Saturday, August 28, 2010

Depart From Me Evildoers

Last Sunday's readings struck a chord with me, and I wanted expound upon them (as did our priest in the sermon too).

Brothers and sisters,
You have forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children:
“My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord
or lose heart when reproved by him;
for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines;
he scourges every son he acknowledges.”
Endure your trials as “discipline”;
God treats you as sons.
For what “son” is there whom his father does not discipline?
At the time,
all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain,
yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness
to those who are trained by it.
So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees.
Make straight paths for your feet,
that what is lame may not be disjointed but healed.

Jesus passed through towns and villages,
teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem.
Someone asked him,
“Lord, will only a few people be saved?”
He answered them,
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter
but will not be strong enough.
After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door,
then will you stand outside knocking and saying,
‘Lord, open the door for us.’
He will say to you in reply,
‘I do not know where you are from.
And you will say,
‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’
Then he will say to you,
‘I do not know where you are from.
Depart from me, all you evildoers!’
And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth
when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
and all the prophets in the kingdom of God
and you yourselves cast out.
And people will come from the east and the west
and from the north and the south
and will recline at table in the kingdom of God.
For behold, some are last who will be first,
and some are first who will be last.”

First off, in the Second Reading, we find that we are told to expect to be disciplined.  A good father does not neglect to discipline his children, likewise our Father in Heaven will "scourge every son He acknowledges," and that we need to accept or trials as discipline.  In short, He's not promising us a rose garden... but that we'll see hardship and trials. But do not get discouraged, make straight your ways and be healed.  The life of the true Christian will be not an easy life, but of work and discipline.

The Gospel, along the same line, tells us not to strive for the easy path, but to seek to enter by the narrow gate.  Again, this is not the easy way and you must be strong enough to enter - in other words we need to work at it and strengthen our souls so that we might be able to enter by that narrow gate.  There will be many who THINK they're doing the will of the Lord, listening to His teaching, even prophesying in His Name and drank in His company - but He will say to them, "I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!"  So strive to enter by the narrow and harder gate, if the path you're on is easy and people are telling you that you don't have to do anything - you may just find yourself as one of those Jesus casts out to where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Can the Calvinist really believe they are entering by the narrow and more difficult gate when they constantly preach that we have to do nothing and once saved, always saved?  The object person can see this sort of "gospel" is quite different from the one Jesus preached.

"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Jesus Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other and the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!" Gal. 1:6-8

"Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers." 1 Ti. 4:16

Jesus said in Matt 7:22-24 "Many will say to me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, `I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock."

So, as Christ did, I urge you to work diligently to enter by the narrow gate.  Do not become complacent with easy-believism - or the wide/easy gate, for that gate will not bring you into the Wedding Feast with the Bridegroom.


1 comment:

  1. 1 Cor 4:1-5 If the Apostle Paul didn't feel he could judge himself 100% righteous what makes anyone else think they could do so? Pride of the worst kind, not to mention placing yourself on the judgement throne reserved for Him alone...


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