Category: J thru P


When God changed a person’s name and gave him a new name, it was usually to establish a new identity. God changed Abram’s “high father” name to “Abraham,” “father of a multitude” (Genesis 17:5) and his wife’s name from “Sarai,” “my princess,” to “Sarah,” “mother of nations” (Genesis 17:15). We know from history that the descendants of Abraham and Sarah formed many nations, including the Jews’ and Muslims’.

God changed Jacob’s “supplanter” name to “Israel,” “having power with God” (Genesis 32:28). He changed Simon’s “God has heard” name to “Peter,” “rock” (John 1:42). Why did Jesus occasionally call Peter “Simon” after He had changed His name to “Peter”? Probably because Simon sometimes acted like his old self instead of the rock God called him to be. The same is true for Jacob. God continued to call him “Jacob” to remind him of his past and to remind him to depend on God’s strength.

Why did God choose new names for some people? The Bible doesn’t give us His reasons, but perhaps it was to let them know they were destined for a new mission in life. The new name was a way to let them in on the divine plan and also to assure them that God’s plan would be fulfilled in them.

Advertisements

The answer to the above question is quite simple in one respect, and quite complex in another.

The baseline answer to America’s present condition is  that the Constitution of the United State is “wholly inadequate” for the governance of a people who are not Christian.  In a much larger world, where peoples were divided by time and space and the availability of philosophical, historical,  social and cultural knowledge was primitive compared to today, our Founders did not realize that the term religion could mean a wide array of desperate philosophies which were not compatible.  Nor could they have contemplated and understood the present state of man in terms of “closeness” and congestion.

Christianity and the Bible provided a broadly based common view of the world and life.  There were differences within Christianity, and those differences had helped cause continued war among the Christian nations of Europe.  But America offered sufficient land – space and lack of established special interests at the time of its settlement and colonization and creation of this nation, that those conflicts did not carry over to America in a defining way.   Instead, our founders being sensitive to the differences between the Christian denominations, built in a tolerance within the broader Christianity.  A review of the religious toleration clauses of the colonial and early state Charters and Constitutions clearly indicate it was tolerance for the different Christian denominations which were central in their minds.

In my life time, and probably before, intellectuals have sought to expand or re-write the meanings of the Founders.  The concept of a “living” Constitution embraces the idea of historiography (meaning the change – ability of the meaning of words depending upon fashion) as a less cumbersome way of modifying the practical aspects of the Constitution in daily life.  This is not what the Founders intended.  They were very clear about the limited role of the Courts, and the means to change the Constitution.  But today’s intellectuals, the ruling elite, and those in political governance, prefer to govern through the Courts rather than the ballot box and legislature.  Progressives prefer court-dictated changes because it is easier to make happen, and can be micro managed in terms of intent.

The common foundation of Christianity was not just one of morality in terms of the Ten Commandments, but was also an understanding of the spirit as the essential breath within the law.  Christ’s teachings are filled with this approach.  It is not just the words of the law which are important but their spirit, and without the spirit, the words whither and die.

America is in chaos because the people have moved away from the Christianity, which God used to create the United States of America. The people moved away, in part, because the ruling elite erased the history of America (1492 – 1789). and mostly because, as in the Old Testament of the Bible, we are no better than the people of Israel in our constant desire to do as we please, rather than please God.  The spirit of the Constitution, spoken of above, should be the spirit of God, through the American people and applied to life.  That is precisely what the Founders intended.  (This point will be fought tooth and nail by the intellectuals, and most may believe them because most are completely unaware of the history of this nation, combined with a desire to live and let live.)

Christianity is under attack by Satan through a wide variety of means, and the Pulpit has been less than vigilant or energetic in its defense of the Christian foundation of the Constitution and our nation.  Between the electronic devices which run a 24  – 7 river of sin at the hearts and minds of the people,  the rising challenge of Islam around the world, and the spiritual corruption of both the American people and its ruling elite. only the power of God has prevented collapse before now.  But, it appears, it is coming.

America’s lurch towards Donald Trump appears to be the same as the Jewish people calling for a King.  God attempted to dissuade his chosen people of that choice, but reluctantly allowed the people to choose that course, choice being the optimum operational theme throughout the Bible.  Americans have no idea how to look to God for the answer to our problems and challenges; instead we have become addicted to government as the answer.  Modern liberal thought has become the idol, and America is living that idolatry now.

