You may remember a delightful movie called “The Secret Garden.” It was about a young girl who came to live with her grandfather, and a boy who was crippled, demanding, and bitter.
But the girl made a discovery. She found a secret garden. Many had overlooked it’s reality, although it had been there all along. to all except the one who made a diligent search. It was surrounded by a wall, hard to see, almost impossible to find, to all except the ones who made a diligent search.
The entrance was strewn with weeds and briars, and thorns and thistles. But, she was undaunted. She took time to clear the pathway, and the door to this garden emerged. She then took the boy there every day.
Soon the boy’s life is transformed, and he gets out of that chair and walks. The garden itself didn’t do it, it was through the love the girl had shown him.
My story is similar. I am not a young girl who lives with her Grandfather, but I was once as bound up as this boy. Like him, I spent an ever increasing amount of time in bed, and in a wheelchair. I was in tremendous pain.
Like the boy, I longed to be free. But, like him, I didn’t know how. Being free from approximately 30 different sicknesses and diseases was medically impossible, and impossible for me.
So I looked to the Bible. While I searched the Bible for answers, I looked more closely at what is called the gospel of Christ crucified.
It was the same gospel Jesus preached. It was the same gospel the Apostles preached. It was the same gospel Paul preached unto every creature in the then known world. He preached full salvation, and the power of God found in the name of Jesus Christ.
But the way of the cross has been choked by false doctrines taught by men until it has lost it’s power, until it is only a partial gospel with no power to heal and free. The teaching was watered down until it is salvation of sins leading to eternal life, which is wonderful in itself, but incomplete. And in this partial teaching of the gospel, it does not show God in a good light. For the same God, Jesus, who went around healing everyone who was oppressed of the devil 2000 years ago, is in today’s version of the gospel regarded to be powerless to heal us and free us in this present life.
This partial gospel weighted down with the teachings of men was the gospel I knew, but I was not satisfied, because it neither frees nor heals.
So, I continued to study, to confess, and to meditate upon the scriptures until I clearly saw that the God of the Bible is the same today as He was then, and the original gospel is still the Way.
Jesus never changed it. It is still the same.
The entrance to this full gospel was so choked with weeds and briars and thorns and thistles that few have found it for hundreds of years, yet those of us who are truly seekers of God’s truth are finding it today, in this last moment of time, before the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I am one of these truth seekers. I am one who was so desperate to be free that I took God at His Word. I cleared the path which lead to the original Way a little at a time.
I found that God is the original God of the original Way, and I made a life-changing discovery: This original Way is still the Way of freedom, the Way of healing, the Way of abundant provisions, the Way of forgiveness; and the Way to heaven.
I cleared the path which lead to the original Way a little at a time. It is the way of Christ crucified.
You may say, “I know a better way. It’s a shortcut and it’s much easier and effective.”
In the day, my daddy took many a shortcut and they never once turned out to be shortcuts at all. Looks are deceiving.
“No,” you say, “I know a better way than the fable of Jesus on the cross.”
“Do you?”, I ask, “Then, show me. Show me your way.”
You lead me to a wide path. It is a path well-worn. Many have walked it beforehand, and many walk down it now.
Along the sides of the path you show me, I see flowers carefully planted, with a sign, “Take time to smell the roses.”
“Isn’t this delightful?”, I hear one person exclaim.
There are countless markers along your way. I pause to read a few. ”Seeing is Believing.”...“Life’s a beach and then you die.”...”Do what feels good.”
“There are many words of wisdom generously provided all along my way,” you assure me, “These words are clever, and witty. They are pleasant to the ears while enlightening the mind.”
Feeling bolder, you continue,“I especially love the entertainment. There are games to play and music that is far superior to your lame Christian tunes. The beat is so pulsating, so driving, and the words so catchy that I often find myself singing them. Here’s one now, ‘Don’t worry, be happy...’ I have no need of your words of repentance and doom.”
Yes, but here is what the Bible says about your well-traveled road,
“There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12.
Sometimes a way looks right, but looks are deceiving.
