Crucial choices

Aslab
Aslan

Crucial choices

There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. – Proverbs 16:25

Matthew 7:13-14

 13 You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.

 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

Traveling on some roads, even in good weather, can be extremely dangerous. Consider driving through a mountain range with all of its twists and turns, inclines, and declines. If you don’t see them coming and adjust driving accordingly, the consequences can be dire. Missing a turn in the mountains can result in driving off the cliff.

To protect drivers and their families signs are posted along the roads. They warn of upcoming turns and other hazardous road conditions.

The Father is well aware of the hazards we face traveling along life’s highways. In His Word, He has posted many warning signs to help us avoid danger and worse ultimate destruction.

Could it be that people have wrong ideas about what choices are good and bad are? Many people teach their children that hard work will bring success. Consider the slogan from Friday Night Lights, the Emmy award-winning TV show, “Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose.” Modern research has determined that a key indicator for success in life is “grit.” Grit is all about your work ethic. Grit energizes people to work hard and persevere no matter what the difficulty.

In the world, grit can lead to greater achievement in life. In the kingdom of God, can grit bring us into the presence of the King?

The Lord Jesus Christ provides an answer. He states that people have only two options to choose from. One leads to life and the other leads to destruction. The choice that leads to eternal life is “narrow.” It is the road less traveled. This choice is not popular and few choose it.

Luke 13:24 Strive to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail.

The road of choice for most people is broad and easy. The Lord Jesus Christ states that the popular consensus leads to destruction.

What is being overlooked by the majority? There is an immense difference between the nature of God and the nature of the human race. It is often little understood or taken into consideration. The Father is absolutely holy, righteous, and good. His perfect. Fallen humanity is not. Even the best of us fall short of the absolute holiness of the living God. It is tragic but true that hard work and determination cannot overcome the discrepancy. There’s nothing that we can do by our own efforts to make up the difference. We cannot save ourselves from our sins.

The Father knowing this sent the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world for the express purpose of saving us from our sins.

The Father in His love has posted warning signs. When we trust in ourselves and hope for the best we ignore His warnings. To avoid danger and destruction, just like driving on a mountain road, we must see and follow the warning signs. It is the only wise choice. When we do, we are not only safe but we are guaranteed entry into the kingdom of heaven.

When we trust in Christ we throw away any notion of earning favor with the Father through our own efforts. We recognize that the chasm is too great to be overcome.

REFLECT & PRAY

Acts 4:12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.

Father thank You for the warnings You have provided. Thank You that although You have provided to come into Your kingdom is narrow and hard, anyone can find it and choose to enter into Your eternal kingdom.

INSIGHT

Matthew 7:13-14

 13 You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.

 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

The Greek word translated narrow is stenos. When referring to physical space, stenos has the sense of narrow or thin. Metaphorically, when it relates to the entrance and path to eternal life, it means narrow, strict, exacting, and, or restricted. It is a hard choice. Therefore, few choose it. The Lord Jesus encourages people to overcome the difficulty and choose the narrow gate.

The Greek word translated broad is euruchoros. Euruchoros connotes spacious, roomy, regarding a road broad, wide.

In Matthew 7:14,the word translated hard or difficult is thlibo. Thlibo means to experience trouble or difficulty. It means to oppress with evil, afflict, or distress. The English word tribulation comes from this term.

If you want to have eternal life, you cannot just follow the crowd. “You really have to want to get in through this gate. If you just drift, allowing the current to take you where it will, you’ll miss it. But this gate leads to life, and the other sort all lead to destruction . . .. Choices matter; actions and motives matter. Learning to follow Jesus and to know God as father matter. Eternal issues are at stake” (N. T. Wright).

Children of the King throughout the ages have always been a remnant, a small minority of the human population. “The reason is not difficult to discover: The way of life is narrow, lonely, and costly” (Wiersbe).

“There are only two religions in the world. There is the religion of human achievement, the religion of works, the religion of the flesh, the religion that says you can be good enough, holy enough, religious enough, spiritual enough. And there is the one other option, the religion of divine accomplishment, the religion of faith, grace, mercy and not of the flesh but of the Spirit and they do not mix” (John MacArthur).

The Lord Jesus Christ came into planet Earth to become the Savior of the world. He alone made it possible for people to enter into the kingdom of heaven. He was emphatic and stated clearly and succinctly that there was no other way.

John 14:6 I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

“Is it not arrogance or narrow-mindedness to claim that there is only one way of salvation or that the way we follow is the right way? I think not. After all, do we fault a pilot for being narrow-minded when he follows the instrument panel [while] landing in a rainstorm? No, we want him to remain narrowly focused!” (Billy Graham)

Many of you receive a copy of the Reflection in your email.

Often after it is published, I review it one more time and tweak it.

To read the most up-to-date version, please click on the title.

¯\_()_/¯

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