There are two roads we can follow in life.
Matthew 7:13-14 (ESV)
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
Jesus talked about 2 ways or two roads we can take in life… The wide and the narrow, the frequented or the road less travelled, the easy way or the tough way. He contrasted the two, but He also contrasted the end of each road. The broad way is easy but it leads to destruction, and the narrow way leads to life.
Today I want to examine these ways, not just for our own lives, because most of us have decided on the road we want to take, but for those around us and in our community who have yet to decide.
THE WIDE ROAD
The wide road is big, busy and headed towards destruction. But it is easy, it’s floating along with the tide. It’s not better, it’s not even more fun in my opinion, it’s just easier. You can live for yourself, what you want, what you desire in life, and forget everybody else. A common idiom in English, “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” Paul talks about this…
1 Corinthians 15:32-33 (ESV)
If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
What the saying means is this fleeting life is all we’ve got, all there is, so let’s have fun, do whatever feels good at the time, because one day soon we will all die, and that’s it. The trouble is not that the road is tough, or unpopular, the problem is the destination. The Bible says,
Hebrews 9:27 (ESV)
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,
We are all going to die. If you don’t believe in eternity, you will, 10 seconds after you die, but by then it will be to late for you. We all die, but that’s not the end of it. We face an eternity in either heaven or hell, and I know, because I have set one foot into eternity
So this broad way or road ignores the destination and says, you might as well enjoy the trip. So what does the broad road look like? Like any road, there are features.
1. RAIN AND NATURAL ELEMENTS
The weather affects every road, of course. And let’s be honest, every life and these two roads face rain, or hail or fog or some adverse weather at some point.
Rain represents the adversities of life, and we all have them. All of us have people we love hurt us, let us down. We all have experienced pain, hard times or suffering. For some, pain drives them to seek God, but for many it drives them away!
Jeremiah 15:18 (ESV)
Why is my pain unceasing, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed?
Will you be to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail?
Job 33:19 (ESV)
“Man is also rebuked with pain on his bed and with continual strife in his bones,
Even Jeremiah cried out to and blamed God in his adversity. Job, who faced incredible hardship and pain, said this at his worst point. Everyone faces rain and suffering on the two roads, and for those on the broad road, it can sap every ounce of hope and cause you to despair of life, hence suicides.
HAIL is rain on steroids, turning adversity and suffering into self destruction. This is what addiction is about, where we drink, have sex or do drugs to numb the pain, only to find the even more destructive situation of addiction to result.
Isaiah 5:11 (ESV)
Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may run after strong drink,
who tarry late into the evening as wine inflames them!
Addictions control you, you can’t control them. And the Bible says,
Galatians 5:1 (ESV)
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Addiction is slavery, and it is a broad road to destruction.
Fogginess on the two roads can be deadly. In 1990 a fog on Tennessee I-75 saw 99 vehicles pile up and 12 die, all due to fog (and stupidity). And in life, so many people fog up the road we are on. Atheists say they don’t believe in God, but I am yet to meet an actual Atheist who has done any research. In my experience, most so called atheists have never examined the facts, never used scientific reasoning, never checked the archaeology of Jesus’ resurrection, yet they stake their eternity on it!
Psalms 14:1 (ESV)
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
They think we have blind faith, yet they make blanket statements based on zero understanding or research! Then others come along to fog the road, creating a new level of paranoia. Then the media feeds our fears, so many have become fearful beyond rationality, paranoid about a Christianity they are ignorant of.
On the broad road to destruction there is rain and hail and fog obscuring it.
2. ONCOMING LIGHTS
On the two roads you also get oncoming lights, and these can be blinding. Jesus said,
Matthew 5:16 (ESV)
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
We should be salt and light to this world, but some of us are just religious. We don’t light the way, we just blind others, obscuring rather than lighting the way, the truth and life.
Christianity should light a man’s path, but often it just blinds those going to destruction.
You see, I don’t have religion, I have relationship. I don’t have fear I have friendship with God. I don’t have legalistic laws, I have life to the full!
What’s the difference between true Christianity and all the world’s religions. Religion is man seeking God, but Christianity is God seeking man. Religion is man trying to reach up to God by keeping rules, but Christianity is God in the person of Jesus reaching down to man and drawing man to Himself. Paul warns us,
Colossians 2:8 (ESV)
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
Religion is hollow, empty philosophy, and it is a blinding light keeping so many on the broad road that leads to destruction.
And it’s made worse by a dirty windscreen, so if you have sin in your life, religion often actually drives you away from the truth instead of towards Jesus Christ.
3. ROAD WORKS
We have 2 seasons here, summer and roadworks.
SHOW MEME BACK TO THE FUTURE
So many believe that good works can save them, but they are only pothole repairs in the road to destruction. Most people know they are sinners, so they try and save themselves by good works, being nice, being kind. But the Bible says,
Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
We are not saved by what we do, but by who we know! Jesus is the only way back to God. Look at the thief on the cross. He believed Jesus, and Jesus said to him,
Luke 23:43 (ESV)
“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
He couldn’t be baptised, he couldn’t go to church, he couldn’t kneel down, he couldn’t speak in tongues, he didn’t say the sinners prayer, he just trusted Jesus.
