If you were hiking through the mountains, would you choose paths along the way that were easier to travel on or would you pick the ones that were hard and took a good bit of strength and endurance? I think the majority of us would take the easiest path. The path of least resistance. It doesn’t take as much effort. It isn’t too hard on our bodies. Doesn’t make us get too sweaty. It’s faster. The easy trail is a lot more appealing than anything I’m going to have to work hard at getting through. Hard work. Pain. Energy. Sweat. But what if you were told that the easy path through the mountains would lead you to fall off a cliff and die? Would you still want to go the easy way? If you were told that the hard trails would lead you back to camp where you could finally sit down, rest, and get a good warm meal, would you want to make the effort to go the harder way? I think we all know the answer to that.
That’s exactly what Jesus was illustrating about this life in Matthew 7:13-14. He said, “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.”
The road that leads to Hell is really wide and very easy to travel. It is the way of sin. It is living the way the world does and the way Satan wants you to live. It’s the way that only cares about pleasing self. Doing what you want to. Whatever is fun or makes you feel good. It is easy to find things in this world that will please us. It doesn’t take long to find sinful pleasures. Sex outside of marriage whenever you want, wherever you want, with whomever you want. Drugs and alcohol give one good times. Adultery is exciting because I can have someone other than my spouse when I am not particularly fond of my spouse or am tired of them. Whatever makes me happy. Stealing things is a whole lot easier than buying them. Lying is an easy way to get what you want or get out of trouble. Killing somebody is a lot easier than putting up with the people I don’t like. Hating someone is a whole lot easier than loving someone who makes me mad. It’s easy to give in to homosexual feelings and carry out those pleasures. Pornography is easily accessible at the touch of a button. The list goes on. Wide and easy is the way that leads to destruction. This is the path of sin. The life of sin. This is what Satan wants us to do. Satan says that this is the fun way to live. It is the fulfilling way to live. Eat, drink, and be merry! You only live once, so live it up! Sadly, many are living life this way. Jesus said many are heading down the path to destruction. There are a lot of people going to Hell. Many are called but few are chosen. Not many will be saved.
The way of life, God’s way is narrow. It is the hard way to live. It is the one that challenges us and shows how bad we want to be saved and go to Heaven to be with God. It is the test that proves where our hearts really are. God has called us to walk the narrow way. To live the narrow way. When we walk the narrow path we turn away from our sins and commit to fighting against sin and Satan. It means I am going to fight the temptations of the world and the sinful desires of the flesh. Self-control. Endurance Diligence. Discipline. I’m not going to let myself give in to the pleasures of sin. That’s not easy to do. I’m going to keep my life pure. I will be pure for my future spouse. I will have a pure marriage. I will refuse to do, say, or think anything that is called sin by God. I am going to live God’s way. Yes, it is a narrow way. Yes, it is going to be hard. But it is the only way that leads to life. Those who find it will be few. Not many of the world are willing to walk the narrow way. But those who are willing will find life eternal in Heaven.
So it comes down to this: Which path are we on? Are we walking on the wide path that is a lot easier and more “enjoyable”? Or are we walking the path that is narrow that is more challenging and brings true joy? Are you enjoying living your own way in sin and are willing to go to Hell for it? Or are you determined to fight against Satan and live God’s way so that you can be in Heaven? The choice is ours. Do we want to be with the many who will fill up Hell? Or do we want to be with the few who will call Heaven their home? As Jesus said, what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Yeah, sin is fun and pleasurable. But the final outcome isn’t. Let’s walk that narrow path together. Let’s enter through the narrow gate. Don’t follow the world. Follow Jesus. God’s way works. Do it His way. He has promised an eternal reward. You can do it. All things are possible with God. There is no temptation you can’t overcome. You just have to be willing to give sin up. Don’t go the easy way. Go the hard way and find life.