Participants: Roland Nwosu
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000011
00:29 Praise God. My name is Rowland Nwosu.
00:32 Pastor of the South Lake City
00:34 Central Seventh Adventist Church
00:35 in South Lake City, Utah.
00:39 In the life of a Christian, there comes a time
00:44 when it becomes so painful and unbearable.
00:49 Today's message, keep on, keeping on,
00:53 is a message that I want to pray
00:56 that God will bring comfort and strength
00:59 to all the listeners today.
01:01 Let us pray.
01:03 Father, open our eyes, minds and ears
01:08 that we may experience wonderful blessings
01:10 out of Your word today.
01:13 May this message bring comfort,
01:15 strength and courage
01:18 to all who are listening today and we ask that you continue
01:22 to bless The Ministry of the 3ABN,
01:25 as it blesses men and women everywhere around world. Amen.
01:33 I'd like to share with you
01:37 from the Book of Psalm, Chapter 121, Psalm 121.
01:44 And we will read that chapter together.
01:50 "I will lift up my eyes to the hills--
01:53 From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord,
01:57 who made heaven and the earth.
02:00 He will not allow your foot to be moved.
02:03 He who keeps you will not slumber.
02:06 Behold, He who keeps Israel
02:08 shall neither slumber nor sleep.
02:11 The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
02:17 The sun shall not strike you by day,
02:20 nor the moon by night.
02:23 The Lord shall preserve you from all evil,
02:26 He shall preserve your soul.
02:28 The Lord shall preserve your going out
02:30 and your coming in from this time forth,
02:34 and even forevermore."
02:38 This Psalm was a pilgrimage song,
02:42 which express the sentiment of the Jewish worshipers
02:45 as a travel to Jerusalem on their yearly pilgrimage.
02:50 As they walked toward the gate of the city,
02:52 they would be ascending.
02:54 The road leading to the gate of the city was rugged,
02:59 it was steep, narrow, rocky and winding
03:02 and unless the travelers were careful in some places,
03:06 they could slip and fall into the ditch,
03:09 down into the valley below.
03:12 Yes, the road leading to the city was dangerous.
03:17 It was dangerous because it was infested
03:19 with robbers and exploiters, kidnappers and attackers
03:23 and wild animals and ferocious beasts.
03:27 And anyone of these could have attacked the worshipers
03:31 as they traveled, you could even be
03:34 lost traveling to the city for worship.
03:39 As a result of many hazards on the road to the city
03:42 for--then the, the, the, the groups,
03:46 then the worshipers traveled in groups.
03:50 One of the songs they sang was Psalm 121 that we read.
03:56 Although the journey was painful, difficult, and hard,
04:01 the Bible tells us that they were glad to come
04:05 and in the next chapter of Psalms,
04:09 it talks about the fact that
04:11 the worshipers expressed their sentiment,
04:13 "I was glad when they said unto me,
04:16 let us go into the house of the Lord."
04:20 You see many of these worshipers
04:22 had the right attitude of worship.
04:24 Regardless of what occurred to them
04:27 or what happened to them on their way to the city,
04:31 to worship God, they still went to worship God.
04:34 They had a right attitude of worship.
04:39 Yes, the road leading to the city was stony and rugged,
04:42 but they enjoyed worshiping God.
04:47 They enjoyed going to the house of worship
04:52 to glorify the God.
04:54 You see, this road provided Jesus
04:58 with the illustration of the Christian journey
05:02 and in Matthew's Chapter 7, verses 13 and 14, Jesus said.
05:09 "Enter by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate
05:13 and broad is the way that leads to destruction,
05:17 and there are many who go in by it.
05:20 Because narrow is the gate
05:22 and difficult is the way which leads to the life,
05:25 and there are few who find it."
05:29 I like to share five points to remember,
05:33 if we must travel along this narrow road
05:37 through the narrow gate into the heavenly city.
05:41 First point is this, that we must recognize
05:45 that the road that leads to the holy city
05:50 is a worrisome road.
05:52 It can be worrisome
05:53 because the small gate and a narrow gate
05:57 are restrictive and demand a more disciplined life.
