The Narrow Gate

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PSALM 53:1-3

1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity; there is none who does good.
2 God looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
3 Every one of them has turned aside; they have together become corrupt; there is none who does good, no, not one.

PSALM 10:1-18

1 Why do You stand afar off, O LORD? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?
2 The wicked in his pride persecutes the poor; let them be caught in the plots which they have devised.
3 For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire; he blesses the greedy and renounces the LORD.
4 The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts.
5 His ways are always prospering; your judgments are far above, out of his sight; as for all his enemies, he sneers at them.
6 He has said in his heart, “I shall not be moved; I shall never be in adversity.”
7 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression; under his tongue is trouble and iniquity.
8 He sits in the lurking places of the villages; in the secret places he murders the innocent; his eyes are secretly fixed on the helpless.
9 He lies in wait secretly, as a lion in his den; he lies in wait to catch the poor; he catches the poor when he draws him into his net.
10 So he crouches, he lies low, that the helpless may fall by his strength.
11 He has said in his heart, “God has forgotten; he hides His face; he will never see.”
12 Arise, O LORD! O God, lift up Your hand! Do not forget the humble.
13 Why do the wicked renounce God? He has said in his heart, “You will not require an account.”
14 But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief, to repay it by Your hand. The helpless commits himself to You; you are the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked and the evil man; seek out his wickedness until You find none.
16 The LORD is King forever and ever; the nations have perished out of His land.
17 LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; you will prepare their heart; you will cause Your ear to hear,
18 To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may oppress no more.

PROVERBS 1:24-33

24 Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,
25 Because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my rebuke,
26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes,
27 When your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.
28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.
29 Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD,
30 They would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke.
31 Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies.
32 For the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33 But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.”

JEREMIAH 7:25-28

25 “Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have even sent to you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them.
26 “Yet they did not obey Me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.
27 “Therefore you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not obey you. You shall also call to them, but they will not answer you.
28 “So you shall say to them, ‘This is a nation that does not obey the voice of the LORD their God nor receive correction. Truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth.

HOSEA 5:6

6 “With their flocks and herds they shall go to seek the LORD, but they will not find Him; he has withdrawn Himself from them.

JOHN 3:1-21

1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
8 “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”
10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?
11 “Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness.
12 “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?
13 “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.
14 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
15 “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 “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.
19 “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
21 “But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

LUKE 13:6-9,23-30

6 He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.
7 “Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’
8 “But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it.
9 ‘And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’ ”
23 Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?” And He said to them,
24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
25 “When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’
26 “then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’
27 “But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’
28 “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out.
29 “They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God.
30 “And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last.”

LUKE 9:23-26

23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
24 “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.
25 “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?
26 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.

LUKE 11:23

23 “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

LUKE 10:21-24

21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.
22 “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”
23 Then He turned to His disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see;
24 “for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it.”

JOHN 14:1-6

1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.
2 “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.
3 “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.
4 “And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

MATTHEW 7:7-29

7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
8 “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
9 “Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
10 “Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
12 “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
13 “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.
14 “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
16 “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
17 “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
18 “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 “Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
22 “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:
25 “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 “Now everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:
27 “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching,
29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

TITUS 1:15-16

15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled.
16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

ROMANS 1:16-32

16 … I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man– and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,
30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;
32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

ISAIAH 2:11

11 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.

LUKE 11:23

23 “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

ROMANS 11:5

5 … at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

1 CORINTHIANS 10:13

13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

EPHESIANS 1:3-14

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,
9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,
10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth– in Him.
11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,
12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

EPHESIANS 2:8-9

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

EPHESIANS 4:7

7 … to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

REVELATION 3:14-22

14 “… to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:
15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.
16 “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
17 “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’– and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked–
18 “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
19 “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.
20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
21 “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”‘”

JUDE 1:24-25

24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
25 To God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.

1 PETER 5:10-11

10 …may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen

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