Luke 16:16 The Fight for Your Soul I would like to focus on one phrase from this verse. Luke 16:16 …every man presseth into it. Jesus was speaking about entering the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is the place where God rules. In this church age, we have come to understand that it means heaven. I hope you want to go to heaven. Even more, I hope you are going to heaven. But notice how the Bible says you get into it. You "press into it." The Greek word for "press" is interesting. It is BEE-AD-ZO. It means to press (or push), to suffer violence. The idea is to push and be shoved. It has the notion of violence and is often translated violence. Listen to Matthew penned the same thought. Matt 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence (BEE-AD-ZO), and the violent (BEE-AD-ZO) take it by force. Those entering into the kingdom of heaven are pushed (they suffer violence) and the violent (the pushers) take it by force. The word for force is PULL, PLUCK, TAKE. The pushers take the kingdom of heaven by pulling. There is a scuffle going on, a push and pull, a violence to get into the kingdom of God. Let me be clear: Now, these verses ARE NOT telling us that we must be violent to enter into heaven, but they do seem to be implying that we must be forceful (determined, pushy) if we are to do so. We must fight to get into heaven. There is a large effort to make getting saved easy. Some water down the truth, compromise with the world, cast away with repentance. They want people to get "saved" so they make it has comfortable as possible. God did not intend salvation to be easy. There is some fighting, some pushing and shoving, some BEE-AD-ZO, required to get into heaven. Let’s consider the fight for your soul. I. The fight is between us (the sinner) and God. A. There is some BEE-AD-ZOO taking place. 1. Who is doing the pushing and shoving? 2. We and God. 3. I will go further. I will tell you that it is God that started the pushing and shoving. In our culture, most of us are taught not to start a fight but God is the One who starts the BEE-AD-ZOO. 4. I will go further. We are the ones pushing back against God. You might say, "No, not me!" but all of us naturally push back against Him. B. The logical question to ask is, "Why is God starting a fight with us?" 1. The answer is, "God is fighting to get us into heaven and we are fighting to stay out." 2. People are fighting for the right to go to hell. 3. That may sound strange to some, but it is natural for every human being to fight for the right to go to hell. a. That is what Adam and Eve fought for in the Garden. b. That is what Israel fought for throughout the entire Old Testament. c. It is what every sinner who rejects the message of Jesus Christ is fighting for. C. It is strange how messed up people can get. I don’t mean to be political but it illustrates how we are. 1. There are people in our country using our freedoms to fight for the right to destroy our country. a. There are people fighting for the right to get into America so they can destroy America. b. There are people fighting for the right to be under Sharia Law. 2. As bizarre as that is, it is far more logical than to fight to go to hell. D. So God is pushing against us and our determination to go to hell. 1. God does not want you to go to hell and He is fighting you on this. a. He sent Jesus to die instead of you. b. He put a very pushy church with some very pushy church members and a very pushy preacher to tell you that you don’t have to go to hell. c. He wrote a very pushy Book, the Bible, that tells the whole story of sin and salvation. d. He sent the Holy Ghost, who is very pushy, to convict sinners and bring them to salvation. 2. There is no doubt about it. God is pushing you and me to get us into heaven. 3. What are we doing? a. We are resisting, rejecting, pushing back. b. He pushes us toward heaven. We push back and say NO. c. We have a BEE-AD-ZO, a shoving match, going on here. d. I pray that you will let God win. II. The fight is in three areas of conflict. A. The first conflict is in your head. It is the conflict of truth. 1. We (sinners, people) fight against the truth. 2. Why? a. Because we always think we are right. Always. b. If we are right, that makes God wrong and we can ignore Him. 3. Truth is always God’s first blow (push) in the BEE-AD-ZO. 4. If we do not hear and accept the truth, we cannot go to heaven. a. One of the conditions of salvation is faith. b. 8 times in the Gospels, Jesus made statements to the power of faith: Lu 7:50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. Lu 8:48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. c. What is faith? Faith is believing. d. What are we to believe? The truth e. Without faith, we will go to hell. Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. 5. What kind of truths do we need to believe? There are many truths that we need to believe but at least two are mandatory if you are going to heaven. a. You must believe you are a sinner. (1) The Bible tells us this truth plainly. Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (2) It even lists some of our sins. Romans 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: b. Jesus died for your sins. (1) Again the Bible tells us this truth. 1Peter 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (2) That means Jesus died for you, to take your sins and the punishment for your sins away. (3) You can push back against the truth if you want, but you will only damn your own soul. B. The second conflict is in your spirit. It is the conflict of repentance. 1. This is not a fight over what we believe but over who will control our life. a. Once we believe and know we are not correct, then we can consider the possibility that we have been going the wrong direction. b. Once we believe and know we have been going the wrong direction, we can consider the possibility that we need a new director. c. Once we believe and know we need a new director, then we can consider the possibility that it should be God. d. Choosing to make God our new Director is REPENTANCE. 2. For most people I know, this has been the bigger of the two conflicts. a. With the increase in truth’s rejection among so many today, that may not be the case any longer. b. But most of the people I grew up with already knew those mandatory truths. c. For me and for them, the big conflict was to decide on whether I was going to continue to direct my life or whether I was going to let God direct it. 3. You cannot direct your own life and go to heaven. a. Because you will always, always, always pick the wrong direction. (1) Man always does. (2) Man always picks the path of Do Better. (a) That is the wrong path. (b) It is the logical path. We figure if doing bad got us lost, doing better will get us saved. (c) But it is the wrong path. b. The only path that will get you to heaven is the path of faith and surrender to God. (1) After you surrender to God, you will do better but that will never be your goal. (2) Your goal is always to just surrender to God. c. You can push against this all you want but you are BEE-AD-ZO, pushing against God. d. Quit trying to find a new way into heaven. (1) There are no new or different ways. (2) Just follow God. C. The third area of conflict is in this world. It is the conflict of a changed life. 1. Without doubt, another tough fight. 2. This is not a BEE-AD-ZO you enter to get saved. It is a BEE-AD-ZO you enter because you are saved. 3. With your new found truths, you have selected a new Director (the Holy Ghost) and He has selected for you a new direction. a. The direction He chooses is always against who you were. b. Why? Because we always followed the downhill path of sinning. c. It is always easier to sin than not to sin. d. So we all have chosen sin. 4. Now we must fight against ourselves: habits, desires, additions. 5. Now we must fight against our friend and their expectations of us. 6. Now we must fight against our culture and the norms of society. 7. Now we are new creatures in Christ and God pushes us to be like Him instead of like the world. There is a battle for your soul going on today. Whether you are saved or lost, a pushy God is pushing you. he is pushing to be saved and He is pushing you to be different. Will you press into the kingdom of God or will you be pulled down into hell?
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