06:02 It can be worrisome because it is the way of training
06:06 and the way of discipleship.
06:08 It is worrisome because it is the way of persecution.
06:11 It is the way of trials and opposition.
06:14 It is the way of perfection.
06:16 It is the way of crown and glory.
06:19 Yes, the road leading to the heavenly city
06:22 can be worrisome.
06:24 Friends, in our religious journeys today, we face,
06:27 we face situations where circumstances
06:31 challenge our spiritual walk with the Lord.
06:35 The devil and his workers are at work at school,
06:38 they are at work, at work, at our work places,
06:41 they are at work even in the church,
06:45 but distractions, attractions, and detractions
06:50 that are intended to concentrate
06:54 on the non-essentials of this life
06:57 at the expense of our spiritual life,
07:00 that the devil seeks to push us away
07:03 from that narrow road.
07:04 There are trials and difficulties intended
07:07 to push us away from the road
07:09 that Jesus wants us to walk in.
07:14 There are struggles and problems
07:16 which the devil places on our way just to cause us
07:20 to fall and miss the mark of our savior's expectation.
07:26 It is no wonder why the Bible speaks about
07:30 the need for us to be cautious
07:33 and to be careful and vigilant because our enemy,
07:36 the devil prowls around like a, like a roaring lion
07:40 looking for someone to devour, but the Bible encourages us,
07:46 consults us to resist him, standing firm in the faith
07:50 because you know that your brothers
07:53 around the world are undergoing
07:54 the same kind of sufferings.
07:57 Yes, the journey can be worrisome
07:59 yet it is easy if we know the direct path.
08:03 If we know the way leading to that heavenly city
08:07 and Jesus said, "I am the way, I am the truth,
08:11 I am the life and no one comes to the Father, but by Me.
08:15 Jesus said I am the way"
08:19 for all who accept Jesus Christ
08:21 as the personal savior this road,
08:22 this difficult road becomes easy.
08:26 It becomes easy not because they have no sin,
08:30 not because they know no pain and no sufferings,
08:33 not because they no longer
08:34 have problems and difficulties,
08:36 but it is because of whom they know.
08:38 It is because of who lives in their heart.
08:40 It is because of where they know
08:42 that the source of their strength comes from.
08:44 It is because they know Jesus and it's because
08:47 they had the assurance that Jesus himself
08:50 He is the one who will lead them
08:51 and give them the strength
08:54 to bear the struggles that occur in this,
09:00 along this road.
09:02 I have a second point that I want to share with you
09:06 and that is if we must enter through the City Gate
09:12 and walk that narrow way into the heavenly city,
09:16 we must constantly ascend like the Jewish worshipers
09:20 were ascending the mountain, the holy mountain of God.
09:24 You see we must continue to grow in grace,
09:27 growing from grace to grace and all who must pass through
09:32 this gate must have sinned.
09:34 We must climb over our difficulties,
09:37 we must overcome the problems
09:39 and trials along the path of our journey.
09:44 You see, all through the Christian history,
09:48 all who follow Jesus Christ have suffered various trials,
09:52 struggles and persecutions
09:55 while they earnestly committed to the work of God.
10:01 These challenges can be for our good.
10:04 The pastor James speak about,
10:06 speaks about this in James Chapter 1, verses 2 through 4.
10:15 "My brethren, count it all joy
10:18 when you fall into various trials,
10:20 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
10:24 But let patience have its perfect work,
10:28 that you may be perfect
10:29 and complete, lacking nothing."
10:34 Some of you might be going through
10:36 different experiences right now.
10:39 But the Lord watches over you.
10:41 The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
10:43 The sun will not smite you by day,
10:46 nor the moon by night.
10:48 For he who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
10:51 will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
10:55 But what, we would ask,
10:58 shall separate us from the love of God.
11:01 What is it that will separate us
11:02 from the love of Jesus Christ?
11:04 Is it tribulation the Bible asks?
11:08 If God is for us, who can be against us?
