In 2020 a survey was completed by Life-way Research that reported 85% of Americans believe there is something more to life than this present world. That means only 1 out of 170 peoples think that when they die the will cease to exist. Our life experiences have taught us this principle of cause and effect. We understand that something does not come from nothing.
So, when people think about the universe they realize the universe didn’t just pop into existence from some subatomic particles that cannot be explained. The truth is intelligent people understand that there is something we don’t understand. There is something beyond us.
Most of us believe there is more to life than the present world. That is why Life-way Research reported the 85% of Americans agree that belief. In another poll by Roper Center reported that 80% believe in heaven and 67% believe in hell. They also reported that 84% believe their going to heaven when they die. The survey even reported that majority of atheists believe there is something beyond this present world and 80% believe in heaven.
The Wide Gate And The Narrow Gate
Now I want to ask you a question, “ Do you also think you are going to heaven?” Most people think they are going to heaven, including everyone who thinks they are a Christian. But the sad truth is that Jesus said that is not true. Do you remember Jesus’s teaching in the Sermon on the Mount about a wide road and a narrow road? This illustration can be found in Matthew 7:13-14. There Jesus said,
Enter through the narrow gate: for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.Matthew 7:13-14
In this illustration, the gates are adjusted to size of the roads. The second gate is wide and so is the road. That road leads to destruction. The Greek word for “destruction” can be translated as “ruin or wasted.” People on that road will be ruined. It refers to hell. The first gate is narrow and small. The Greek word for narrow is different in verse 14. It is thilbo. It refers to a compressed way or difficult path. T is like a road with high cliffs on each side. Jesus’s message is that this road is difficult to travel. Yet, it is the only one that leads to life- eternal life. Now Jesus did not use this word just to make illustration interesting. He wants us to know what life is like for anyone who travels this road. Then He added there are few who find it. So, are you on the road to heaven? Or are you traveling this road? There are several reasons who people think they are on the road to eternal life.
Seeking Jesus With Wrong Motives
The one reason some people think they are on the road to heaven is that they believe in Jesus, but they came to Jesus with wrong motives. For example, If someone says they have come to Jesus and became a Christian because it would make them wealthy many who say this are unhappy with God because money was not flowing into their bank account. Other people have claimed to become Christians believing that God would fix their marriage, finances, sickness, give them mental peace, or help them have a joyful life. Some people have been deceived into thinking God would bless then in some other way if they just become a Christian. So, who would be vain as to reject that type of offer? Sadly, they have missed John 6:26-27 which tells us,
Jesus answered them and said “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endured to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.John 6:26-27
This passage tells us that Jesus was speaking to a group of people who had seen Jesus’s miracle of the feeding the five thousand. After the miracle Jesus escaped from their presence and later these people found Him. In this passage we are told they were seeking Jesus in order to have their personal wants satisfied. Notice that Jesus rebuked them for only one reason. They were seeking Him with the wrong motives. There are wrong reasons to seek Jesus.
The reason such pate not on the road to heaven is that their faith in Jesus is not real. In 1 Corinthians 15:2 the Apostle Paul warned the people attending the church in the ancient city of Corinth that they might have vain faith. Here is Paul’s warning,
…by which also you are saved, if you half fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.1 Corinthians 15:2
When Paul said they might have vain faith, he meant their faith did not save them. That is, you can have faith in Christ, but it may not save you. The verses that follow suggest that those with vain faith did not fully understand the facts of the gospel- why Christ died and was resurrected,
One example of vain faith is found in Acts 8:13 tells us about a man names Simon Magus. We are told he believed in Christ and was baptized. But in verse 20 Peter said to Simon was going to perish. Peter’s comment reveals Simon Magus did not have faith. His faith was not real. He wanted to use the power of the Holy Spirit like some magic trick. He had the wrong motivation for professing faith in Christ. Sadly, many people profess to be a Christian for the wrong reason.
Seeking Jesus With Correct Motives
So what is the correct reason to become a Christian? The correct reason is to have your sins forgiven. In the next two verses Paul explained the essence of true faith. He said,
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He raised on the third day according to the Scriptures1 Corinthians 15:3-4
Paul’s message is that truth faith believes Christ was also resurrected and responds by wanting one’s sins to be forgiven.That is the correct motivation. These people are the one’s who are on the narrow road to eternal life.