“Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life…” (Matt. 7:14)

425

We live today in a world where everyone is trying to influence everyone … many over few, wise ones over simple ones, strong ones over weak ones, religious over secular people and more. And what does God want from us, the believers? He wants us to influence by the testimony of our lives and our faith the inhabitants of this world, before the coming of the judgement day. And what is happening on the earth?

Unfortunately, there are believers who submit to the system of the world – the method of the herd, that is: walking with the majority, compromising with the world, submitting to the laws of society and all of these can fail them. What does God’s word tells us? “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. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matt. 7:13-14). The narrow way is a path that should lead us along our lives from the time we are saved until our last day here on earth. As believers, we must stay there and not deviate from this path and not be tempted and be like everyone else, because we are different from the people of this world, we are children of God!

The word of God always speaks of a few faithful people. “…For many are called, but few chosen” (Matt. 20:16). “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).

It is not easy to be a minority within the majority, it is not easy to be different, it is not easy to go against the current of the world, but that is what the Word of God guides us. We learn from the lives of these people of God:

– Abraham, who left everything and went to an unfamiliar land and may seem strange to his fellow citizens. “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going” (Heb. 11:8).

– Moses, though living a life of pleasures in a palace in Egypt, gave them up and left, because of his love for his people. “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward” (Heb. 11:25-26).

– Joshua, who worshiped God within an idolatrous people and declared his faith personally: “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served… in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15).

– Elijah, who lived among a pagan people and acted alone against the prophets of Baal, was in the minority against them: “So he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life” (1 kings 19:10).

– David, who went into battle with Goliath, not with the cumbersome dress of an ordinary soldier, as was customary … but with a sling shot and five stones, and declared: “…You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied” (1 Sam. 17:45).

– Daniel, who gave up a reach meal from the king’s delicacies and preferred to eat seeds and vegetables. He behaved differently from what was customary in the king’s house: “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself” (Dan. 1:8).

Nehemiah, who went out at night with a few men to examine the ruined city wall and was a partner in its restoration, despite the strong opposition against him from his enemies and “his brothers”. He prayed: “My God, remember Tobiah and Sanballat, according to these their works, and the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who would have made me afraid” (Neh. 6:14).

And of course the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and others, who thought and acted differently from others …

All of these were a minority in their opinions and actions in front of the majority of the people. Some were the subject of ridicule in the eyes of those around them, some suffered persecution and rejection, but all of these did not succumb to the majority around them. They held fast to their faith in God, they came out of the camp, they were different, they had a positive influence on the people and God by His grace, protected, kept, provided, cared for and blessed them.

We too need to act out of faith in the midst of trouble, knowing that everything is temporary and encouraged by the eternal future that awaits us … “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6).

Yeshua is the way …! In our walk on the path with Him, we will always be in the minority, because we will be different from the others. We will have to give up the lust for flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of the capital that this world offers us (1 John 2:16). That is: to give up the ambitions of our ego – to give up the desire for honor and glory from others, to give up self-respect, love of money, pleasures and more. When we also become different within the body of Messiah, some of us may even suffer from our own brothers, 

And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another” (Matt.24:10).

Being different in this world is a difficult test, but God uses it to act in the lives of those around us. If we act like them, talk like them, dress like them (kippah and tallit and other rabbinical symbols), they will not understand the uniqueness of our faith. On the other hand, if we behave differently from them, they will see something new, something special that they did not know before, and that will be stronger evidence than preachings and talking.

When the Lord is first in our lives, (Luke 12:31) we can give up everything for His sake (even our personal will) and He will fill in all the gaps in our lives. “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor” (John 12:25-26). Belief in Him will always bring us peace in the heart, true joy, sincere love and of course hope for the future. Praise the Lord! 

As believers, to be in the minority – it is to be different, it is to be radical !!! Jesus was radical, we too need to follow Him. He was always in the minority, He never told the people what they wanted to hear, but what they needed to hear … He spoke in a revolutionary way, and there were those who could not accept it and left Him, in that, He examined the true believers. He brought us, through his word, to think differently from the world and to act differently from others. All of His guidance in the New Testament is different from what we were used to think and behave in our past. He brought a new and radical doctrine … And even was stringent more the commandments of the Ten Commandments …

God is the God of the impossible. He is the God of the supernatural. It is sometimes difficult for our human brain to absorb this, but it is a fact and we must adopt it into our lives.

“Is anything too hard for the Lord?…” (Gen. 18:14).

Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.” (Jer. 32:17)

“But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26). Indeed, there is nothing too hard for God!!! If we adopt this fact for ourselves, it will help us to do deeds that are contrary to our human nature, such as: denying ourselves, suffering for Him, and not being afraid to be in the minority within the majority of our society, and also within the body of Messiah. “And they overcame Him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death” (Rev. 12:11).

Our focus should be on the eternal life that God has promised us! It will help us to overcome the difficulties that will come upon us, as it is written in God’s word: “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy (1 Peter 4:12-13).

The year that has just ended, and the year that will follow only remind us that we are in the period of the end of the last days and we believe that things will not return to their former state … We believe that the Lord guides our life forward! God never takes us back. He allows things to happen in the world because He wants our hearts whole to Him. “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him…” (2 Chr. 16:9). We are all in tests of faith …. we all live in hope: “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Tit. 2:13). “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace” (2 Th. 2:16). 

We are the true believers, should live as if the Lord is returning today! We have to walk in the light, to confess our sins and to repent. Then all the events that are happening now in the world, should make us happy, because the Lord is near… “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!” (Matt. 24:32-33). 

We believe, according to all that is happening now in the world, that the Anti-Christ himself will soon appear on the stage of the world (at present only his spirit is existing in the world), and then the seven years of the great tribulation will begin. Although he will bring a “solution” to the problems of the world and many will follow him, but when he will place his statue in the temple (which will be built during this period), his true face will be revealed as the man of evil…  “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place whoever reads, let him understand.” (Matt. 24:15)

If it is difficult for us now, and if it will be more difficult for us, in the near future, we must remember, Yeshua will never leave us, when we stand right before Him! (We can leave Him, but He will not leave us). At the same time He has not promised us an easy and comfortable life, on the contrary, through the difficulties and discomfort we grow in faith, we build dependence on the faithfulness of God. “…For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear.

What can man do to me?” Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:5-8). And today – He is our leader, the good shepherd and faithful and true teacher, from Him we will hear and do! Only He can help us and only our stable belief in Him, can strengthen us to go against the flow….

As true believers, in these times, we need to be a testimony to those who suffer around us, give them the good news, give them the hope we have. It is our job here on earth until the Lord’s coming to take us in His time. “But in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets (Rev. 10:7). His prophetic servants are those who sit close to the heart of God, and understand His will, and do. They are the true testimony in honor of Yeshua (as John sat close to Yeshua’s heart and received the prophecy of the Book of Revelation). “…I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus… For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10).

And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end.” (Heb. 6:11)

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Amen!!!