I have written before and will continue to do so, that what America needs is a national revival, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 .  and for those who agree, I can only commend to you, pray for such an event.

“None are more hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free…. “

I believe that The AMERICAN PATRIOT, is the only political party in America that is still firmly loyal to OUR Founding Fathers and supports and diligently abides by the Constitution of the United States of America.

We hear a great deal today from politicians, news organizations and candidates this is the “most important election year” in the history of the United States,  “a crucial election,” and  there is so “much at stake.”  Yet, they never fully tell us why it is the “most important,” the most “crucial” or “what really is at stake?”

If we answer the last question first, “what is at stake,” we have a foundation of which to answer all of these questions. But first we must ask the ultimate question: “Why do Republicans and Democrats alike fear and hate Donald Trump?” I proffer to you this simple answer.  Donald Trump is aware that for 100 years most politicians have knowingly ushered in the ideal of Communism through implementation of laws and propaganda.  Trump understands that the people (politicians) who believe in the socialistic and communistic concepts, [especially those who pass more and more laws implementing these slavery ideas] are traitors to their oath of office and to the Constitution of the United States of America… Trump wants to expose it and stop it before the final fatal blow is administered to our Republic; and this scares the hell out of politicians of who will be exposed. Not to mention that everything these politicians have worked for will have been in vain. I strongly believe that this is why Republicans, Democrats and nearly every News Agency has aligned against Donald Trump and his agenda.

Now we can answer the two remaining questions of why this election was “so important” and what makes it “so crucial?” The answer is not in “who” will make the ultimate blow that murders our current Republic form of government; but instead “who” will “guide and control” this new United States Socialist Republic [U. S. S. R.]. This is what is causing the chaos from within the News Media and from within both political parties. This is why we are experiencing riots in the streets and political stonewalling.  America’s freedom is in the balance. This is why everyone is scrambling to oust Trump before he had a chance to be elected.

This is why the 2018 mid-term elections for Senators will be the most  crucial election in the history of mankind and of the United States of America. By whatever name they go by, Liberal, Progressive, Moderate, Socialist or Communists, they need to go.  Plain and simple.  This is why supporting President Trump’s agenda is vital to American freedom and prosperity. This is why the likes of Schumer and Pelosi need to be ousted and replaced with Conservative, God fearing , pro-America Congressional leadership..

Karl Marx describes in his communist manifesto, the ten steps necessary to destroy a free enterprise system [Capitalism] and replace it with a system of omnipotent government power, so as to effect a communist socialist state. Those ten steps are known as the Ten Planks of The Communist Manifesto… The following brief presents the original ten planks within the Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx in 1848, along with the American adopted counterpart for each of the planks. From comparison it’s clear MOST Americans have by myths, fraud and deception under the color of law by their own politicians in both the Republican and Democratic and parties, been transformed into Communists.

Another thing to remember, Karl Marx in creating the Communist Manifesto designed these planks AS A TEST to determine whether a society has become communist or not. If they are all in effect and in force, then the people ARE practicing communists.

Communism, by any other name [Liberal, Progressive or Socialist] is still communism, and is VERY VERY destructive to the individual and to the society!!

Read the 10 Planks of The Communist Manifesto to discover the truth and learn how to know your enemy…  The 10 PLANKS stated in the Communist Manifesto and some of their American counterparts are…

1. Abolition of private property and the application of all rents of land to public purposes.
Americans do these with actions such as the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (1868), and various zoning, school & property taxes. Also the Bureau of Land Management (Zoning laws are the first step to government property ownership)

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
Americans know this as misapplication of the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, 1913, The Social Security Act of 1936.; Joint House Resolution 192 of 1933; and various State “income” taxes. We call it “paying your fair share”.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
Americans call it Federal & State estate Tax (1916); or reformed Probate Laws, and limited inheritance via arbitrary inheritance tax statutes.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
Americans call it government seizures, tax liens, Public “law” 99-570 (1986); Executive order 11490, sections 1205, 2002 which gives private land to the Department of Urban Development; the imprisonment of “terrorists” and those who speak out or write against the “government” (1997 Crime/Terrorist Bill); or the IRS confiscation of property without due process. Asset forfeiture laws are used by DEA, IRS, ATF etc…).

5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
Americans call it the Federal Reserve which is a privately-owned credit/debt system allowed by the Federal Reserve act of 1913. All local banks are members of the Fed system, and are regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) another privately-owned corporation. The Federal Reserve Banks issue Fiat Paper Money and practice economically destructive fractional reserve banking.

