The Many and the Few
The Bible is a wonderful book that contains many inspiring, beautiful and uplifting things. It also contains some very difficult statements and passages. If we are going to take the former, then we must take the latter. The Book is meant for us. As Paul states in his second letter to Timothy, “all Scripture is breathed by God and useful for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness.”
Therefore, we are required to deal with passages such as Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
I know when I have read this passage, I have softened it in my mind, and thought of it as a warning, and that, well, the few are actually quite a lot and the many aren’t all that many. Listening to sermons by Edwards and Whitefield (“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” and “The Means of Grace,” respectively (See posts 1, 2, and 3)) have disabused that notion, and it saddens me to consider that many of the brilliant, beautiful, wealthy, athletic and talented people that we tend to look up to are likely part of that group known as the many entering the wide gate.
I think of the great art, music, stories, buildings, research that have been created by people who hate God, all the while testifying to Him through the use of their gifts. Because I enjoy and appreciate and benefit from the work of their hands, I pray that God finds and enjoys faith in their souls.
A lifetime sounds like a long time, until you’ve lived it, and many don’t get what we would consider the full measure, yet that is all the time for someone to consider a once in eternity offer. It seems that would be the priority for our time—to try it out and see if it is worth our souls and eternity. But it is so intangible for most of us. The beauty and majesty and fun of this world blinds us so easily to what awaits us next.
I am fully confident that I am among the few, but I wish that it was many. My confidence is not from arrogance that I’m good enough for God, but that I take Him at His word that I’m not, and therefore need and accept His promise of acceptance through Christ. If I can’t trust the words of that promise, then I am bound for either Hell or worms anyway. But I can trust those words and so I do, come what may.
We didn’t have a choice to be born, or when or where our lives would start. We do have a choice in how we ultimately end, and that is the most important one we can make. There is no curve and the final has just one question. Our answer either closes our lab forever or gives us unlimited research funding to explore the mysteries of the universe, guided by the One who did it all.