In my youth, I followed the wide path through life hoping to find answers to the questions, why I am here and why am I so miserable. The wide path, or wide road, really doesn’t have any lasting solution to those questions. Certain endeavors can bring some temporary relief, but when the newness wears off and the pain returns you realize the futility of it all.
I became a devoted Christ follower in February 2000 with a determination to get off the wide path and get on the narrow path–Christ’s way. As I begin to study and meditate on the Bible, I was reminded of the painful reality that I was the one who chose to discover life on the wide path; I couldn’t blame it on anyone else. I had to take responsibility for that decision. I have discovered since being on the narrow path that Jesus’ way is always the right way. In Matthew 7:13, 14 Jesus instructs us to enter through the narrow gate because any other way leads to destruction, “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” (Matt. 7:13, 14).
Here again Jesus makes it clear that there are only two ways that a person can live their life. They can live a life that honors God or they can live a life that does not honor God. I have said it before, and I want to say it again, there is no middle ground when it comes to entering heaven. The narrow way and the only way are through faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins. Anything else leads to destruction. In John MacArthur’s commentary, on these verses, he puts it this way, “Many people think that both the narrow gate and the wide gate provide entrance into God’s kingdom, but only the narrow gate—constricted and precise: salvation by faith through Christ alone.” – John MacArthur
I believe one of the most destructive and deceiving lies created over the years is that there are many ways to get to heaven. But the Bible is clear. Jesus is the only way and Jesus confirmed that when He proclaimed, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
We must keep solidified in our mind, as we ponder the two gates, that the narrow way is a hard road to travel. Saying no to all that glitters in the world is much more difficult than just going with the flow. But if you do accept the worldly ideas and philosophies of today the swift rapids to destruction will quickly overtake you and drown you in a tidal wave of addition, lust, greed, hate, sorrow, and unforgiveness,
Jesus often spoke of the difficult times those who follow the narrow path will suffer. Anyone who is truly a Christ follower with a heart set on doing the right thing will be ridiculed, laughed at, and mocked, but so was Jesus so how can his true followers expect anything less,
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:18, 19).
Once you are on that wide road to destruction there is only one exit ramp and that exit ramp is the Lord Jesus Christ. I have come to understand, through my own experience, that you can never be so far down that road of destruction that you cannot call on the name of the Lord and be saved. That is grace my friend. Amen! “For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13). The Apostle Paul was certainly a man who met Jesus on the road to destruction, and that meeting put Paul on the narrow road.
So how do we recognize those who want to lead us to a wide road headed for disaster? We find the answer all through the Scriptures. Jesus begins his teaching ministry (the Sermon on the Mount) warning us to be on the lookout for false teachers, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?”(Matt. 7:15, 16).
The most deceiving thing about these false teachers or prophets is that they don’t look like evil doers. They cleverly disguise themselves, not only as sheep in wolves clothing but as shepherds–leaders of the flock. Some I can recall in my own life time are Jim Jones, Charles Mansion, and Adolf Hitler just to name a few. Another great lie and false teaching is that riches and things bring happiness. No one can buy their way into heaven nor can you buy true contentment or peace. All aspects of the wide road lead to pain, unhappiness, and finally to destruction.
In Matthew 7:17, 18 Jesus again draws the line, you are either a follower of Christ or you are not, “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit” (Matt. 7:17, 18).
When you belong to the Lord Jesus and have the Holy Spirit living inside you your desire will be to do what is right in the sight of God, and not be conformed to the actions and expectations of the world. But as Paul writes, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. So that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:2).
What you believe about Christ is the difference between being able to stay on the narrow road or being hopelessly lost on the wide road? The Holy Spirit keeps the true believer on the narrow road. There are those who claim to be Christians who are not. But I believe that the Holy Spirit, living in you, will reveal those false prophets to you and eventually to the world.
In Matthew 7:19, 20 Jesus warns about where the wide road will eventually lead a person, “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them” (Matt. 7:19, 20).
This is a very clear explanation of the final destination if you have not surrendered your life to the Lord Jesus. The end of the line for those on the wide path is a place of great suffering and torment. We all know where the Bible teaches that place is. In the end, there are only two places one can end up: heaven, enjoying the Lord forever, or in the lower part of the earth separated from God forever.
If you do not know Christ as your Lord and savior that is easy to remedy; a simple prayer will do: “God I am a sinful person and I am sorry for the sins I have committed. Please forgive me of those sins and put me on the narrow path to salvation where I should have been all along. Enter my heart and become the Lord of my life.” Amen!