KNOWING WHERE YOU’RE GOING WHEN YOU DIE

In teaching through the life of Christ the other day the Lord brought me to Matthew 7:13-14. It’s the familiar analogy of the two roads of life: Go in through the narrow gate. The gate to destruction is wide, and the road that leads there is easy to follow. A lot of people go through that gate.  (14)  But the gate to life is very narrow. The road that leads there is so hard to follow that only a few people find it.

For too many of us, our concept of salvation is glued to John 3:16 and Acts 16:31. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved! It’s so easy to get saved! That’s the way the Lord made it so that everyone can get saved if they wanted to. All we have to do is believe. I mean, how hard is that? It isn’t. It’s so ridiculously easy that anybody can believe and be saved. Nobody, but nobody, can ever accuse the Lord of making it so hard to get saved!

But, like all of us, the Lord couldn’t say everything in a single verse, a single sermon, or a single point of time. There’s always the rest of the story, the whole picture, or the whole counsel of Scripture. Jesus went on to say more things about salvation and Matthew 7:13-14 is a good case in point.

I was musing on these verses when the Lord reminded me that the sermon on the mount was given to believers (Matthew 5:1-2). Jesus isn’t talking to heathens here. He’s talking to people who believe and follow Him. In other words, they’re already saved.

So if we’re already saved, why does Jesus tell us to enter the strait and narrow gate? When He tells us to go through the strait and narrow it’s because we’ve not gone through the strait and narrow yet. We’re outside the gate and He’s telling us to go through, and inside, the gate.

But wait a minute, Lord. I’m already saved. I already believe in you. Aren’t I already on the strait and narrow?

Obviously not. Conversion takes us off the broad road and it brings us to the gate of the strait and narrow. Getting saved doesn’t automatically put us on the strait and narrow. We get there only when we make a personal, knowledgeable decision to go through the gate and spend the rest of our life walking the strait and narrow. If we haven’t made that decision, then we’re not on the strait and narrow. Since there are only two roads in life, not three or four, then not being on the strait and narrow means we’re still on the broad and wide.

Each road takes us somewhere. Each road leads us to its ultimate destination. The strait and narrow leads us to life (Heaven); the broad and wide takes us to destruction (Hell). {BTW, there is life after death. When we die we either go to life, or Heaven; or we go to destruction, or Hell.}

Here’s the kicker. WHERE WE GO WHEN WE DIE IS DETERMINED BY WHAT ROAD WE’VE TRAVELLED ON. If we’ve walked the strait and narrow, we’ll go where that road takes us: to Heaven. If we’ve walked the broad and wide, we’ll go to Hell because that’s where that road takes us. There’s not a snowball’s chance in Hell that we’ll end up in Heaven when we’ve spent our whole life walking the broad and wide. We’ll go wherever the road takes us. And the broad and wide road definitely doesn’t take us to Heaven.

So if we’re saved, but not walking the strait and narrow; if we’re Christians, but walking the broad and wide; how in the world can we expect to go to Heaven? Do we seriously believe we can live like heathens on the broad and wide and still make it to Heaven because of the “Christian” nametag that we wear? Because we say we believe? Because we say we’re saved?

Just so that none of us are surprised by what Jesus would say to us on Judgment Day, here’s what He’s going to say to all those who aren’t walking the strait and narrow (Matthew 7:21-23): Not everyone who calls me their Lord will get into the kingdom of heaven. Only the ones who obey my Father in heaven will get in.  (22)  On the day of judgment many will call me their Lord. They will say, “We preached in your name, and in your name we forced out demons and worked many miracles.”  (23)  But I will tell them, “I will have nothing to do with you! Get out of my sight, you evil people!”

Okay. So you’re saved. You’ve gotten saved. That’s great! Way to go! But don’t stop there! Don’t keep on walking the broad and wide road that you’ve known all your life.  Go through the strait and narrow gate and start walking the highway that leads to Heaven.

If you’re counting on going to Heaven just because you’ve gotten saved and can therefore continue living like the heathen you’ve always been, the Lord’s got news for you. You’re not going to make it to Heaven if you don’t walk the strait and narrow. What road are you on?

Getting saved is the start of your journey. Where you end up depends on the road you choose to take. So choose wisely. YOU CAN CHOOSE THE ROAD YOU TAKE, BUT YOU CAN’T ALTER ITS FINAL DESTINATION. You will go where the road leads you.

In this sense, then, IT’S POSSIBLE TO KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING WHEN YOU DIE. TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT THE ROAD YOU’RE ON AND YOU’LL KNOW WHERE YOU’LL END UP.

2 Comments

  1. queenlorene said,

    February 15, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    This was amazing and scarey. I have a post coming out discussing what is wrong with the ABC’s of Christianity. It mirrors this. But I have to say that I fear I am still on the wide path despite my desire to go through the gate.

    • gaylorddiaz said,

      February 18, 2013 at 3:52 PM

      I look forward to reading the post when it comes out. Your godly concerns give me reason to be confident that you’ll end up on the strait and narrow–not so much because I’m confident in you, but rather, because I’m confident in the Lord’s love, care, and ability to take good care of you through all the storms, trials, temptations, and falls of life. I believe you are His and He will see you safely through.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: