Highway or Stairway

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At church one night a year or so ago the sermon focused on the idea of heaven being static in size but hell enlarging it’s borders to accommodate all who will end up there, the catch phrase the preacher used has stuck with me ever since.  He said there’s a reason there’s a highway to hell but just a stairway to heaven.  I don’t know why that phrase has been rattling in my head ever since but it has. Tonight as I was preparing for this post it came back to me when I read the passage below from Matthew.  I knew the Lord was answering my prayer for guidance so here it goes.

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.  Matthew 7:13-14

I think it speaks terrifying volumes that the gate to hell is wide!  Hell, the place of eternal torment and torture in separation from God the Creator, our Father in heaven who loves us and whom we are made in the image of.  It is a wide easy road to eternal destruction, one filled with shiny, pretty distractions, creature comforts, a seeming easy ride, that just happens to be paved with sin; such as disobedience, lies, deceit, immorality, complacency, apostasy.  Choose your road carefully, do not be led astray by the well worn easy path!

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Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.  Luke 13:23-24

The straight and narrow gate may not be as seemingly easy a path, with as many exciting things to distract and entertain us along the way but the reward at the end; well it’s gonna make all those flashing lights pale in comparison to the glory of heaven!

When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:  Luke 13:25

Jesus warns us that many will choose the easy road, with eternal consequences.  The will one day lift their eyes in hell and cry out in eternal anguish to the Lord whom they once rejected.

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Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:  Isaiah 55:6

And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?  Luke 6:46

A couple years ago my son was in a homeschool coop and one week the class was asked to name one of their biggest fears.  When his turn to answer came he answered with this verse from Matthew 7. I asked him about it after class and he said that is the scariest thing he could imagine.  I have to agree, those are words I never want to hear from my Lord and my Savior.

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.  Matthew 7:23

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Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.  Luke 13:26-27

Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping.  Psalms 6:8

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:  Matthew 25:41

I fear a great multitude will hear those dreaded words, will spend eternity in the everlasting fire, that literal lake of hell, eternally separated from the love and presence of God.  And to think that they choose that fate!  I pray that all would turn aside form the path of seeming ease and comfort, of fun and frivolity that really is anything but, step back from this world.  It is one thing to be in this world but we do not have to be of it, rushing headlong into the eternal flames of ceaseless destruction.

There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.  Luke 13:28

But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Matthew 8:12

And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Matthew 13:42

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Hell is going to be just that, the most horrific, scariest, terrifying, painful place – It’s hard to even imagine.  I can though, for most of my life before I was saved I felt the flames of that lake, the utter emptiness and tormenting pain, I dreamed of it most nights. They were so real, I could smell the smoke when I awoke, still feel the heat.  Some nights the hordes of Satan’s legion were after me, trying to keep me from hope, love, light. Some of my earliest memories are of such dreams, I was at most four, they continued until the day I gave my heart to Jesus and was saved.  Now that I belong to the Lord I got that old slew foot on the run, he ain’t getting this soul!  Anytime he gets after me I just rebuke him as my Lord did – Get thee behind me Satan!  Depart from me!

And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Matthew 24:51

And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.  Luke 13:29

And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 8:11

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And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.  Luke 13:30

But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.  Matthew 19:30

So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.  Matthew 20:16

But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.  Mark 10:31

See those who take the road less traveled, entering the narrow gate will be greatly rewarded.  Our journey’s aren’t for nought, they are training, shaping, refining us.  Providing us opportunities to do the Lord’s work, to walk the path’s he lays before us.  Those path’s aren’t always easy but they are wonderful; blessed with love, hope, light, life, richness of spirit, true peace and joy – even during the trials and tribulations we may face along the way.

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By the way the verse he was using to make his point about hell was this one:

Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.  Proverbs 27:20

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