“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. Matthew 7:13-14
Understanding the reality of this passage is not as easy as being able to memorize it and quote it. It flies in the face of everything our world says spiritually. Our culture is one of wide-road thought. As our culture is more diverse there is a push for pluralism. It is often cloaked in the terminology of tolerance. True tolerance is to allow another to hold their belief without prejudice against them even though you disagree with them. Pluralism is to take every belief and make it no different than other beliefs.
I always find it interesting when someone tells me that Jesus is simply only one way to God out of many. The reason that is interesting to me is that is not true – according to Jesus. It is not tolerant to say all beliefs are equal because that disrespects every belief. That is not tolerance – that is weakness.
I think that is why our world is crying out for someone to speak truth. It is a recent change in our culture. People would rather disagree with you than hear you say nothing. I love seeing this cultural change. It is not yet what is coming across the airwaves on Oprah, the View, or other such shows, but is something growing in the younger generations. They do not want to hear a weak acceptance of everything. They would rather tell you that you are wrong and risk the wrong path than to hear the lie that all paths are the same. Why? They know better than that. If all paths are all the same then they would all be the same. It is illogical to say that God made many paths the same path.
This belief has for too long infected the church in America. Few people who are evangelical believe the many path theology, but they live like they do. This is seen in some wrong thoughts and beliefs about where the wide road leads. Too seldom are we willing to say that without Christ you perish, but without Christ you perish. We too seldom want to be the people who say there is only one gate, but there is only one gate. I believe this is the main reason why America is the only nation in the world where Christianity is on the decline. It is why over 70% of American churches are plataued or declining.
This is how it has infected us. We like to say things like “I am just helping people along their path to God.” I was in a meeting the other day and heard someone use the term “pre-Christian.” We like to think that people all want what is right and if we do what is right in front of them they will get there on their own.
It is not true. The path of life and the path of destruction are two completely different paths. People are not on a path to God, they are on a path of destruction. The two paths have many intersections but never run parallel. We are the intersections. There are no such thing as pre-Christians. People who are dead in their transgression are dead. Our world is not headed toward God. They are headed away from him.
You must be willing to speak the truth of Christ. We must speak up and declare here is the path you really need. Here is the gate that will change your life and there is no other gate. We must not allow the lies of the world around us to shape our actions. We too often say we believe one thing and live like we believe another.
What will you do this week to call someone to the path to life and the gate of Christ? You are not a direction sign along the good path they are already on. You are person on a mission causing the path of life to intersect the path of destruction. Do not take the call lightly. Realize that we as Christians in America have for too long weakened our response to the world by saying we believe one thing but not really living like we do.
The world around you wants (and needs ) to hear the truth whether they agree or not. There is no need to beat their head in the gate, but do not lower the truth of the gate to make them feel better about their path. They need someone to speak the truth in love. Do you love them enough to speak the truth?
By the way, if you are not on the Jesus path having entered through the Jesus gate, I hope you will take this call to the followers of Jesus as a letter of love to you, too. I love you enough to not lower what I believe to make you feel good about what you believe. I truly believe that without Jesus as your Savior and Lord you will die and go to hell. I love you enough to tell you that whether you agree with me or not. I respect your right to disagree, but I will not put your right to disagree above my call to tell you the truth. We can tolerate each other’s beliefs but we can not make them the same or then neither of us would really have any beliefs.