11:13 Even the one Father we have, who spared not his child,
11:18 his son but let him come for us, to save us,
11:24 give him up for us.
11:26 How will he not also allows him
11:28 to graciously give us all things that we seek
11:32 and ask of Him.
11:34 Who will bring charges, the Bible ask against
11:36 those whom God have chosen?
11:38 Is it not God himself who justifies?
11:42 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
11:46 Shall trouble, shall hardship, shall persecution,
11:49 famine or nakedness, what is it? Bills.
11:55 In Romans, Chapter 8:37-39.
12:01 We are told that "Yet in all these things
12:06 we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
12:10 For I am persuaded polarized that neither death nor life,
12:15 nor angels nor principalities, nor powers,
12:17 nor things present nor things to come,
12:20 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing
12:25 shall be able to separate us from the love of God,
12:29 which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
12:36 During a Monday night football game
12:40 between the Chicago Bears and New York Giants,
12:43 one of the announcers observed that Walter Payton,
12:49 the Bears' running back had accumulated
12:54 nine miles in career yardage.
12:57 Then the announcer remarked,
12:59 "Yeah, that's true but he did it with someone
13:04 knocking him down every 4.6 yards."
13:08 You see Walter Payton,
13:10 the most successful running back
13:12 at that time knew himself that,
13:16 if you would be successful to accomplish
13:19 something high, you sometimes need to be get,
13:23 you need to be knocked down,
13:24 you get knocked down sometimes.
13:26 But the key to success is to get up
13:31 and run again just as hard.
13:35 You see the Christian journey
13:37 is like the football career of Walter Payton.
13:41 A little fall here and a little fall there,
13:44 but there must be moment, there must be growth,
13:46 there must be ascending, growing from grace to grace.
13:50 Recognize in that "he who has promised us,"
13:53 Jesus Christ our Savior has promised
13:56 "To him who overcomes the trials of this life,
14:00 the trials of this race,
14:02 the trials of this Christian walk,
14:05 he who overcomes." Jesus promises,
14:07 "I will give to eat a tree of life,
14:10 which is in the midst of the Paradise of God,
14:12 to him who overcomes he shall not be hurt
14:15 by the second death, to him who overcomes."
14:18 Jesus promises, "I will give him some of the hidden manna
14:21 to eat and I will give him even some white stone,
14:24 and on that stone a new name written
14:28 which no one else knows except him who received it."
14:32 Yes Jesus says, "To him who overcomes
14:34 the trials of this life and keep my works to the end,
14:37 to him I will give the power over nations."
14:42 Yes to him who overcomes, Jesus says,
14:45 "The sun shall be clothed in white raiment,
14:48 I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life,
14:51 but I will confess his name
14:54 to my Father and to his holy Angels."
14:57 To him who overcomes, the promise is,
15:00 "he or she shall inherit all things
15:05 and I will be his God and he my son."
15:10 There's only one way to overcome
15:13 is only through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
15:17 The one who came from heaven and died?
15:19 The one who resurrected and lives for evermore
15:22 and is on the right hands,
15:24 and the right hand shown of god
15:26 in his holy sanctuary pleading for you
15:29 and pleading for me, it is through him
15:32 we can overcome our circumstances
15:34 and our trials right now.
15:37 Oh, how much, I love this song.
15:40 "A mighty fortress is our God,
15:43 a bulwark never failing our helper,
15:47 amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.
15:50 Did we in our own strength confide our battle would be,
15:54 striving would be losing,
15:56 we're not the right Man on our side,
15:58 the Man of God's own choosing, dost ask who that may be?
16:03 It is Jesus Christ, it is He, Lord Sabbath is His name,
16:07 from age to age he is the same,
16:09 and he must win the battle."
16:13 We must win the battle, the Christian race,
16:17 the Christian walk to the Holy City.
16:20 Point number three, if we must enter
16:22 through the city gates and walk the narrow gate,
16:28 we must travel light on our journey.
16:31 You see the wide gate and the broad road seems
16:34 far more inviting is spacious, is permissive
16:38 and it allows everything and anything goes in that,
16:43 along that road in that pathway.
