Who Are You Riding With?
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.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Did your parents ever tell you not to ride with strangers? Or never take candy from them?
I remember my mom telling me and my sister, "If someone ever pulls up to you in a car, offering you a ride and you do not know them, don't say anything, but just run home!"
Mom even told us if even someone we knew is trying to tell us that "Your mom told me to pick y'all up." Without mom calling the school or letting us know before hand...to be wary.
Fortunately, me and my sister never had that problem, but its still dangerous problem today.
Adductors everyday that try to lure children into traps.
According to statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Crime Information Center, and U.S. Justice Dept. a child is abducted every.......... 40 seconds!
Their tactics are the same....they do not present themselves as the "boogie man" but with kindness, making friends with the child by giving them candy.
And once they lead them into their vehicle, its a narrow chance that the child can be saved.
Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it.
But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.
As in the Scripture listed above, Jesus describes the path to heaven is not a 6-lane super highway, but it is a old Louisiana highway. With no emergency lane, but surrounded by bayou and swamp and no guard rails!
Sounds like Bayou Rd. on the way to Bishop and Pastors house. (Anyone who has been to the Martins knows what I'm talking about!)
At one point it was rated in the top 10 dangerous roads in the U.S.!
There is only one road to Heaven, not many routes as a GPS may give to a certain destination.
So how do we find that one path?
Who do we ride with?
How do we get there?
I think these are very important questions to be answered because not only is there one way to get to everlasting life, but its a narrow path!
We begin to find our path to New Testament salvation in...
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist:some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona:for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven:and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven:and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Peter, who because he had the revelation of Jesus Christ, was awarded the keys to the kingdom and the authority given to him to bind and loose in the heaven and the earth.
So we now know, who to jump in the car with, Peter.
Lets take a ride with Peter for a minute....
So we travel with Peter to....
1.Transfiguration at the mountain, where he sees Jesus talking with Moses and Elijah.
2. At the the Passover Supper, where Jesus foretells his denial.
3. Garden of Gethsemane. Where Jesus took Peter along with the two sons of Zebedee to pray, but couldn't stay awake.
4. In that same place Peter cuts off one of the temple guard's ears.
5. Outside the temple where Christ was being persecuted, Peter denies Jesus three times, just as Jesus foresaw.
6. After the resurrection, Mary Magdalene first ran to Peter and John to bring them to the empty tomb.
7. During Jesus' third visit to his disciples, He asks Peter if he loves him more then these. Then Jesus tells him to feed his lambs and sheep. Jesus also then tells Peter the type of death he will suffer to glorify God.
I made these points about Peter to prove a point....that Peter wasn't just a regular disciple, but an Apostle with a particular authority. A authority that even John, "the disciple whom Jesus loved" didn't even have.
Just before Jesus ascends into the heavens, He gives his apostles one last commandment.
And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.
And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you:but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.
And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that
they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
Now Peter has us get back into his Honda....Accord(Acts 1:14)....haha....going to Jerusalem.
From Bethany, Mount of Olives was only sabbaths day journey which was only a 10 minute walk to Jerusalem to wait upon the promise...
So where we wait with Peter and the rest of the 120 people that were in the upper room listed in Acts 1.
But while waiting, on the 10th day...
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with
other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
As the Holy Ghost is being poured out on the disciples in the upper room...the other people of about 16 other nations walking about hear what is happening.
Each person is hearing them speak in their own language!
Woah! What had just happened? It was quite then all of a sudden everyone is speaking in tongues and languages of other nations magnifying God!
Some others mocked saying, "These men are full of new wine!"
But this Ladies and Gentlemen is climax of the ride.
This is what this whole thing is leading up to...
And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them
in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
Everything from Moses, throughout the Psalms, all the books of the Prophets, until now...the Day of Pentecost...
Acts 2:14-17, 21
But Peter( not John, not Matthew, nor anyone else), standing up with
the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them,.......
For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. (About 9:00am)
But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh:and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,.....
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
As Peter continues to preach unto them, he tells them that they had crucified the root and offspring of David, whom God hath made both Lord and Christ.
See Acts 2:22-36 for complete sermon
Just for a moment, I want to go back up to verse 21.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Question: If just calling upon the name of the Lord shall save us, then why didn't Peter( who has the keys remember?) stop preaching?
Now the same people who watched as the disciples in the upper room being filled with the Holy Ghost and speak in other tongues ask themselves...
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto
Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized:and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Here it is folks!
The promise of the Father.....the door to the kingdom has been opened!
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles 'doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Continued in who's doctrine?
The Apostles' doctrine!
Unlike to the path of destruction, they were many ways, many doctrines... The path of the Kingdom of Heaven is only one way!
Even after the kingdom has now been open to the Jews....there still remained one more door Peter had to open.
And that door was to be opened to the Gentile world.
As Peter is praying on the rooftop, he fell into a trance, and the Lord gave him a vision...
And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him,
Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
What Peter didn't realize that God was fixing to make salvation available unto the Gentiles, who the Jews thought to be unworthy, dogs(which even Jesus called the Canaanite woman Matt 15:26), and unclean.
As soon as Peter fell out of the trance, the men who Cornelius sent, asked him to come with him to Cornelius' house.
So here we go again.....
Peter has to get back into his Honda Accord Acts Edition..4 door...lol
After everyone is gathered into Cornelius's home...he says unto Peter
"..........Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.
As Doug White would say...
"Ok Peter, tell us what we gotta to do to be saved!"
Peter begins to preach to everyone that was in the house. (Acts 10:33-48)
But he is stopped short in the middle of his sermon..
To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name
whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
I find it quite interesting that the same message Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, was the same message he preached unto Cornelius and his household.
This isn't just a Jew thing, but a God Thing!
Lets compare both events:
So, who are you riding with?
There are many doctrines out there. I know you got guys like Martin Luther, John Wesley, and then some of the modern day guys like T.D. Jakes, Billy Graham, and many others who say none of that is really necessary!
They will tell you, all that speaking in tongues and receiving the Holy Ghost is not important.
They will also tell you water baptism is just an option!
And if they do baptism is not according to what was done in the Book of Acts!
But just as we just analyzed what the Bible says and what the apostles did....so are you going to ride with?
Remember, the Way is narrow and theres only one road! And there be few that find it!
We can not afford to get off track or be lost. Because the path of destruction is spacious and wide and a lot is going to it!
So one last time I will ask:
Who are you riding with?....I'll make it easy with a multiple choice question.
A. John Wesley
B. John Calvin
C. Apostle Peter
D. Billy Graham
E. T.D. Jakes
The correct answer is: C, the Apostle Peter
For those of you who say, "Forget the Law and the Apostles, I'm just going to follow the words of Jesus."
I will just end it with this....
That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the
commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens
with the saints, and of the household of God;
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets(The Law)Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;