6. Centralization of the means of communications and transportation in the hands of the State.
Americans call it the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Transportation (DOT) mandated through the ICC act of 1887, the Commissions Act of 1934, The Interstate Commerce Commission established in 1938, The Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Executive orders 11490, 10999, as well as State mandated driver’s licenses and Department of Transportation regulations.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
Americans call it corporate capacity, The Desert Entry Act and The Department of Agriculture… Thus read “controlled or subsidized” rather than “owned”… This is easily seen in these as well as the Department of Commerce and Labor, Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Mines, National Park Service, and the IRS control of business through corporate regulations.

8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
Americans call it Minimum Wage and slave labor like dealing with our Most Favored Nation trade partner; i.e. Communist China. We see it in practice via the Social Security Administration and The Department of Labor. The National debt and inflation caused by the communal bank has caused the need for a two “income” family. Woman in the workplace since the 1920’s, the 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, assorted Socialist Unions, affirmative action, the Federal Public Works Program and of course Executive order 11000.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of population over the country.
Americans call it the Planning Reorganization act of 1949 , zoning (Title 17 1910-1990) and Super Corporate Farms, as well as Executive orders 11647, 11731 (ten regions) and Public “law” 89-136. These provide for forced relocations and forced sterilization programs, like in China.

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.
Americans are being taxed to support what we call ‘public’ schools, but are actually “government force-tax-funded schools ” Even private schools are government regulated. The purpose is to train the young to work for the communal debt system. We also call it the Department of Education, the NEA and Outcome Based “Education” .

These are used so that all children can be indoctrinated and inculcated [see: Youth Indoctrinated] with the government propaganda, like “majority rules”, and “pay your fair share”. WHERE are the words “fair share” in the Constitution, Bill of Rights or the Internal Revenue Code (Title 26)?? NO WHERE is “fair share” even suggested !! The philosophical concept of “fair share” comes from the Communist maxim, “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need! This concept is pure socialism. …

America was made the greatest society by its private initiative WORK ETHIC … Teaching ourselves and others how to “fish” to be self sufficient and produce plenty of EXTRA commodities to if so desired could be shared with others who might be “needy”… Americans have always voluntarily been the MOST generous and charitable society on the planet.

 

 

Do changing words, change the end result? … By using different words,  is it all of a sudden OK to ignore or violate the provisions or intent of the Constitution of the United States of America?????

KNOW YOUR ENEMY …Remove the enemy from within and from among us.

The AMERICAN PATRIOT, the only political party in America that still firmly supports and diligently abides by the Constitution of the United States of America.

Join me for more from this series. Thank you.

 

A comparison between “forced giving” through Communism and “joyous giving” through Capitalism and Bible principles:
Communism, a branch of socialism, is an experimental social system based on a set of ideals that, at first glance, seem to agree with some biblical principles. On closer examination, however, little evidence can be found that the Bible truly supports or endorses communism. There is a difference between communism in theory and communism in practice, and the Bible verses that seem to comply with communist ideals are in fact contradicted by the practices of a communist government.
There is a surprising sentence in a description of the church in Acts 2 that has led many people to wonder whether the Bible supports communism, and has led some people to defend strongly the idea that communism is actually biblical. The passage reads, “All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need” (Acts 2:44-45). This statement seems to imply that communism (which has, at its heart, a desire to eliminate poverty by “spreading the wealth around”) is found here in the earliest of Christian churches. However, there is a crucial difference between the church in Acts 2 and a communist society that must be understood.
In the Acts 2 church, the people were giving to each other out of their own good will to those who had a need, and they were giving freely, without regulation of how much they were to give. In other words, they shared what they had out of a shared love for one another and a common goal—living for Christ and glorifying God. In a communist society, people give because a system of government forces them to give. They don’t have a choice in the matter as to how much they give or to whom they give. This, therefore, does not reflect on who they are; it says nothing about their identity or character. Under communism, the cheerful, generous giver and the stingy man are both required to give exactly the same amount – namely, everything they earn.
The issue is one of cheerful giving (which the Bible supports) versus forced giving. Second Corinthians 9:7 says, “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” After all, the Bible contains a great number of references to helping the poor, being generous with what we have, and looking out for those who are less fortunate. When we obey in this area with cheerful hearts with the proper motivation, our giving is pleasing to God. What is not pleasing to God is giving out of compulsion, because forced giving is not giving out of love and therefore profits nothing in the spiritual sense. Paul tells the Corinthians, “If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3). Loveless giving is the inevitable result of communism.
Capitalism is actually a better system, when it comes to giving, because it has proven to increase individual wealth, which allows its citizens to give out of their increase. Communism has proven to simply make all its citizens poor, except the very few in power who decide where the wealth goes. But even capitalism won’t work, by itself, as a system for aiding the poor. It depends on its citizens to be diligent (Proverbs 10:4) and generous with the fruits of their labor (1 Timothy 6:18) and to give out of love for God and neighbor. Thus, we see that God has designed for the physical and financial needs of the poor to be met by Christian individuals, rather than by any system of government. In one unified voice, as christians and citizens alike, we must express to our leaders our clear choice.