16:46 And those who travel along these road
16:49 take all kinds of garbage and all kinds of baggage,
16:52 no restrictions but along the narrow path heavy load,
16:56 much luggage hinder easy movement.
17:01 The Apostle Paul compared the walk
17:05 along the narrow road to a race.
17:08 Where he says that he is running a race
17:12 and he mellows his body
17:15 and he does not run like a man endlessly,
17:17 but he fights on hoping to win the prize.
17:24 The Bible says that, "Others have gone on before us
17:28 along this pathway, this narrow gate,
17:31 passed through it successfully and that they are waiting.
17:36 Hebrews Chapter 12, verse 1 tells us
17:39 that some have gone this path
17:46 before and were successful.
17:48 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded
17:52 by so great a cloud of witnesses,
17:55 let us lay aside every weight,
17:58 and every sin which so easily ensnares us,
18:04 and let us run with perseverance,
18:07 with endurance the race that is set before us."
18:13 So, Christian friend,
18:15 keep on keeping on this life's journey.
18:20 If we must... The fourth point now,
18:23 if we must enter through the small gate
18:26 and journey along the narrow path into the holy city,
18:30 we must claim the strength for the journey.
18:33 Jesus knew that this journey will be tiring and worrisome
18:37 but, so he made promise to us.
18:40 Along the pathway,
18:41 He lined it up with strength and courage
18:45 and he invites us to come,
18:47 all you who are weary and burden
18:50 and I will give you rest, Jesus said,
18:53 and this is a promise of Jesus himself will keep
18:55 and when we accept him as our personal savior,
18:57 he gives us power to walk along this path
19:00 and the strength to endure a trials along this path.
19:04 Isaiah, even foresaw the path,
19:07 the strength that Jesus would give
19:11 to all those who believe in him.
19:13 In Isaiah Chapter 40, verses 28 through 31,
19:17 he asked us a question, "Does thou not know?
19:21 "Have you not known? Have you not heard?
19:24 The everlasting God, the Lord,
19:26 the Creator of the ends of the earth,
19:30 neither faints nor is weary.
19:33 His understanding is unsearchable.
19:36 He gives power to the weak,
19:38 and to those who have no might He increases strength.
19:41 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
19:45 and the young men shall utterly fall,
19:49 but those who wills wait on the Lord
19:52 shall renew their strength.
19:53 They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
19:55 they shall run and not be weary,
19:57 they shall walk and not faint."
20:00 This is the grace of God in action,
20:03 This is the grace of God in action.
20:06 Therefore, let us run the race that he set before us,
20:09 let us walk the pathway claiming the strength
20:14 that Jesus alone gives, when we become tired
20:17 and worn along this pathway let us persevere,
20:20 let us keep on and keeping on.
20:23 When the race of life becomes dreary and weary,
20:26 let us persevere and keep our eyes on Jesus
20:29 and when it seems that all of life would crumble
20:32 right upon us, let us persevere
20:35 and let us keep on, keeping on.
20:37 And the last point, point number five.
20:40 I like to share with you along this pathway
20:43 today is if we must enter through the small gate
20:46 and journey along that path that leads
20:49 to the everlasting eternal kingdom
20:53 that Jesus is preparing for us.
20:56 We must focus on Jesus.
20:58 You see, today we focus on
20:59 people focus on so many things,
21:01 but the Bible tells us that,
21:03 "anything shut of this results
21:06 in discouragement and failure."
21:08 Therefore as we are traveling along the pathway,
21:12 along that small path, let us focus on Jesus.
21:15 In Hebrews Chapter 12, verse 2,
21:18 we've told that we must face our eyes on Jesus,
21:21 and run the race that is set before us.
21:23 He says, "Looking unto Jesus,
21:25 the author and the finisher of our faith,
21:27 who for the joy that was set before Him
21:31 endured the cross, despising the shame,
21:34 and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
21:43 Christian friend, if we must walk,
21:48 if we must enter that small gate
21:54 and walk along that narrow path.
