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.
In my previous post, I shared with all of you the moment that I came to realize that God’s wrath is real and how it scared me. I realized what it actually meant to fear God. I can be a sensitive person and it is easy for me to lose hope in things and to be discouraged.
I asked my youth pastor at the time about the Sheep and Goats passage, and he kind of brushed me off telling me he would talk to me about it another time. It is a hard passage to talk about. It seems by every account to contradict the mercy of God. It makes what everyone tells you is so easy (getting saved) seem more based on works than we ever realized. My youth pastor wasn’t interested in discussing this topic. I was disappointed and unsure what to think.
I started to read Matthew 7:13-14, and became even more discouraged. Really God? Narrow is the road! Is there any hope for my brothers? I mean really? I was angry. I couldn’t believe that God would make it so hard. Why couldn’t it just be easy like I believed growing up. That all we had to do was believe in Him? I wrestled with this.
And then He spoke to me on this passage. He restored my hope in Him. Before you cry blasphemy hear me out. I believe that God’s wrath is real. I believe that hell is real, and that people will and are rejecting God to choose a life without Him. I believe all these things.
But I also believe in the God of love, grace, mercy, and power! I believe God has a more perfect plan than any of us could ever fathom.
“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.” I began to think of these verses in a different light. What if this wasn’t directed so much toward our end goal: heaven and hell? What if this implied something a little more here and now?
I began to view these verses as more in the present. How many people choose a life on this earth that leads to destruction? How many people choose to live a life that destroys relationships and families and so much more, only to find Jesus towards the end of life and say, “I choose you!” They are just like the thief on the cross next to Jesus that repented at the very end. He is with Jesus, but he probably lived a life of destruction like so many others do.
It is easier for me to grasp the other side of this passage of roads, viewing it in this light. Of course the road to true life is narrow! And it makes more sense to me that so few would find it. The gospel and salvation is still just as accessible and available to all, but true life on this earth is not so easy to find.
I think eternal life can be lived out on this earth with Jesus, but it is something that is very difficult to find. It is just so much easier to live lives of destruction. Thank God for grace!
The Sheep and Goats passage still haunts me from time to time, but it is a healthy dose now. His injection of hope keeps me going. I still don’t know what the end will hold. I don’t know for sure how it will all play out when push comes to shove.
But I will cling to the hope that I have in the blood Jesus shed to save us from the wrath regardless of the destructive path we may have created. I pray for the narrow road in my own life, but I have hope for those that I see taking the “easier” route.
I have to have this hope. For the sake of my sanity, for the sake of the brothers that I fear for and love so dearly, for the sake of those I see wandering, and for the sake of my trust in God’s mercy.
I cry out for the lost, and cling to the hope.