DSC_0731Imagine yourself standing on the top of a hill overlooking a beautiful pastoral scene. In the distance you hear the sounds of sheep, cows, ducks, and people. People? That’s right – lots of people; and it sounds like they are all coming your way.

Where could all these people be coming from and where are they going? Drawing closer to the edge of the top of your hill, you see a broad road at its base; and you realize that this road curves around the hill, towards you, from somewhere out of your eyesight. The people – many people – are coming down that road.

Moving to your right (to see where the road goes), you notice that it ends abruptly at a precipitous cliff; and a fall into destruction. Immediately your heart goes out to the folk on the road. Hurrying back around the edge of your hill, you see them; and you begin to yell a warning, “Don’t take that broad road! Find another way! It leads to your destruction!” With all your heart and strength you cry out to the people that are heading to their destruction.

Much to your relief, a few are listening to your warnings and finding a small narrow way. That way seems to lead away from the broad road and up the hill where you are standing. Your heart is comforted. At least some are now safe from the broad road’s destruction.

Your attention quickly shifts back to those heading down the broad road. What should you do? You can’t bear to see them destroyed. Some are your friends. There may even be family members making that awful mistake.

Your common sense tells you that the ones who have found the narrow way will be okay; for they have made the one decision you encouraged them to make. Though they have moved out of your line of sight, and you cannot see exactly how they will make their way up the hill, you feel confident that you have saved them from certain destruction. Praise the LORD!!

So you turn your attention back to the broad road. You continue to holler your warning, “Don’t take that broad road! Find another way! It leads to your destruction.” With all your heart and strength you continue to cry out to the people that are heading to their destruction. This effort becomes your life’s ambition and work.

I suspect everyone reading this short story recognizes it as a depiction of the following passage.

Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7:13-14

Interestingly, the New King James Version entitles this section, “The Narrow Way”. If you look closely, the passage never speaks of the way being narrow. How about your translation?

Anyway, let’s move on to the rest of the story.

Having spent a considerable amount of time warning those on the broad road, you begin to wonder why more have not joined you. What’s holding them up? Where did they get off to?

And so, you investigate the situation. Circling back around to the place where you were able to see folks coming off the broad road, you try to find a better vantage point. The more you search, the more frustrated you become. Where have they gone? Why aren’t they up here with me?

And then you see it; a most confusing situation: Just off the broad road, at the fork where the few heard your cries of warning and diverted their direction in life, there is a most peculiar sight. Masses of people are milling around; some making small talk; others pitching tents. Many have brought in trailers and campers. The most fortunate (so it seems) have built houses and barns.

This doesn’t make any sense to you. Why aren’t these people progressing up the hill? Why would they settle for such a lowly place when it is so beautiful and exciting at the top? Some have joined you, but the vast majority of those that found the narrow way seem to be waiting for something to happen. They seem to be satisfied with their progress.

Eventually, you turn to the One you trust to explain such confusing things; and here’s what He says:

And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.  Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.  When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’  But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ Luke 13:22-27

Is it possible, in our efforts to warn people on the broad way, that we have failed to warn those loitering outside the narrow gate? Is their salvation hanging any less in the balance? Who are these people? Are any of them in your sphere of influence?

Are you one of them? Do you need someone to help you find your way through the narrow gate? Please contact me if you would like to discuss this further (rob@inLightConsulting.com).


Humbly yours and forever His,

P.S. Just to be clear, I firmly believe that salvation is by grace, through faith. Nevertheless, we must recognize that this saying of Jesus is a matter of salvation (“Lord, are there few who are saved?”). We are failing ourselves and those within our spheres of influence to dismiss this passage; and its meaning. Check out 2Peter 1:1-11 for more clarity (notice the use of “all diligence” and “even more diligent”). Let me know what you think.