Don’t let anyone tell you that if you do something, experience something, act a certain way you can be saved. Only believing in Jesus can save you and take you from the broad road to destruction onto the alternative of the two roads.
4. SLIPPERY SURFACES
So many people on the road experience slippery surfaces, often with catastrophic results. Oil on the road, gravel, even water can cause your demise. The Bible says,
James 1:13-15 (ESV)
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
The temptations of life, money, sex, fame, other things that cause us to slip and slide to eternal death are not caused by God, but can be used to changes the two roads.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
THE WAY LESS TRAVELLED
Jesus says, there’s another road, a narrow one, and less travelled one, which leads not to destruction but to life, and life for evermore. It’s the Roman Road, it’s the way of salvation, it’s the truth and the life, and it is found only in Jesus.
John 14:6 (ESV)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
The way is Gk HODOS, meaning a path or highway. It’s the same word used by Jesus when talking about the narrow way. It’s the way of the cross!
This is the path. It’s all contained in just one Bible verse. One verse explains the path, the narrow road to life.
Romans 6:23 (ESV)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Salvation is free, it’s now and it’s yours if you accept it. Get off the broad road that will destroy you, and follow Jesus on the narrow way of the two roads. It’s called repentance.
Acts 17:30 (ESV)
The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,
Repent is METANEO in Greek, and it means to change your mind about your sin. It doesn’t mean to deviate slightly, it mean to do a complete 180. To change direction, away from sin that leads to death, and towards Jesus, who offers life.
THE DEVIL’S BEST LIE
We live in a world of two roads where the truth is very fluid. In governments, the media, even in our own families, the truth, we are told, is what you decide it to be. Well I would postulate that if truth can change depending on your or anyone’s opinion, then it’s never was truth at all.
The Oxford Dictionary defines truth as, “the true facts about something, rather than things that have been invented or guessed.”. Truth cannot, by definition, change. But the world tells you it can.
The big lie the devil tells those on the broad road is not that it’s wrong or bad. Many can even see that they are headed to destruction. They look at their life and know they haven’t got it together, or they are terrified of what’s beyond the grave. They inwardly know they need something, maybe even Jesus. But here’s the devil’s biggest lie.
Stairway to heaven… Led Zepplin
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There’s still time to change the road you’re on
But the Bible says,
2 Corinthians 6:2 (ESV)
Behold, now is the favourable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
You can cruise on down to death and destruction, but the Bible says get of it, and get off it now.
At 9.27 on the 5th of January 1975 the bulk carrier Illawarra collided with a pylon of the Tasman bridge over the Derwent River in Hobart. 4 cars plunged over the edge 45 metres to their deaths, and some finished balanced. Motorists went back down the road waving cars to stop. If drivers ignored them, they would plunge into the depths below, but most cars headed the warning and stopped.
Today I am waving on the road to destruction. Stop immediately, don’t delay.
WHAT ABOUT THE FRUIT?
When we come to Christ, we simply repent and ask Jesus into our life. Then we have forgiveness from sin and eternal life. But what happens then? Too often people are led to Christ, then left alone.
Matthew 3:8 (ESV)
Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.
Honestly church, we need to all be ready to step up and follow up and plug new believers into God, and into the church. I was amazed to read, just after the passage in Matthew about the 2 roads, Jesus said this
Matthew 7:17-20 (ESV)
So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognise them by their fruits.
So my question is, when people come to Christ, how do we preserve the fruit?
PRESERVING THE FRUIT
I did a little research on preserving things, and learned a little. Things can be preserved is different ways. For example, alcohol can preserve some things. Many things are preserved in alcohol, but dignity is not one of them.
But traditionally there are 3 methods of preserving… Dryness, sugar and salt.
Drying is an ancient way of preserving things like fruit. Drying involves being exposed to heat, and in ancient days the sun was the source of this heat. For new believers to be preserved, they need to be exposed continuously to the Son of God. They need prayer.
James 4:8 (ESV)
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
In jams, sugar acts as the preservative. Sugar of course is sweetness, and sweetness is the Word of God.
Psalms 19:9-10 (ESV)
the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
New believers need to be immersed in the sweet Word of God. We need to get them reading or listening to, even immersed in the Bible. We need to plug them into church or Bible study, where they will learn God’s Word. This applies to all of us, we need to make God’s Word central to our lives, because it is sweetness to us and preserves us.
Salt preserves things like meats, and also tastes great.
Matthew 5:13 (ESV)
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
We are the salt of the earth, and new believers need friendship, love, fellowship and church. Left alone most hew believers will struggle, but with a team around them, people who love them, believe in them and support them, they will be preserved.
WE ARE NOT THE RACQ?
We are not here to observe the roads, comment in them or have an opinion, we are not RACQ. We are here to share God’s love and the Gospel of Jesus to those heading to destruction. But we have to preserve the fruit, not let it fall to the ground.
Our job as believers is to share the good news about Jesus with our families, friends and neighbours.
1 Peter 3:15 (ESV)
but in your hearts honour Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
But when people respond to Christ we also need to gather the fruit and preserve it. People say to me they are not sure how to minister, or of they can do anything in this life for God.
Hold up your cell phone. If you have one of these you can minister to others. Make a call, send a text, arrange a time for a coffee. Let’s join together to share the good news of Jesus, then love and support our new brothers or sisters.