My husband, Chris found this out when he made his first trip to the states in the 1980s. Upon arrival, he rented a car. One day, while driving in an unfamiliar city, he saw a road. It was an impressive road, especially to a Brit. Our “A” roads are American “B” roads. Our roads are often narrow two-way lanes They can be slow to travel. But this road had three wide lanes. It appeared to be a faster and easier way to his destination, so he took it.
Suddenly,a small car came into view. Inside was a man who was so large he seemed to have been poured into the seat. The man rolled his down his window. He began waving his arm at Chris wildly, and warned, “Hey man, you’re going the wrong way! You’re going the wrong way!” Chris looked straight ahead and saw what he had not seen before. There were three lanes of traffic, and all three were coming straight for him.
Like the man who seemed poured into the small car, I’ve been sent to warn you that no matter how well-traveled your road may be, Jesus is the only Way. No matter how beautiful your way appears to be, Jesus is the only Way. No matter how greatly entertained you are, Jesus is the only Way. No matter how wise you may feel you are, Jesus is the only Way.
I’m here to say, “Hey man, you’re going the wrong way! You’re going the wrong way!”
I know of many who have taken the same road you showed me. I will tell you of two.
WHAT BUDDHA DIDN’T TEACH~
Steve Jobs, a founder of Apple computers, walked your way. He embraced the teachings of Buddha, as do millions of others. Buddha taught many wise sayings. His teachings deny that there is a spiritual world.
While still a young man, Steve was struck down with cancer. He fought tooth and nail, a hard fight, but he lost, and the cancer won.
When he reached the moment of death, he was reluctant to leave his family. He looked longingly at each one. First at his children, then at his wife, then at his sister.
His sister then said his eyes were drawn to something unseen by the rest of them, something just past her shoulder. His last words were, “Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow!”
Tell me: What
had Steve seen that he hadn’t seen before? What had he seen that made such a big impact on him that his dying words were,
“Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow!”
I’ve worked with the dying in Hospice, so I’ve been at the bedside of a number of dying people, and I’ve never heard anyone say, “Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow!” before. These are strange last words.
But you know, death has the unmistakable ability of opening man’s eyes. I’m not talking about
the physical eyes. If he was seeing something with his physical eyes then the rest of the family should have seen it too. I’m talking about the spiritual eyes. But often, it can be too late then. Once you cross over that threshhold of death, it’s
too late to say, “Wait! I want to choose a different way.”
Once you cross that threshhold, you step into eternity, and it is your permanent reality, the destination you chose. Death or Life. Heaven or Hell.
Steve Jobs spoke his final words with his dying breath when it was too late to change his destination.
What about you? Will you do the same?
THE DEATH of AN ATHEIST~
I know of another man who saw himself to be too wise to believe that Jesus is the Way. His spiritual eyes were closed. He bragged that he did not believe in God or a heaven, or a spiritual world. He was a very learned man, a college professor. He was too smart to believe rubbish like that, he thought.
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world(satan) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not; lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” 2 Corinthians 4:4.
Blind eyes see this:
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” I Corinthians 1:18.
Instead of this:
“Jesus saith unto them, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6-7.
The man I was telling you about? The professor? One day he became sick. He was rushed to the hospital, but the doctors could not help him. As he lay there with his concerned family around his bed, he saw two powerful spirit beings enter his room through the wall.
They were massive in size. One spoke, “You must come with us now.” He was aware then that he was now standing in front of them. He looked quickly back at the bed he’d just been in. There lay his body, lifeless and unmoving.
He thought to himself, “This can’t be happening. This is not real; this can’t be real. I must be dreaming.”
But, he wasn’t dreaming. It was real. In fact, he said, it was all too real. He felt every thing more acutely than before. And he saw more clearly. His senses were sharper.
He went with the two spirit beings, and they began making a downward descent. They were on a path that became hotter, more oppressive, and more restrictive as they went.
Soon, the two spirit beings were joined by many others. Hundreds, he said.
Suddenly, he didn’t want to go any further. He stopped, and announced that he wouldn’t go with them after all.
