by Tony Nester

The Road Less Traveled
Tony Nester
Matthew 7:13-14
(Matthew 7:13-14 NRSV) ""Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. {14} For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it."

Is Jesus narrow minded?

Some say that these verses from the Sermon on the Mount are proof that most people are going to Hell. The more we see of immorality, injustice, suffering and Godforsakenness in this world, the more we might think that the population of Hell will far outnumber the population of Heaven. There are many in the Christian Church who think so.

And yet we must always interpret Scripture by Scripture. And there are many passages that teach us to expect the triumph of God's grace over sin and evil, and that Heaven will be immeasurably larger than Hell.

In Revelation 7:9 the Bible tells us that the redeemed will be "a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands."

In Colossians 1:20 we read that through the saving work of Christ "God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross."

In Matthew 9:37-38 Jesus told his disciples to pray for God to send even more laborers into the fields because there was such abundant harvest to be reaped for salvation that they could not handle it all by themselves.

So when Jesus speaks about the narrow gate and the road less traveled he isn't narrowing down God's grace to a select or elite group of people while excluding others. As one the speakers at last week's Annual Conference reminded us, John Wesley, our founder, proclaimed that "All people need to be saved; all people can be saved; all people can be saved to the uttermost."

So why, then, does ...

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