Matthew 7:13-14 Go in by the narrow door; for wide is the door and open is the way which goes to destruction, and great numbers go in by it. For narrow is the door and hard the road to life, and only a small number make discovery of it. (BBE=Bible in Basic English)
The words we read above are not just the inspired writings of the Holy Spirit through Matthew (and they are such words), but they are the words of our Lord Jesus Christ speaking while on the earth as the God-Man. During a little over one full year, I drove 18-wheeler trucks over the road in this country. I found myself on all types of roads, from interstate highways to state highways and even rural roads. I found the roads that were wide to be the easiest to navigate and also they would always have the most traffic on them. However, the narrow roads were hard and difficult to navigate and I would always find little to no traffic on them. I can vividly remember one trip through Colorado where I encountered a very narrow road in the mountains that was very dangerous and hard to drive. I had to be attentive to every sharp turn and watch my gages constantly. I had to leave all other things as the radio, sightseeing, eating and drinking, etc. in order that I might fully concentrate on the narrow mountain road I was on to avoid disaster.
Our Lord is telling us that many people will travel the wide spiritual road that appears to lead to eternal life, but it does not, while at the same time few people will find the narrow spiritual road to life in Him because it requires us to forsake all and follow Him. It is not enough for someone to tell you that you are a Christian, but it is more important for you to know it for yourself. Church membership, attendance, baptism, etc. can never give a soul the assurance of their eternal condition. I never met any of the following people below, but I found these quotes from them. I included these in this piece that my Lord Jesus told me to write because many well-meaning people want to see all people saved. I want to see all people saved. Most of all God wants to see all people saved. However, only through Jesus Christ can any person be saved.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (NKJV)
PETER KREEFT (professor of philosophy at Boston College): “We can and should investigate and learn from the wisdom in other religions” (Peter Kreeft Ecumenical Jihad p.79). “Allah is not another God...we worship the same God”(Peter Kreeft Ecumenical Jihad p.30). “The same God! The very same God we worship in Christ is the God the Jews-and the Muslims-worship.” (Ibid. p. 160)
ROBERT SCHULLER (Crystal Cathedral): “We know the things the major faiths can agree on. We try to focus on those without offending those with different viewpoints, or without compromising the integrity of my own Christian commitment” (USA Today, March 23, 1989.) “It's time for Protestants to go to the shepherd [Pope]. Schuller has stated “if he came back in 100 years and found his descendants Muslims, it wouldn't bother him....” (Robert Schuller, comments on the Papal visit, LA, 1987) "The Christ Spirit dwells in every human being, whether the person knows it or not." (Robert Schuller, Possibilities Magazine, Summer 1986, pg.12)
Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (KJV)
You know while surfing the web, I came across the story of Carlton D. Pearson. It surprised me and saddened me all at the same time. He of course was at one time a highly respected and loved Pentecostal Preacher who stated that he received an epiphany from God that hell was not a place of eternal torment as he had been taught all of his life growing up in the Church. I could feel the pain and anguish in his words pouring out of his heart as he thought of his grandparents who were once faithful Pentecostal Pastors, but backslide into alcohol and a partying lifestyle and it made him mad with his grandparents and with God to think that they might be in hell. It is extremely difficult to remain here on the earth and not be sure if those you loved for so long and so much might not be with Jesus Christ, but instead confined to hell. I personally understand that grief and anguish of heart for those you loved so dearly. I often find myself wondering if some of my loved ones were truly born-again or not. However, I am confident that if they were born of the Spirit, it does not matter what took place at the end of their lives.
John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. (NKJV)
John 10 27-30 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. I and My Father are one." (NKJV)
Everyone that the Father draws to Jesus Christ will be with Him forever. However, I believe the first mistake in Mr. Pearson’s belief was that his grandparents lost their salvation because they backslide into sin. I believe one of the most tragic teachings in the Church, any Church, is to teach that a soul redeemed by the Blood of Jesus Christ can lose that redemption. However, this can and does happen easily when we falsely believe that we play some part in our salvation. If we have our own faith to put in Jesus Christ, then we can take that faith away or lose our faith and be eternally lost. But the Word of God does not teach this and this incorrect teaching is what pushed Mr. Pearson to see God as cruel and insensitive and thus opened him to seducing spirits to speak lies into his heart. Mr. Pearson now believes in Universalism. It is the teaching that everyone will ultimately end up in heaven no matter what they believe or how they live here on the earth. It is true that all religions believe that they will be with God after death, but the God of their observance is not the One True God Jesus Christ as He is revealed in the Scripture, Old and New Testament. Universalism sadly is not true and it is not what our Lord Jesus Christ taught.
2 Corinthians 11:3-4 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted --- you may well put up with it! (NKJV)
The seducing spirits come with another Jesus (a false Jesus) of demonic origin imitating the true Christ (empowered by the spirit of antichrist already in the world) and pervert the gospel by undermining the justice of the true Christ Jesus. The other Jesus wants the love of God to overrule the justice of God. They both are equal and one cannot and will not overrule the other. Therefore, I encourage those brothers and sisters of mine in Christ’s Body to never be ashamed of the true Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. I also would like to warn every soul reading this that does not have the assurance in their heart of intimacy with Jesus Christ to seek Him with all your heart and He (Christ) will give you the greatest gift, Himself and you will know that you know. Jesus Christ is infinite love and complete justice and He will never force your will. I pray that every soul reading this on the wide road to come over to the narrow road.
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Read more articles by Clifford Tate or search for articles on the same topic or others.