Monday, February 24, 2014

The Road That Leads To Heaven

The Road That Leads To Heaven

Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, an follow Me,” Luke 9:23.

 On another occasion Jesus said, “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 that find it,” Matthew 7:13-14.

Isaiah says to us, “A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it.” Isa. 35:8

From these texts of Scripture we lean that the road that leads to heaven must be entered through the narrow gate. The narrow gate leads to a road that is narrow and difficult to walk. Those who enter the narrow gate and who walk on the narrow and difficult road must deny themselves, take up their cross (die to self) and follow Christ. Finally, those who travel on this road walk on a highway that is called “The Highway of Holiness.”

Those who desire to reach Celestial City, as John Bunyan calls it, must come by the road that Jesus and the Scriptures have pointed us to. Those who make it to glory (because of the sovereign grace of God) will be able to say like Robert Frost, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood. And I, I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference.”

The Lord tells us in Ezekiel 18:21, and 31, “But if a wicked man turns from his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.” “Cast away from you all transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?

It is God’s grace alone that gives us a new heart and a willingness to take up the cross and set our feet on the Calvary road.

Bishop J. C. Ryle from England made the following observations of the life of those who found the right road to glory.

This is the road that saints of old have trodden in, and left their record on high.

.         When Moses refused the pleasures of sin in Egypt, and chose affliction with the people of God, this was overcoming he overcame the love of pleasure.
·           When Micaiah refused to prophesy smooth things to king Ahab, though he knew he would be persecuted if he spoke the truth, this was overcoming; he overcame the love of ease.
·          When Daniel refused to give up praying, though he knew the den of lions was prepared for him, this was overcoming; he overcame the fear of death.
·           When Matthew rose from the receipt of custom at our Lord’s bidding, left all and followed Him, this was overcoming, he overcame the love of money.
·           When Peter and John stood up boldly before the council and said, ‘We cannot but speak the things we have seen and heard,’ this was overcoming; they overcame the fear of man.
·           When Saul the Pharisee gave up all his prospects of preferment among the Jews, and preached that very Jesus whom he had once persecuted, this was overcoming, he overcame the love of man’s praise.

The same kind of thing, which these men did, you must also do if you would be saved. They were men of like passions with yourself, and yet they overcame. They had as many trials as you can possibly have, and yet they overcame. They fought. They wrestled. They struggled. You must do the same.”

Are you on the right road?” a sign says on I-75 in Michigan. The road that leads to heaven is a road that calls us to holiness, discipleship, to obedience, to dying to self, to self-sacrifice, and sometimes to a life of loneliness and misunderstanding. May the Lord’s grace put your feet on the road that leads to heaven.

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