Walking the Wide road to oblivion...
In the Gospel of Matthew 7: 13-14 Jesus warns us to “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Do we believe Christ? Who dare call Him a liar? How seriously should we take His warning? Certainly, insofar as eternal life with God is concerned it is a matter of life or death but what exactly is the wide and narrow road and the wide and narrow gate?
Examining first the wide road. There are thousands of roads we can take through life but there is not one of them which does not eventually lead to either Heaven or Hell. The wide road is a way of life wherein we continually reject God and His Son Jesus Christ. No matter how good or bad our behaviour might appear to others, without having Christ's Grace in our lives we tread the wide road that leads to destruction. The wide road allows those travelling it to wander from one ego driven worldly purpose to another without in any way believing the need for them to embrace their creator God.
The narrow road is the road whose boundaries are the Commandments of God which keep us on the straight and narrow and which Christ summarized in Mark's Gospel 12: 30-31. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” He then told us that these two great commandments sum up the whole of the Law and the Prophets, meaning that everything else is excess baggage.
The wide gate is the gate at the end of the wide road. The wide road leads to Hell and if we continue to walk the wide road to the end of our earthly lives we then pass through the wide gate and enter Hell from which there is no escape and this final horror is clearly outlined for us in Christ's parable of the Rich man and Lazarus. Luke 16: 19-31.
The narrow gate, on the other hand, is at the end of the narrow road, which, if we tread it to the very end of our earthly lives we will pass through into eternal life and joy indescribable for all eternity with God. What exactly is meant by the word Love? Certainly not the erotic love as outlined in the world's media nor is it sentiment. It is best described by Paul in 1Cor. 13. "If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have LOVE, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have LOVE, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have LOVE, I gain nothing. LOVE is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. LOVE does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. LOVE never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child, I behaved like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and LOVE. But the greatest of these is LOVE. "
Walking the narrow road is walking the road of LOVE for God and for others to the end of our earthly lives and then and only then do we open and enter through the narrow gate and into eternal life with a LOVING God. It's obvious really. To become a son of the ever living, LOVING God we need to become as close as is humanly possible to LOVE itself for without it we have NOTHING.
There is no other way.