13 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
If you were to stop and look around you today, which gate appears to be more crowded, the narrow gate or the wide gate? And which road or path would you say is more traveled, the wide road or the narrow road? It seems to me that many people living in this world today are on the wide road, which is filled with signs encouraging its travelers to live by the new standards that are established by a society that is increasingly turning it’s back on God. And so many people believe this and they fall for the lie that the “spirit of the air” is spreading. Satan is working tirelessly to bring about the demise of people and to destroy their lives by leading them down that wide road.
- As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient (Ephesians 2:1-2 NIV).
Those on the wide road see signs that tell its travelers to indulge in the many pleasures of the world. These travelers are constantly being bombarded with messages that encourage them to put themselves and their pleasure first, above all other concerns. Many are deceived into thinking the way the world thinks – that times have changed and God’s message is no longer relevant. They are simply being deceived and the road on which they are traveling, leads only to destruction.
Sadly, we see many people in church leadership positions today that follow the ways of the world and indulge themselves in the pleasures of society. They walk away from the cross and they follow the inclinations and the desires of the world they live in. And in doing so, they lead others away from Christ and fail to carry out their obligation to care for the sheep. Yes, the “spirit of the air” is at work today, even in many of our churches.
I am thankful however, for the many churches that direct their followers to the narrow road. These are places of worship where you immediately encounter the Holy Spirit when you walk into their building. These are churches that preach a message that runs counter to the way society thinks and acts. They encourage their followers to take up their cross daily and to follow Christ, even if that path is a narrow and difficult one. It is in these churches that you see people being led to Christ and begin developing a trusting relationship with their Risen Savior. You will not find perfect people in these type of churches – because we are all sinners. What you will find is sorrowful repentance for their sins and a willingness to confess those sins to God and to accept the grace and forgiveness needed to continue to spread the message of salvation to those living in a lost and dying world.
I encourage you to say no to the things of this world and to continue your journey on the narrow road that Christ commanded us to follow. This road does not lead to popularity by this world’s standards. You will not be seen as cool and hip if you travel this road. And the narrow road will not lead to worldly possessions and riches. Those things are found on the wide road that so many people today are blindly following.
Jesus tells us that the wide road leads to destruction; it leads to an eternal separation from God in hell. The narrow road leads to eternal life with God in heaven, where we will live forever basking in the presence and radiance of God’s eternal glory.