The Path to DestructionBro. Ron Rupé
1/29/2006 6:00 PM
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
There is a right way and there is a wrong way. The right way leads to life; the wrong way leads to destruction. The choice is ours as to which way we will go.
“…few there be that find it…” Compared to the world, the ones meeting here tonight are few. Fewer will walk in the way, and fewer still will make it to the end. We want to persevere to the end. Will you be one of the fewest of all? What can cause someone to go from the way of life to the way of destruction?
1. Just let the affairs of life cause you to miss church. This could be work or school or just being so involved in life that you’re too tired to go.
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith, without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works; Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
This isn’t a commandment to attend church. We come to find encouragement and strength to keep going in this way. Encouragement and exhortation keep us close to God. The world drains us spiritually; we need the fellowship and encouragement of the saints to be able to keep going. If you miss church too much, before long you’ll be spiritually overdrawn.
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
We come to church to find someone to stand with us. The devil would work to split us up and weaken us. It’s an old strategy: “Divide and conquer.” He would divide you from those that would help you.
2. To let your devotions become vain repetitions.
This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
If your personal devotions become less than heartfelt, you’re headed for trouble. Be careful that your time with God doesn’t become a form. Prayer, reading and meditation are vital to spiritual life.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory: While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Our spirit is renewed day by day. The spiritual renewal is necessary to call the affliction a light affliction. The spiritual renewal isn’t automatic. We need time with God so that we can be renewed.
If your public and personal worship become cold, you miss opportunities to be checked in your spirit.
3. Start feeding your mind with worldly wisdom.
2 Timothy 2:15-18
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings; for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
This talks about religious philosophies. Worldly wisdom has a way of eating away at your faith. When these things take root, your faith can be overthrown. Materialism, sensualism, and weird stuff can get to working on you to put your focus on that instead of on God. The devil has many ways to work on you with this.
4. Setting your affections on earthly things.
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
We have control over where we set our affections. Our affections will be set on what we set our eyes, ears, and mind on.
1 John 2:15
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
As you feed on the things of the world, your love for the world will grow, and your love for God will diminish. It matters how I entertain myself. If something you listen to or read causes you to be less spiritual, get rid of it.
5. Embrace bitterness.
And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord; Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
“…root of bitterness springing up…” When a soul forsakes the source of its peace and joy, bitterness often comes in. Being lost is an uncomfortable position. You either get right, or you become bitter against what is right. Bitterness could be towards many things. It is a means to justify the sinner’s fallen state.
“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled…” Bitterness is not a fruit of the Spirit. If you are bitter, it is an indication of a spiritual need.
And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord; Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
“Make straight paths for your feet…” Walk cautiously and conservatively. This scripture talks about Esau selling his birthright. It’s sad to see someone who was a child of God sell out for so little. Those that stay true will inherit the blessing. Will you inherit it also? When God calls this world to an end, there will be no time for repentance. While time exists, there is opportunity for repentance. Repent before it is too late.