Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, an ordained Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.
However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.
To see more Bible study outlines go to page two: More Bible Study Outlines.
A. Electricity is an amazing thing; we tend to take it for granted that when we flip the switch, the lights will come on.
B. We can't see it, smell it, or taste it, but it is there! One of the first things I learned about electricity, I didn't learn from a classroom or a book.
Electricity always takes the path of least resistance. I found out at a very early age that our bodies have very little resistance to electrical current. Reaching for the light socket in our garage; I also discovered how to dance.
C. It seems to be true in nature also; rivers flow in the path of least resistance, the wind will take the path of least resistance, even mankind will take the path of least resistance.
But man has the ability to choose the path he takes. Even though we have the ability to choose, we usually will take the path of least resistance. Shall we take the stairs or wait for the elevator?
D. This is certainly true in the spiritual realm. It is easy to go along with the majority of people. It's easy to not take a stand against sin.
For many years I went through life traveling an easy path spiritually, because there was no resistance at all because I seldom ever thought in those terms. However, this morning I want to draw your attention to several Scripture passages that reveals that the path of least resistance spiritually is NOT the best path to follow.
I. THE ANALOGY OF THE NARROW DOOR. (Luke 13:22-27)
INSIGHT: Jesus is continuing to move toward Jerusalem. Luke has already told us, “And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51). Jesus is on His way there, on His way to die in Jerusalem. This was to be our Savior’s last journey.
A. A Question Asked but Not Answered. (Luke 13:22-23)
(Luke 13:23) 22 And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them.
1. It was a question of curiosity.
a. Are there few that be saved?
b. Perhaps each of us has pondered that very question.
c. We know that God is not willing that any should perish...
d. We still wonder how many will be saved.
e. Occasionally we read of a survey or estimate of how many people today are Christians.
2. It was a question of insignificance
a. It is insignificant to question who shall be saved or how many will be saved.
b. The question of importance is: are you saved?
3. It was a questioned unanswered.
a. Jesus did not come to satisfy man's curiosity.
b. Jesus came to satisfy man's spiritual need.
c. He never attempted to answer their question.
B. The Exhortation Given. (Luke 13:24)
(Luke 13:24) Strive to enter in at the strait gate: …
1. Strive to enter in at the strait gate.
a. Strive = make a special effort as those that run a race.
b. The gate is strait = narrow
c. Jesus turns the focus from looking outward at others to looking inward to ourselves.
2. Many will be unable to enter. (Luke 13:24b)
(Luke 13:24b) … for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
a. Many will have a desire to enter in.
(1) There are many people who would like to go to heaven
(2) Sincerity and desire will NOT be sufficient
b. One must act upon their desires
ILLUSTRATION: I may sincerely desire to be in Chicago tomorrow -- but unless I act upon my desires, I will not be there!
c. Many will be unable to enter in because they won't go in at the strait gate
(1) Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).
(2) Jesus said, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture" (John 10:9).
INSIGHT: The gate is called narrow, but it is large enough to accommodate all who come by faith –faith in JESUS CHRIST as their Savior.
d. Many will be unable to enter in because they are heading in the wrong direction.
(Matthew 7:13) 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.
(1) They are on the broad road headed for the wide gate
(2) It is the well-traveled road
(3) It is an easier road, because there is little resistance.
(4) By comparison the majority of the people are headed down this road.
(5) It is identified as being the way to destruction.
(6) It probably seems right to most people
(Proverbs 16:25) There is a way that seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
3. One day the door of opportunity will be shut. (Luke 13:25-27)
(Luke 13:25-27) 25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: 26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. 27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
(1) That day is still in the future.
(2) That day is pictured in the ark and the flood in the Old Testament.
(Genesis 7:16) And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.
II. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE ANALOGY. (Luke 13:28-30)
(Luke 13:28-30) 28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. 29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. 30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.
INSIGHT: “Are there few that be saved?” Why this question was asked is difficult to understand. Perhaps it was sincere. The charisma of Christ drew the multitudes, but they soon discovered that it cost to follow Him. There were those coming and going all the time. As He approached Jerusalem this last time it was noticeable. There came a day when it was written, “And they all forsook him, and fled” (Mark 14:50). He made it abundantly clear that it would cost to follow Him. That we in our sophisticated and soft affluency think otherwise is heresy!
Since this was a speculative question, Jesus did not answer it directly. Jesus is saying to this man, “Make sure you are saved!”
A. The first result is realization that you are standing without…
1. Without Christ
2. Without Salvation
3. Without Hope
B. The second result is the realization that the Lord doesn't know or recognize you.
1. You may call out His name
2. You may have known all about Him.
3. You may have done many works in His name
(Matthew 7:22) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
C. The third and final result is the realization that you have been thrust out into a place of weeping and. gnashing of teeth
1. It is a place of darkness
(Matthew 8:12) But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
2. It is a furnace of fire
(Matthew 13:42) And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
3. It is a place full of hypocrites
(Matthew 24:51) And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
4. What is this place of darkness, fire, wailing, gnashing of teeth, and filled with hypocrites?
5. The Bible calls it the 'Lake of Fire'; we refer to it as the judgment of Almighty God (HELL), a place of torment and everlasting suffering!
CHANGE OF DIRECTION
For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God. (1 Thessalonians 1:9)
A. The United States Secret Service was founded in 1865.
What was their mission? To deal with counterfeiters in an attempt to protect the dollar and, as a result, America’s national economy. This targeted group of law enforcement officers, however, experienced a change of direction in 1902. They became best known for protecting the President of the United States, although their charge still embodies a variety of tasks.
B. That change of direction in the Secret Service duties is nothing compared to the completely altered lives of the believers at Thessalonica.
They had a spiritual transformation that turned their lives around, which was noticed by people far and wide. Paul wrote, “You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thess. 1:9). And “you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe. . . . Your faith toward God has gone out” (verses 7-8).
The change of direction they displayed was dramatic, to say the least -- abandoning the worship of idols to embrace relationship with the true and living God. And people noticed the difference in their lives.
C. I wonder — do people recognize such a profound change in your heart and life?
you are going in the wrong direction,
Or if you have no goal in view,
Let Christ transform you, have control,
Then honor Him in all you do. — Hess
-- Adapted from: By Bill Crowder, Our Daily Bread, December 6, 2010
CONCLUSION: There is no need for anyone to suffer God’s judgment!
A. God's grace is so amazing that His desire is for you to come to Him by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ and be saved today.
B. Do not take the path of least resistance…come to Christ today!
1. Pause just for a moment and consider your path in life… is it where you want to be?
2. Are you on the right path…the one that will lead to life everlasting?
C. We have the ability to change our direction…that is called repentance.
1. We can change the path that we are on.
2. We do that by choosing to place our faith in Jesus Christ.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “Coming to Christ is not merely informational; it’s transformational.”
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REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network ( www.ttb.org ), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: ( http://www.intouch.org/ ), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/ ), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook ( www.sermonnotebook.org ), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries ( http://rbc.org/ ), selected illustrations, and other references.
REV. RONALD PURKEY’S OFFICE
E-mail: Ronald Purkey