  Materialism is defined as “the preoccupation with material things rather than intellectual or spiritual things.” If a Christian is preoccupied with material things, it is definitely wrong. That is not to say we cannot have material things, but the obsession with acquiring and caring for “stuff” is a dangerous thing for the Christian, for two reasons.

First, any preoccupation, obsession or fascination with anything other than God is sinful and is displeasing to God. We are to “love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5), which is, according to Jesus, the first and greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37-38). Therefore, God is the only thing we can (and should) occupy ourselves with habitually. He alone is worthy of our complete attention, love and service. To offer these things to anything, or anyone, else is idolatry.

Second, when we concern ourselves with the material world, we are easily drawn in by the “deceitfulness of wealth” (Mark 4:19), thinking that we will be happy or fulfilled or content if only we had more of whatever it is we are chasing. This is a lie from the father of lies, Satan. He wants us to be chasing after something he knows will never satisfy us so we will be kept from pursuing that which is the only thing that can satisfy—God Himself. Luke 16:13 tells us we “cannot serve both God and money.” We must seek to be content with what we have, and materialism is the exact opposite of that contentment. It causes us to strive for more and more and more, all the while telling us that this will be the answer to all our needs and dreams. The Bible tells us that a person’s “life is not in the abundance of the things which he possesses” (Luke 12:15) and that we are to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).

If materialism was ever to satisfy anyone, it would have been Solomon, the richest king the world has ever known. He had absolutely everything and had more of it than anyone, and yet he found it was all worthless and futile. It did not produce happiness or the satisfaction our souls long for. He declared, “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income” (Ecclesiastes 5:10). In the end, Solomon came to the conclusion that we are to “fear God, and keep His commandments. For this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

  It would be so much easier if God had asked only that we honor our parents if they are good, kind and loving to us, but the command of Exodus 20:12 is “Honor your father and mother,” period. Ephesians 6:1 says to “obey” them. There are many hurt and damaged people who find these commands nearly impossible to obey. Should we honor and obey an abusive parent? Where do we draw the line?

Abuse comes in many forms. A child can be brought up well clothed and fed with all his needs supplied except for the all-important need for love and approval. No physical harm is ever done to him, yet, as each year goes by, his spirit shrivels up inside him more and more, as a plant will shrivel without sunlight, desperate for the smallest demonstration of affection. Eventually, he grows to adulthood; everything seems to be normal, yet he is crippled inside by the indifference of his parents.

Then again, a child’s spirit may be broken at an early age—even though he suffers no physical abuse—by being constantly told that he is useless and a waste of space. Everything he attempts is sneered at until he gives up trying to do anything at all. Because very young children naturally believe what their parents say about them, the child who suffers this treatment will gradually withdraw into himself, retiring behind an invisible wall and simply existing rather than living. These children grow up never suffering physically at the hands of their parents but nevertheless crippled in their spirits. As grown-ups, they find it difficult to make friends and are unable to relate normally to other adults.

So, child abuse can be subtle. There is, of course, the more obvious kind—when a child is neglected, kicked and beaten and, worse still, sexually abused. The damage such abuse causes can last a lifetime. Now for the big question: how do we obey God’s commandment to honor parents who behave with such cruelty toward their own children?

Those who have trusted Jesus as their savior have a real Heavenly Father who desires only our good and never to harm us (Jeremiah 29:11). He is “a father to the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5). The Lord will use everything, even horrible acts, for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28). When we surrender our will to Him, we will see His work in our life. Trusting God may feel disconnected or impossible for those who have never known what it is to love and trust. Someone in this position need only take one small step toward God saying, “I want to learn to love and trust you—please help me.” Jesus is “meek and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:29), and we can confidently go to Him and pour out our problems, knowing that He will hear and answer (1 John 5:14-15). It will not be long before any child of God willing to trust Him will begin to sense the Holy Spirit at work in his heart. God will take the heart that has been turned to stone by an abusive childhood and replace it with one of flesh and feeling (Ezekiel 36:26).

