The Right Way Leads Home

(The wrong way gets you lost)

by Douglas Hoff

On our recent trip to New Jersey we stopped at a rest area in Ohio. A young woman in the car next to ours asked if I could help her find a certain route. She was traveling alone to Richmond, Virginia but had no road map. Her only directions were some hand written instructions saying to take various routes including a few secondary roads as short cuts. Apparently, she had already checked the map in the visitorís center but it lacked sufficiently detail. I was glad to assist but unfortunately my large travel atlas also failed to show the specific road she needed. I suggested an alternate route using major highways to get her to her destination. If she continued east on Interstate 80 for about another 20 or 30 minutes she would have seen the exit sign her notes indicated.

On a long journey like that it can be a little scary when you donít know how to find the right way. Without a good map and/or detailed directions it is possible to take a wrong turn and drive for some time before realizing you are lost. Life is like a long journey and our Lord said there are only two paths a person may travel through this life (Proverbs 4:10-18). Just as modern highways are marked with route signs God has marked both spiritual ways with signs. Jesus said:

 

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matthew 7:13-14; KJV).

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"Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able" (Luke 13:24; KJV).

 

Long ago God marked one path with warning signs at the entrance gate that cry out STOP, DANGER AHEAD, WRONG WAY and DO NOT ENTER. This way is the spiritual "Dead End" for the soul. Staying on this road causes the traveler more than a minor annoyance and the loss of some time. Those who remain on this road are headed for an eternal Hell one day with the loss of the soul. This is spiritual death (Revelation 2:11; 21:8). It is like a driver speeding recklessly down the highway. The man either fails to see or ignores the sign that declares "Bridge Out!" He then crashes and is trapped in the burning wreckage. However, the fire of Hell is eternal and the wrecked soul has no way of escape (Hebrews 9:27; 2 Peter 3:7).

†††††††††† The other road a soul can take is also marked with Godís sign over the entry booth. This sign says "This is the right way Ė walk in it" (cf. Jeremiah 6:16). Another sign along this spiritual highway declares REST AREA AHEAD (Hebrews 4:9-11; Revelation 14:13). This path leads to eternal life in heaven one day. As such, our Lord urges his followers to enter this pathway and stay on it (Matthew 11:28, 29). He knows what is at the end of both ways.

†††††††††† There is no third way to choose. Jesus said a person is either for or against him (Matthew 12:30). God made the decision making process as easy as possible. He wants everyone to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). With only two choices and the alternatives clearly identified the choice should be easy and obvious. Sadly, many still choose the wrong way even if they are not aware they did in fact make a choice.

God has given man adequate warning about the dangers of the following the wrong way through this life. It would seem that more would choose the way to life instead of the route to perdition (utter destruction, ruin or loss). So why then will many take the wrong way to the bitter end? Some trust their feelings and do not heed the warnings found in the scriptures. Long ago God declared, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death" (Proverbs16:25; NKJV). Others may recognize the warnings about the broad way but sin has its appeal (Hebrews 11:25). They want the pleasures of sin but not its wages. They may think and hope there is a compromise position between the broad and narrow ways. However, there is not.

Jesus never encouraged people to try the broad way for awhile to see if they like it or until they find it hurts too much. He did however urge every person to enter at the strait gate and travel the narrow way. A person must strive to enter the narrow way (Luke 13:24). Travel down the way to eternal life does not happen accidentally. It takes deliberately seeking the truth and doing it (John 8:31, 32). Those who make their choice by default have chosen the way of error, not truth.

What will your destination be at the end of this life? Will it be heaven or hell? Whether you realize it or not, you are making the choice each day you live. Even if you are on the wrong road you can forsake that way. Make the spiritual U-TURN called repentance and abandon the soulís DEAD END before it is too late! If you are tempted to leave the right way and start traveling down the easy way that leads to destruction, STOP! DO NOT YIELD for yielding to temptation results in sin (James 1:14-15). Your soul is too valuable to lose for anything this world has to offer (Matthew 16:24-26). Instead of falling into sin choose Jesus for he is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6; cf. Acts 4:12).

By entering the right way and staying on it throughout this life, one day you will arrive at your eternal home in heaven. Traveling the wrong path leaves a soul lost in sin. If one takes that route to its ultimate destiny that person will be lost forever in hell. What a terrible thought that is. Thankfully, as long as one is alive God allows and urges everyone to make a U-TURN that leads back to the path that leads one safely home.

 

Douglas Hoff, preacher

Flat Rock Church of Christ

(734) 782-2886 [office]

P.O. Box 12

Flat Rock, MI 48134-0012