatians 3:10,11). The Scriptures declare that all are unrighteous, because all have sinned (Romans 3:9-23). What is the purpose of the law then? The law is given that sin might appear to be sinful. The law is as a mirror, that when looked into, shows one what he is really like in God’s sight. The Scripture says that the law is a schoolmaster, to bring us to Christ (see Galatians 3:24), and through it we are pointed to a better way to be reconciled to God.
The new covenant of grace: “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:1-3). Man failed to obtain the righteousness of the law because of his sin nature. God now introduces a new covenant of grace (Hebrews 8:10). “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law” (Galatians 4:4). In divine grace, God provided a remedy for sin, which was beyond the capability of the law. Jesus Christ is God’s gift of grace, given as the only means by which men can be saved (see John 3:16-18). Jesus was the only one who ever lived and that kept the law fully. Therefore, He fulfilled the demands of the law for righteousness. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of a virgin; therefore He did not inherit Adam’s sin nature. He then, being the Son of God, and being righteous in His own merit, is the only acceptable sacrifice for the sins of the world. He died on the cross to atone for our sins, and was raised again from the dead, that we might have everlasting life (John 3:16). Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Salvation then is a gift of God’s grace, which must be received by faith (Ephesians 2:8,9). Faith is, believing God and acting on that belief in accordance with His word. Saving faith is not a head belief (mental ascent), it is a heart belief (Romans 10:9-17). When one receives Jesus Christ as his Savior, a wonderful transaction takes place. God places the sin of the believer and its penalty on Christ, and He credits the righteousness of Christ to His account (2 Corinthians 5:21).
The believer’s hope: Jesus comforted His disciples, saying “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3). Having the gift of eternal life in Christ, the believer has hope for the future, and assurance of heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18; 5:9,10). In heaven, all that was lost by the fall of man, and under the curse, is restored. (see Revelation chapters 21 and 22). All who believe God and receive His offer of grace, by faith in Jesus Christ, are heirs with Christ of all that heaven holds, both now, and for eternity (Romans 8:14-17), their names are written in the book of life. Those who reject God’s offer of grace, and insist that they can gain heaven by their own works and merit, will face God in judgment, and will be judged according to their works. Being found guilty, they will spend eternity in hell, with Satan and his angels (Revelation 20:1-15).
Your choice: The choices are life or death, belief or unbelief, righteousness or unrighteousness, heaven or hell. You now know the truth, and you know the consequences. Now is the time to decide. If you choose Christ, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose. If you reject Christ, you have everything to lose, and nothing to gain.
Now is the time: Our journey began with two roads, you are now at a crossroad, and you must choose which road you will take. One road goes by the way of the cross of Christ, where you may lay your burdens down, and be free of the heavy load. The Bible is the road map, and the Holy Spirit is your guide; at the end of the road is the city of God, where there is everlasting life and joy and peace. The other road is the easy road and is the way most traveled. The roadmap is humanistic, guided by social norms, and Satan himself leads the way. You must carry your own baggage all the way, and at the end of the road is destruction.
God’s desire: It is God’s desire that you take the road that leads to life and eternity with Him. He is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). It only takes one step of faith to begin the journey to Heaven. Do it now. Pray to God and confess that you are a sinner, condemned under the law, and that you cannot save yourself. Tell Him that you desire His gift of grace, and that you want Jesus Christ to come into your heart and to be your personal Savior, believing that He died for your sins on the cross, and that He rose again from the dead, that you might have eternal life
What is next? God wants you to learn and mature in your faith; . The first step then, is to join a Bible believing and Bible teaching church, that you may learn and grow as a Christian. Secondly, you should develop a daily routine of prayer and Bible reading, and finally, you should get involved in the ministry of your local church. “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be glory, forever and ever” (Philippians 4:19,20).
Note to the reader: The Scripture references are given with the desire that the reader look them up in the Bible, and read them in their context. The Scriptures used only scratch the surface of the wonder of God’s redemptive plan by Christ Jesus. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16,17). —John. P. Stephens