The next step for someone who has been abused is to be willing to forgive. This, too, will seem to be utterly impossible, especially for those who have suffered the worst kinds of abuse. Bitterness can sink into their souls, weighing them down like iron, yet there is nothing the Holy Spirit cannot soften and cleanse. With God all things are possible (Mark 10:27). Our Lord understands our pain; He “was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power” (2 Corinthians 13:4).

There is no need to fear being honest with God. If you find it difficult to forgive the wickedness of a parent’s behavior, talk to God about it. It is true that unforgiveness is sin, but only deliberate unforgiveness, where we have set our hearts like flint and vowed that never again will we even consider forgiveness for those who have hurt us so badly. A child of God going to his Father for help with something he cannot do for himself will find not an angry, threatening God waiting to punish him, but a Father with a heart full of overwhelming love, compassion, mercy and a desire to help.

So, what does honoring an abusive parent look like in real life? Here are some practical tips: by the grace of God, be willing to forgive. A willingness to forgive honors both God and the parent. Pray for your abuser. Let go of expectations that your parent will ever be the parent you want him or her to be; replace your disappointment and sadness with acceptance of who the person is. Cultivate an attitude of compassion for the things your parent did right, and express gratitude for even slight efforts to show love. Refrain from making disparaging remarks about your parent. If it is safe to be in communication with your parent, establish wise boundaries to reduce sinful temptations for you and your parent.

One thing forgiveness and honor are not, though, is a permanent submission to parental authority. The Bible commands honor but not remaining a prisoner in a dysfunctional family. Families with a destructive cycle of sin are dangerous, and children who break free need to find safety in the family of God—which is every Christian’s true family (Matthew 10:35–38). Dysfunctional families are fraught with codependence, addiction, violence, and an absence of safe boundaries. These traits will be like a millstone around the neck, dragging the child toward the same sinful patterns. Removing oneself from an abusive situation is much like overcoming addiction; when a person desires sobriety, he cannot associate with people who abuse drugs (Proverbs 13:20).

Also, in cases in which the grandchildren are exposed to the threat of physical harm or sexual assault, it becomes the adult child’s responsibility to protect their own children. There is no guilt in keeping one’s distance from abusive parents, as long as the separation is not motivated by vengeance. You can honor your parents from afar. Sadly, some parents do not value their children enough to maintain a relationship. The void left by a broken relationship should be filled by Christ rather than pining for a parental relationship that will never be.

By focusing on your own relationship with Christ, you can experience real healing. Without salvation there is no hope for anyone, but in Christ we are new creations able to do anything He calls us to do (2 Corinthians 5:17). It is also possible that the parent will repent; thus, a relationship could be formed based on Christ’s abundant love and grace. You could be the light that leads your unsaved or wayward parent to repentance and salvation (1 Corinthians 9:19).

Just as Jesus loved us in our sinful state, we can honor an abusive parent. It means showing grace and compassion to those who don’t deserve it so that God is glorified and the obedient are blessed and rewarded (Matthew 5:44-48; 1 John 4:18-21). Remember, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).

The Bible has much to say about caring for elderly parents and other family members who are not able to care for themselves. The early Christian church acted as the social services agency for other believers. They cared for the poor, the sick, the widows and the orphans who had no one else to care for them. Christians who had family members in need were expected to meet those needs. Unfortunately, caring for our parents in their old age is no longer an obligation that many of us are willing to accept.

The elderly can be seen as burdens rather than blessings. Sometimes we are quick to forget the sacrifices our parents made for us when they are in need of care themselves. Instead of taking them into our homes—whenever that is safe and feasible—we put them in retirement communities or nursing homes, sometimes against their will. We may not value the wisdom they have acquired through living long lives, and we can discredit their advice as “outdated.”

When we honor and care for our parents, we are serving God as well. The Bible says, “The church should care for any widow who has no one else to care for her. But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God very much….But those who won’t care for their own relatives, especially those living in the same household, have denied what we believe. Such people are worse than unbelievers” (1 Timothy 5:3-4, 8).