Without warning, all of the demonic beings attacked him. He says that they did things to him that are so indescribably horrible he cannot even speak of them.
At that moment, Jesus intervened. He lifted this man off the road to hell. He placed him back into his body. And he did it for a reason--the same reason he said to me, By saving you, I will save many.”
Jesus said this after He had delivered me from demons. He did the same for him.
This man was completely changed by his experience. He repented before the God he had refused to acknowledge. He became an instant believer. He made Jesus the Lord and Savoir of his life. And today, this former atheist is a full-time preacher.
He has this to say to each and every skeptic, “My friends, the spiritual world is real. In fact, it is more real than the physical world.”
He took the words right out of my mouth for I say the same thing, “The spiritual world is more real than the physical world.”
This life is brief. This life is temporary. But the spiritual is eternal, be it life or death.
If these two men, Steve Jobs and the former atheist, were here with me, they would say, “Hey man, don’t be fooled. You’re going the wrong way! You’re going the wrong way! Get on the right Way before it’s too late.”
Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
There is no other Way.
I bring you now to the cross of Jesus where Jesus was crucified. No, it is not a pretty sight. For he was so disfigured, he was humanly unrecognisable.
“...for he was marred (disfigured, made unrecognisable) more than any other man...” Isaiah 52:14.
The night before, a legion of Roman soldiers (a legion is 100) had mocked Jesus and spit in his face repeatedly. He was beaten on the head and stuck in the face and his beard was plucked out by the roots; his head swelled until he no longer looked human,
Old Testament prophecy,
”I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them who plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.” Isaiah 49:6.
“And when they had blind-folded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee? And many other things they blasphemously spoke against him.” Luke 22:63-65.
His body was scourged (beaten) with the cat-of-nine-tails. Many crucifixion victims did not even live through this. Yet, he received more stripes than most until his skin was shredded, literally stripped off of his body,and his organs hung out.
“Then Pilate therefore took Jesus and scourged him.” John 19:1.
Again, Isaiah says,
“...he was marred more than any other man...”
Jesus stumbled on the way to be crucified, his body was so weakened. The Bible tells us that another man was given the cross to carry for him.
How did Jesus stay alive until he reached the cross on which he was destined to die? He did it for us. He did because he loved us.
Now, look at Jesus. Don’t turn away. Look at him.
“Why did he do it?”, you say.
Look in his eyes and you’ll see.
He did it so that he could free us from satan and death. He did it so that he could bridge the gap between the Father God and us.
“By the disobedience of one many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one, many were made righteous( given right standing with God).” Romans 5:19.
Because Jesus was obedient in death, through him, we can all gain eternal life. This is the zoe life, the life force of God that Adam forfeited by his disobedience, bringing death upon us all.
Through Jesus, we pass from death into life.
“Verily, verily I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath eternal life(zoe), and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.” John 5:24.
I show you the empty tomb where he lay--the tomb with the stone rolled away. The grave clothes laying neatly folded.
He was dead for three days and three nights, but death could not hold him.For he had broken the power of death. He was dead but now he is alive forever more.
Jesus is the Messiah. He is the Savoir promised throughout the Old Testament.
He came to bring us the full Salvation zoe life gives: Deliverance, freedom, abundant life, healing, forgiveness of sins, and life everlasting.
Zoe means full salvation. This is what Jesus came to bring us.
He is the Savoir. He is the Way. He is the power of God unto all who believe.
So I say to you again, “Hey man, you’re going the wrong way!”
Turn around. Hurry, before it’s too late.
Here is the way to walk. Walk this way. Jesus is the only Way.
“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man comes unto the Father but by me.”
How do you make the turn? By choice.
“That if you shall confess(say) with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God hath raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. “ Romans 10:9.
The Way of Jesus may seem foolish to your mind, and your way may seem right, but look to your heart, not your head.
Hey man, don’t go the wrong way. Choose the right way.
“For with the heart man believes unto righteousness (right standing with God), and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:10.
Believe. Say. Receive.
Jesus is the Way.