The Narrow Road to Heaven
Lesson 20

A true love for Jesus will not be something that we merely give lip-service to, but will be reflected in every area of our lives. Bible religion is not one among many influences in our life; its influence is to be supreme, exercising a controlling influence over every other, pervading the whole life. This involves such practical matters as eating, dressing, stewardship of our money, and even the way we spend our time. We do not seek to do these things as a means of salvation, but if Jesus is abiding in our hearts, we will be constantly searching for ways to please Him. And as we do so, each day we will be growing more and more like Him.

1. How does God say He desires to guide us?

Psalm 32:8–9

Note: God is not pleased when we must be constantly prodded, or when our obedience is only out of fear of punishment. God is searching for those who will be sensitive to the slightest indication of His will. Only those who love God supremely and are watching for opportunities to please Him will recognize the loving glance of correction. These people search the Bible with only one purpose—to discover what pleases Him—obeying immediately the slightest revelation of His will. This is the essence of true Christianity.

2. How did Jesus view a preoccupation with our dress?

Luke 12:22–23, 28

Note: As Christians, we should always desire to be neat and clean in our appearance, and this is not what these verses are speaking of. What we need to be on guard against, however, is the excessive preoccupation with our appearance, as well as fearfulness for future needs.

3. What should Christians not wear?

1 Timothy 2:9

Note: This text sets forth perfect guidelines for attire: modest, appropriate, and moderate dress; no extreme hairdos, gold, or other costly clothing.

4. Following a terrible apostasy, when God came down to judge ancient Israel, what did He tell them to do with the ornaments they had adopted from the surrounding countries?

Exodus 33:5–6

5. Along with household idols, what did Jacob bury before meeting with the Lord?

Genesis 35:1–4

Note: Bethel was a very sacred place to Jacob—the place of Jacob’s conversion many years before. However, before they could be consecrated there, Jacob told his family to put away the strange gods they possessed. Apparently they had picked up some of the ways of the heathen during the time they stayed in Mesopotamia. There were other objects which had to be laid aside because they also were pagan objects. See verse 4

In Judges 8:24, earrings are spoken of as being worn by the Ishmaelites. The context strongly implies that they wore ornaments as a mark of their apostasy from the true God.

6. Why are all these accounts preserved for us?

1 Corinthians 10:11

Note: Earlier in this passage, Paul likens their Red Sea experience to baptism. See verse 2. In verses 7 and 8, he refers to the great apostasy of Israel, recorded in Exodus 32, when they made their golden calf. He then immediately explains in verse 11 that these things which happened to them, were for “our admonition". Clearly in dealing with them over their apostasy, God has a lesson for us. His command for them to remove their ornaments before going into the land of Canaan applies to us before our entry into the heavenly Canaan.

7. What did Jezebel do for her appearance before meeting Jehu?

2 Kings 9:30

Note: The history and origin of this wicked queen who put many of the prophets of the Lord to death, and who greatly influenced Ahab in leading Israel into greater depths of idolatry, is well known to Bible students. The use of colorful cosmetics was a consistent mark of heathen and unfaithful women throughout the Bible record.

Through the prophet Isaiah, God gives one of the strongest rebukes to jewelry found anywhere in the Bible. In Isaiah 3:16 and onward, God does not generalize about ornaments, but gives a long list of specific articles that were being worn by the women of Israel in their apostasy. In the next chapter, He speaks of a purified people, from whom He has washed the filth away. See also Jeremiah 4:30.

8. What does Hosea indicate Israel wore in the days of apostasy?

Hosea 2:13

Note: The continual connection of the wearing of colorful cosmetics and jewelry with apostasy, clearly marks it as an object of God’s displeasure. It was pride in his appearance that led to Lucifer’s fall (see Ezekiel 28:15–17), and as part of our preparation for heaven, God forbids us to indulge in those things that tend towards pride of appearance.

9. What does John see the woman, representing an apostate church, wearing?

Revelation 17:3–4

10. In contrast, what is the woman depicting the true church wearing?

Revelation 12:1

Note: This woman wears no ornaments. These two types placed in contrast with each other, point out the estimate God places on artificial adornment.

11. What does the sun represent?

Malachi 4:2

Note: It is Christ’s desire that we be clothed with His righteousness (see Revelation 19:8), the garment which all the saved must wear. This righteousness of Christ is His own character which we receive through faith in Him. His perfect character is all the adornment that the true Christian needs.

12. What ornaments did the apostle Peter say were appropriate for the Christian to wear?

1 Peter 3:3–5

Note: This counsel to women is much like that of Paul in 1 Timothy 2:9–10, except that Peter is addressing women of unbelieving husbands.

13. What was God’s testimony regarding Enoch before his translation?

Hebrews 11:5

14. What should the Christian be striving to do in his life?

1 Thessalonians 4:1

15. What will eventually happen to the world’s vain adornments?

1 John 2:15–17

Right and wrong can never be measured by degrees. It is not the quantity, but the quality that marks a thing as either pleasing or displeasing in the Lord’s sight. Even the smallest deliberate violation of the revealed will of God places us out of harmony with Him, and yet Christians will debate over the type of jewelry or the amount of immodesty when that is not really the issue at all. These things are not the problem in and of themselves; they are rather the symptoms of a heart that is not yet fully surrendered to God. When the heart is fully surrendered to Jesus, nothing will stand in the way. If people could have the world and Jesus too, many people would take the road that leads to heaven, but the road that leads to heaven is too narrow for both.

You Tell On Yourself

You tell on yourself by the friends you seek,
by the very manner in which you speak,
by the way you employ your leisure time,
by the use of dollars and time.

You tell what you are by the things you wear,
by the spirit in which your burdens bear,
by the music you choose, and programs you view
by the kind of things that are funny to you,

You tell what you are by the way you walk,
by the things of which you delight to talk,
by the manner in which you bear defeat,
by so simple a thing as how you eat.

By the books you choose from a well-filled shelf,
in these ways and more, you tell on yourself.

So there’s really no particle of common sense
in an effort to keep up false pretense.

You Tell On Yourself

Lesson Home◄Previous LessonNext Lesson►

Print in Adobe Acrobat