Not all elderly people need or want constant, live-in care in their children’s homes. They may prefer to live in a community with other people their age, or they may be quite capable of complete independence. Regardless of the circumstances, we still have obligations to our parents. If they are in need of financial assistance, we should help them. If they are sick, we should take care of them. If they need a place to stay, we should offer our home. If they need help with household and/or yard work, we should step up to assist. And if they are under the care of a nursing facility, we need to assess the living conditions to make sure our parents are being properly and lovingly cared for.

We should never allow the cares of the world to overshadow the things that are most important—serving God through serving people, especially the people in our own families. The Bible says, “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—”that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth” (Ephesians 6:2-3).

When we use the word “jealous,” we use it in a sense of being envious of someone who has something we do not have. This kind of jealousy is a sin and is not characteristic of a Christian; rather, it shows that we are still being controlled by our own desires (1 Corinthians 3:3). Galatians 5:26 says, “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

The Bible tells us that we are to have the perfect kind of love that God has for us. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). The more we focus on ourselves and our own desires, the less we are able to focus on God. When we harden our hearts to the truth, we cannot turn to Jesus and allow Him to heal us (Matthew 13:15). But when we allow the Holy Spirit to control us, He will produce in us the fruit of our salvation, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Being jealous indicates that we are not satisfied with what God has given us. The Bible tells us to be content with what we have, for God will never fail or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). In order to combat jealousy, we need to become more like Jesus and less like ourselves. We can get to know Him through Bible study, prayer, and fellowship with mature believers. As we learn how to serve others instead of ourselves, our hearts will begin to change. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

  In Matthew 7:13–14, Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” This passage causes some to question the goodness of God. After all, if He really wants to save everyone, why didn’t He make it easier to be saved? Why doesn’t He simply let everyone into heaven?

When we read the word narrow, we tend to associate it with prejudicial selection. It sounds as though God has rated us all on some scale of acceptability and only allows a select few to enter His presence. However, a few verses earlier, Jesus had told the same audience, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Jesus made it clear: the path to eternal life is open to everyone who asks.

However, the gate to heaven is “narrow” in the sense of having a particular requirement for entrance—faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation is found only in the Person of Jesus Christ; He is the only way (John 14:6). The “wide” gate is non-exclusive; it allows for human effort and all other of the world’s religions.

Jesus says that narrow gate leads to a “hard” road, one that will take us through hardships and difficult decisions. Following Jesus requires crucifying our flesh (Galatians 2:20; 5:24; Romans 6:2), living by faith (Romans 1:17; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 10:38), enduring trials with Christlike patience (James 1:2–3, 12; 1 Peter 1:6), and living a lifestyle separate from the world (James 1:27; Romans 12:1–2). When faced with the choice between a narrow, bumpy road and a wide, paved highway, most of us choose the easier road. Human nature gravitates toward comfort and pleasure. When faced with the reality of denying themselves to follow Jesus, most people turn away (John 6:66). Jesus never sugar-coated the truth, and the truth is that not many people are willing to pay the price to follow Him.

God offers salvation to everyone who accepts it (John 1:12; 3:16-18; Romans 10:9; 1 John 2:2). But it is on His terms. We must come the way He has provided. We cannot create our own paths or come to a holy God based on our own efforts. Compared to His righteousness, we are all filthy (Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:10). God cannot simply excuse or overlook our sin. He is merciful, but He is also just. Justice requires that sin be paid for. At great cost to Himself, He paid that price (Isaiah 53:5; 1 John 3:1, 16; Psalm 51:7). Without the blood of Jesus covering our sin, we stand guilty before the God we rejected (Romans 1:20).

The way to God was completely closed, and sin was the roadblock (Romans 5:12). No one deserves a second chance. We all deserve to stay on the “wide road that leads to destruction.” But God loved us enough to provide the path to eternal life anyway (Romans 5:6–8). However, He also knows that in our self-centered, sin-saturated world there are not many who will desire Him enough to come to Him on His terms (John 6:44, 65; Romans 3:11; Jeremiah 29:13). Satan has paved the highway to hell with fleshly temptations, worldly attractions, and moral compromises. Most people allow their passions and desires to dictate the course of their lives. They choose temporary, earthly pleasure over the self-sacrifice required in following Jesus (Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23; Matthew 10:37). The narrow gate is ignored. Most people would rather create their own religions and design their own gods. So it was with sorrow, not discrimination, that Jesus declared that the road to eternal life is “narrow, and only a few find it.”