The Wide Gate :: By Edwin Tan


Our Lord Jesus Christ is spot on in every aspect of what is happening around us. The Gospel may have been written two thousand years ago, but what it has alluded to is stunningly true as we speak. On this note, can we say that the Bible is irrelevant in the current-day context?

Here is just one verse that speaks more than volumes about real stuff. In Matthew 7:13, it is clearly stated that you “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.”

More than two millennia have lapsed, and believe it or not, what is plainly stated above is irrefutable proof that the Word of God is a hundred percent foolproof! What is the wide gate and the broad way? None other than the opulence plus extravaganza of the Church Growth Movement. There is a vast expanse of space for so-called praise and worship sessions. Speak of the atmosphere – much like a rock concert with the keynote preacher emulating a pop diva. The seating is almost packed to capacity; there are throngs that just desire the feel-good setting week in and week out.

For the purpose of keeping the large numbers intact and perhaps bloating, the Living Word is diluted – maybe even totally absent. Anything that makes them seemingly come back for more would be fantastic, even if it were totally not from Holy Writ. Quite the case with the Prosperity Gospel – certainly not inspired by the Holy Spirit but a fable invented by the flesh. The crowd just wants to hear it because it could be their quantum of solace from endemic harsh realities. It is truly no different from a crack house which offers an escapist fix! Nothing about dealing with the problems in daily living.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

That time is right at this very moment when it is staring at many eyes – the reality of what is common practice in numerous apostate churches at full swing! They will accommodate anything but the truth, which is oftentimes hard to swallow and potentially a turn-off. Why do specific personalities enjoy a cult status? All because of their ability to satiate the itching ears of the spiritually wayward masses. Sad to say, they have little appreciation of the value in the truth. They would be content with the short-term euphoria and be numb to the long-term implications!

One key word which stands out in Matthew 7:13 is DESTRUCTION! It is all pointing to the blind being led by the blind to the slaughterhouse. All these regular faces who show up in the thousands haven’t the faintest idea of what is lurking in the shadows. For a start, there is a semblance of Christian worship, but is it genuine? Far from it because it is driven by an aggregation of fleshy desires – absolutely nothing to do with the Spirit of God! The character of this crowd is best said in 1 John 2:15-16.

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.”

These folks certainly have a very serious issue with their eternal destiny because they truly do not know their Saviour. Their emphasis is on matters of the material world; it can be clearly seen in fables like the Prosperity Gospel. It is all about the lusts and desires of the flesh – very much in tune with pagan worship. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).

Proponents of the Church Growth Movement are indeed turning their attention away from the stinging truth about blatant unbelief by putting all the focus on numbers as a key performance indicator. There is no regard for the spiritual well-being of those on the pews. Coming as little surprise, this is exactly what our Lord and Master said about the many choosing this route.

When there is no attention paid to the spiritual welfare of the congregation, it is only music to the ears of the evil one. Because of their unbelief, they are unable to reap the benefits accorded to true believers, which are in the Armour of God (Ephesians 6:12). These individuals are easy pickings for the wicked one plus his minions. Do not be surprised at their mental health status after a considerable period of being part of one of these spiritually toxic outfits.

It is just a question of time before this unbelieving, if not partially believing, end up in the ultimate snare so spoken of in 2 Thess 2:10-11. These people will be subject to the strong delusion, which is indeed the lead up to eternal damnation!

The Word of the Lord is unshakeable where truth is concerned. What has been written speaks of the certainty of God’s Word. With that in mind, it is a clear indication of His promise – that Blessed Hope!



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