Two Ways — One Choice
Be Strong, Be Well — Sunday, September 6
There are folks (many folks) who are very diligent in their efforts to widen the gate Jesus said was narrow. There already is a gate that is wide.
The Savior said, "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
Jesus gives us insight into the only two ways from which we can choose to go—through the narrow gate or the wide gate. He gives us more specifics as to the nature of the ways—one is difficult ("strait" KJV) leading to life. The other is broad leading to destruction. He also gives us the general numbers of those choosing one way over the other—few and many.
What people don’t understand is that God has made the narrow way as broad as His love can make it and as narrow as His word dictates. It cannot be made wider because God’s love is as big as anything can be. He loved the whole world so much He was willing to give everyone the most precious, costly gift available—His Son (John 3:16). The narrow road cannot be made wider without taking away the value placed on it, and the good that is gained by traveling in that direction. This is eternal life.
Few find the narrow gate and the difficult, strait way as a desirable way to go because the pathway to life is hedged in (straitened) with many obstacles, difficulties and troubles. It takes great effort to walk or live this way. We must be careful and watchful, and be on guard at all times. Evil awaits at every turn of the road.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:8-9).
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:7-8).
This is why so many choose the wide gate and the broad path. They have convinced themselves it’s the easier road to travel. Even though the wise man said, “...the way of the unfaithful ("transgressors" KJV) is hard” (Proverbs 13:15). They need to wake up before they reach the end of their journey. The destination of this path is destruction and ruin. This is hell and eternal punishment.
“These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thessalonians 1:9; also consider Matthew 13; 42, 50; Revelation 20:13, 14).
Briefly said, the narrow gate and difficult way leads toward God, into the light with the reward of blissful peace and eternal life. The wide gate and broad path leads away from God into the darkness and grief of condemnation and eternal death and destruction.
We must choose wisely, as well as helping our family and friends to choose wisely. —Chris