21:57 We must keep on, keeping on recognizing
22:03 that the journey may seem worrisome and difficult
22:06 but Jesus is the way, the truth and life
22:12 and there is salvation in no one else,
22:15 for there is no other name on the heaven
22:20 given among men by which we must be saved
22:25 is only through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
22:27 If we must enter through eternity,
22:30 small gate and narrow road, we must keep on,
22:33 keeping on constantly ascending from grace to grace,
22:38 climbing from heights to heights,
22:40 knowing that there is a crown
22:41 that is waiting beyond the bright mansions for us
22:44 and soon with a sense made perfect at home
22:48 with the Lord we shall be.
22:50 Point number three, we talked about,
22:52 if we must enter through eternity's gate
22:56 and walk along that narrow road,
22:59 we must travel alight, no garbage,
23:03 no baggage that hinders
23:05 our movement to the heavenly Zion.
23:07 We must lay aside all burdens that pull us back,
23:11 all attitudes and deficiencies of character
23:14 that pull us away from the cross
23:17 and from the pathway.
23:19 For by grace, we have been saved through faith.
23:23 The Bible tells us and that not of ourselves,
23:27 it is the gift of God, not of works,
23:30 lest anyone should boast for we are God's workmanship,
23:37 created in Christ Jesus on to good works,
23:42 which God himself had prepared,
23:45 ordained that we should walk in them.
23:50 If we must enter through eternity's gate,
23:57 through a small gate.
23:59 So, we must travel lite, no garbage, no baggage
24:03 that hinders our movement to the heavenly Zion.
24:07 Point number four that I would like to--
24:10 that we shared already with you is that,
24:13 "if we must enter through the small gate
24:16 and journey along the narrow path,
24:19 we must claim the strength for the journey."
24:24 Point number five, "if we must enter into eternity's gate
24:32 and walk the narrow path into the small gate
24:36 we must keep our eyes on Jesus,
24:41 that rock on which we stand,
24:44 the gate through which we go in to the Father."
24:49 Therefore, since we have a great high priest
24:52 who has gone through the heavens.
24:55 The Bible tells us in Hebrew,
24:57 Chapter 4 verses 14 through 16,
24:59 "Seeing then that we have a great high priest
25:03 who has passed through the heavens,
25:05 Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
25:10 For we do not have a high priest
25:12 who cannot sympathize with our weakness,
25:15 but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
25:20 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace,
25:23 that we may obtain mercy
25:25 and find grace to help us in our time of need."
25:32 Come on, Christian friends, come now
25:33 therefore we who love the Lord,
25:36 come and let's make our joy known join in a song
25:41 with sweet accord and thus surround the throne
25:45 because we're marching to Zion,
25:47 beautiful, beautiful Zion,
25:49 the beautiful city of God.
25:52 Christian friends,
25:54 let me share that text with you again,
25:58 Psalm 121, please read it with me,
26:02 "I will lift up my eyes to the hills--
26:08 From whence comes my help?
26:12 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
26:18 He will not allow your foot to be moved,
26:23 and He who keeps you will not slumber.
26:27 Behold, He who keeps Israel.
26:32 He who kept Israel and He who will continue
26:37 to keep the Israel of God,
26:39 shall neither slumber nor sleep.
26:42 The Lord is your keeper
26:44 and will continue to be your keeper.
26:46 The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
26:50 The sun shall not strike you by day,
26:53 nor the moon by night.
26:56 The Lord shall preserve you from all evil,
27:02 from all sickness, from all evil or the enemy.
27:09 He shall preserve your soul.
27:11 As long as we keep our eyes stare at him,
27:15 as long as we keep the faith of Jesus,
27:18 as long as we keep being faithful,
27:21 the Lord shall preserve your going out
27:24 and your coming in from this time forth,
27:29 forevermore and more forever and ever.
27:35 Trust in the Lord with all your mind
27:39 and keep faithful, be faithful,
27:42 continue to walk in that path.
27:44 Let me pray with you.
27:45 Father, help us to be faithful and walk faithfully,
27:50 courageously, give us the strength to walk
27:52 along that path in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.