THE NARROW WAY TO HEAVEN
“And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” [1Pet 4:18]
The way to Heaven is a “narrow” one and the entrance to it is “strait,” and few there be that find it (Matthew 7:13, 14). Because that way is “narrow,” opposed to all the inclinations of flesh and blood, Christ bids us to “sit down and count the cost” (Luke 14:31) before we start out. THE “COST” IS FAR TOO HIGH FOR ALL WHO HAVE NEVER HAD A MIRACLE OF GRACE WROUGHT WITHIN THEM, for it includes the cutting off of a right hand and the plucking out of a right eye (Matthew 5:29, 30).
That is why 1 Peter 4:18 asks, “IF THE RIGHTEOUS SCARCELY BE SAVED (or “with difficulty be saved”) where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear”! Few indeed are, like Moses, willing to pay the “cost.” Alas, the vast majority, even in Christendom, are like Esau (Heb. 12:16) or the Gadarenes (Mark 5:14, 15) —they prefer to indulge the flesh rather than deny it.
The difficulty of salvation, or the “straitness” of the gate and the “narrowness” of the way which leadeth into Life, was strikingly prefigured by the alluring temptations and carnal obstacles which had to be overcome by Moses. As we pointed out in our last article, his noble decision not only involved the leaving of Pharaoh’s palace, the apparent ingratitude toward his foster-mother, the ignoring of the precedent set up by Joseph; but, it also meant the throwing in his lot with a despised people, enduring all the discomforts and hardships of their wilderness wanderings, and the bringing down upon his head not only the contempt of his former associates, but having to endure the murmurings and criticisms of the Hebrews themselves. Ah, my reader, such a choice as Moses made was altogether contrary to flesh and blood, and can be accounted for only on the ground that a miracle of Divine grace had been wrought within him.
As our Lord declared, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
From what has been said above, is it not unmistakably evident that as great a distance as that which separates heaven from earth divides Scriptural “Conversion” from that which goes under the name of “conversion” in the vast majority of the so-called “churches” today!
A genuine and saving Conversion is a radical and revolutionary experience. It is vastly more than the taking up of a sound creed, believing what the Bible says about Christ, or joining some religious assembly. It is something which strikes down to the very roots of a man’s being, causing him to make an unreserved surrender of himself to the claims of God, henceforth seeking to please and glorify Him. This issues, necessarily, in a complete break from the world, and the former manner of life; in other words, “if any man be in Christ, he is new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).