Getting to heaven is easy, right? Hollywood will tell you that you can get to “the good place” by accident. Others will tell you that all you need do is “accept Christ as your personal Savior” and He will take care of the rest; no real effort or sacrifice required, failure is not a possibility.
With all the unsubstantiated optimism, one would think that folks will be pouring through the pearly gates in droves. But Jesus Himself painted a very different picture. “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
Jesus’ words being true, the most critical question for each of us to answer is, which road am I on? The inspired Scriptures must be the source of our answer and considering the factors that make the road to life narrow is a good place to start.
Diligent effort. One explanation for the crowd on the wide road is that it is easier. Ephesians 5:15 says we must be careful how we walk. 2 Timothy 2:15 says we must “study” or give diligence to show ourselves approved of God by handling His word properly. Frankly most folks are simply not willing to put in the effort. Are you?
Taking a stand with the few. Those on the narrow road are admonished to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints (Jude 3). Paul said we should reject anyone who teaches any “gospel” that contradicts what we have already received (Galatians 1:8-9). The claims of latter-day revelation and updated interpretations echo down the middle of Broadway. Consistently appealing to inspired Scripture can be a lonely pursuit. Are you willing?
Sincere submission. This one is hard for a lot of people. Some are fiercely independent and submissiveness is just not in their nature. Others claim to confess Jesus as Lord, but they somehow fail to make the connection between professed loyalty and actually living in accordance with His teachings. “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46). Apparently Jesus had to deal with some of the same kinds of folks in His day.
Broadway is packed with people who have little interest in submitting to God’s will. Those on the narrow road are there because of their willingness to conform their own will to the will of God. Does that describe you?
Jesus’ assessment of the situation seems bleak on the surface, but the good news is that His invitation to the way of life is universal. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). The path of your life is your choice.
Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of the Murray Ledger & Times.