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Text Sermons : Hans R. Waldvogel : Following Jesus (“Enter ye in at the strait gate.”)

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Selected Verses:

Matthew 7:13-14. Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

I Peter 2:25. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
Opening:

Tonight, every one of us is either a follower or not. If you are a follower, how far have you come along the way? It’s interesting to see how Jesus says, “I am the way, and no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.” And there He brings into focus the unspeakable gift of God: the Lord Jesus Christ, without whom no one can find the way, no one can be reconciled to the Father. Oh, how humanity has been seeking the wise. That’s where our philosophies come from, and our schools of theology and psychology and biology and “triology” and phrenology and all these “ologies.” They’re all efforts to find the way out of the labyrinth into which the human race has come.

You can never pick up a magazine of any description but you’ll find that searching going on. And now they’ll follow Socrates, and then they’ll follow Plato, and then they’ll follow Confucius, and then they’ll follow Buddha, and then they’ll follow Freud, and then they’ll follow somebody else. And they’re all blind leaders of the blind, and they’re all in the ditch themselves, and they lead everybody into the ditch that follows them. Why not follow Jesus?

We’re all in that labyrinth—we’re all going through this life. We’re all coming to some goal very, very rapidly—very, very soon. Either the gate of heaven will open or the gate of damnation. One or the other will be our goal, the Bible tells us very plainly. And when the disciples came and said, “Lord, are there many that are going to be saved.” He said, “Strive… Labor…” Again and again, we’re told to labor. We’re told to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” And Jesus says, “Few there be that find it.” Why? Because the gate is narrow and strait, and the way is narrow, and it escapes attention. The broad way has many more companions. If you walk on the broad way—that is the way of your own will, your own imagination, or the flesh and the world and the devil—you’ll have a lot of companions, a lot of company.


Selected Quotes:

Have you been a follower of Jesus? Tell me tonight, are you an honest-to-goodness follower of Jesus Christ? Then you’ll walk alone after Him. That was one of the first lessons I had to learn when I followed Jesus. Up to that time, I followed the church. I thought I was safe, you know, being in the company of godly people—of a religious sect. And being surrounded by friends that seemed to be going to heaven, I thought I was certainly on the way, until I found out that I didn’t have Him. I wasn’t following Him. I had not “turned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul.”



I had to go alone, and yet not alone. There I found true companionship. I found Him. I found that in the morning when I had to leave my house—leave father and mother, leave my home—He came with me. He came with me to the subway; He came with me into the elevated, rather. And there I was hanging on the strap, and Jesus was with me, talking to me, blessing me, anointing me. Oh, the wonderful companionship! And all through the busy day at my workbench, surrounded by ungodly people, He never forsook me for one moment. He was there all the time, and He manifested His presence to me all the time—Praise God!—and increasingly so. Do you know why? Because I followed on.



A follower if Jesus Christ is magnetic. Power of God issues forth from him, like from the Son of God. Oh, beloved, that’s what the world is waiting for. There are plenty of preachers, but, oh, how few true and honest-to-goodness followers, who follow God not in church only on Sunday but every day of the week!



He said to Peter when Peter said, “What shall this man do?” He said, “It’s none of your business.” How many people forsake the way because they stumble over somebody else’s sins? When people tell you, “Oh, so-and-so does it. They claim to be spiritual. They do it.” Listen, there’s something wrong with you. If that’s all the hunger you have for righteousness—if that’s your standard—you’ll certainly go astray. Let Jesus be your standard. He says, “What it is to thee? None of your business. You follow me.”


Illustrations:

The Holy Spirit likened to the hidden power of a diesel engine. “If the Holy Spirit is the driving force within you, you’ll experience something—I’ll tell you what: ‘the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe.’ Hallelujah!” (from 15:32)

The sinking of the Titanic an illustration of the end of the age. “‘Keep ‘em dancing—don’t let them come to prayer meeting; don’t let them cry to God day and night; don’t let them get filled with the Holy Ghost. There’s plenty of time for that. We’ve got business, we’ve got pleasure to attend to.’ Blitz! Donner! Hellfire! Damnation! Where is your lust! Where is your flesh! Where is your pleasure! Where is your business! Gone to the devil! ‘Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels,’ will be spoken by the One who cried, ‘It is finished!’” (from 20:16)
German at 15:38:

Romans 8:14. Denn welche der Geist Gottes treibt, die sind Gottes Kinder — “Those who are driven by God’s Spirit, they are God’s children.” The King James reads, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”





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