Marty Goetz, a Messianic Jew who loves the Lord has written many songs based on Scripture. Enjoy this one if you have time.
Which is the right way to heaven? How do we find this path whereby we share in God’s glory? It isn’t at all where or what we think it might be.
It is the same path our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, took, the way that was laid out for Him. And if we are to “come” to this path—the only way to heaven—it must be “after” Him. (Luke 9:23) He said clearly that the only way is by “self-denial”—taking up our own cross to “follow” Him. It is not a matter of, “But, wait Lord, until I have done “my thing;” when I have made a name for myself; then I think I might be ready to start on this path. Then I might have an interest in your glory.”
No, there is a cost to enter through this “strait gate”—my life, my own desires, my own glory.“
The disciple is not above his master,
nor the servant above his lord.”
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus
shall suffer persecution.”
2 Timothy 3:12
Bitter and Sweet Promises
The promises that are given in this way to God’s glory are both hard to swallow, and pleasing to our senses. Our heavenly Father knows how, and has planned, to direct us and minister to our needs. On the way, and at the end, are great and precious promises that others will never know or understand because they have not yet entered through this strait gate that leads to the narrow way.
As we look at these promises from God’s Word let us meditate on the connections between Christ, our suffering with Him, and the results. For example, in the following we are promised that we shall have tribulation; with it—in Christ, we are promised peace, and victory in overcoming the world.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.” 1 Peter 4:12-14
The Heirs of Glory
The path is laid out for, and revealed to God’s children.
“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” Romans 8:17-19
The Humbling and Proving
This is the time of testing and proving, here on this earth, of those who are His.
“And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.” Deuteronomy 8:2-3
“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” 1 Peter 1:7
His Presence and Power with Us
He promises all that we need for the way, though long and tedious it may be.
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10
“For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.
Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Psalm 32:6-8
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
“So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.
Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” Psalm 73:22-24
The Nature of Those On This Path
God, our Father uses His own children to draw others to the path.
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5
“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life.” Philippians 2: 12-15
The Holy Bible, God’s Word, is our guide book. The Holy Spirit is our constant companion and help in time of need. Through prayer, and in Christ, we are never alone, He is our joy and the assurance of our safety and endurance to the destination to which He has called us.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
—bringing many sons unto glory“
Hebrews 12:2; 2:10
Music: My Grace is Sufficient for Thee
The path to heaven and eternal glory with God, which is presented by some today, is unreal. Even in the name of Christianity most of it is only “hype.” Another four-letter word that I see plastered all over the Internet describes how people feel about what they read and hear. The apostle Paul used the word “dung” (which is more graceful) to describe the things in this world, things that have no link to heavenly things, but are simply earthly. Compared to the real thing they are but waste, worth nothing.
But in order to get past the earthly, and the dung, we have to address it. It is a reality. We have to see it for what it is, and know how to deal with it. How do we know what we are dealing with, and how do we get through it. It is all part of the understanding of the path that God calls us to.
“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory
by Christ Jesus,
after that ye have suffered a while,
make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”
1 Peter 5:10
The path to glory, by some, is paved with good intentions. When the veneer cracks and crumbles they and their followers, like the Kohathites, (Numbers 16:32) will be swallowed up. They want people to be a part of their ministry and so they make everything inviting; promising comfort and ease in joining their ranks. Some hope for others a good life and try to make it look easy for them. They have not yet understood, nor can they lead others in this path.
This path is not a “glory path” here on this earth. God, our heavenly Father does not promise us a path back to the Garden of Eden, but one that leads to Gethsemane.
Hidden and Narrow
“At that time Jesus answered and said,
I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
because thou hast hid these things
from the wise and prudent,
and hast revealed them unto babes.”
It is a hidden path. Only those to whom the Father reveals the Son and draws them to Him will find the path. (John 6:44-45)
“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:
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life,
and few there be that find it.”
The path begins through a gate so slim that we can take nothing with us. More so, there is a compression of all that we are that enables us to get through. Humility, faith, and repentance empty us of our baggage, and shrink us to the size we need to be.
It is a narrow path. This is the path that Jesus describes to his disciples.
He says that only a few will come to Him. The multitudes won’t lead us to it. The crowded path leads to destruction. The path to glory is not a wide path, but one that we most often will have to walk alone; not that others are not on the path, but there are times when they will not understand what we are dealing with or going through. Some are new to the path and coming after us. Some are ahead of us and we may be too slow for them; we only get in their way. For the most part, only Christ can understand and lead us through.
Not Our Choosing
It is never the path we would choose for ourselves. We would choose the easier way, but if we are to follow Christ, it must be His way or not at all. This is why many cannot find, know, or walk this path here on earth. We must know our calling in Christ to be one of suffering and sacrifice for His name’s sake—for “righteousness’ sake.”
It is a walking path, not a bike lane or busy highway; we have no motor vehicle, only feet and body for the endurance; for proving of His own grace and power in our perseverance.
What God teaches us is — the path to His glory is difficult. He has said it; and His saints are witnesses to the fact and experience that it is a struggle to endure the pains and trials of the Christian life. It does not get easier as we get older; we simply require and experience more of God’s grace and strength.
Steep, Rocky, and Dark
The path is steep, sometimes turning like a spiral, leading round and round, onward and upward. It is rocky; it seems that things are literally thrown into the path. There we stumble and oftentimes we fall—right into the dung. There are times when it seems that we cannot take another step; our arms get so tired; or when we can no longer walk, the wheels on our chair get bogged down and won’t turn.
It is sometimes dark, with only the Word of God as a “light for our path, and a lamp for our feet.” It can lead to the top of a mountain, where the sky is the bluest; the air is the freshest, and the aroma as heavenly as the very presence of God. Other times it leads to the valley, or through a tunnel where all that we have is a glimpse of light at the end; other times we are led into a cave where all is black, and the only thing we can do is sit still, and wait.
Unless you are on the path that we describe, and you know the purpose in all your struggles, and striving, stop and examine where you are. Stay with us for Part 2 to look at the promises that are posted on this path to encourage us and bring us gracefully, triumphantly, and gloriously into the presence of God, the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, here and for eternity.
“Confirming the souls of the disciples,
and exhorting them to continue in the faith,
and that we must through much tribulation
enter into the kingdom of God.