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Making the way broad
- Jacob Ninan
When man disobeyed God and lost his access to God, God paid the price through suffering and death to make the way for man to come back to God. Since God is the One who made this way, and He has declared that there is no other way to get to Him (Jn.14:6;Ac.4:12), there is no place for us to define additions or modifications. If we want to go to God we need to know the way God has declared and go that way, and if we want others to come with us we must show them also the same way as exactly as we can. But then we come across this disturbing fact that not many are interested in walking in this way, and that most people are only interested in having a good time on earth even though ultimately they are going to miss God (Mt.7:13). Then we are tempted to wish things were not as 'difficult' as they are in fact, and then try and make them a little bit easier for people. So many times what the people hear is not the way that God has made, but some man's revised version. But are people going to be able to enter into God's kingdom through such bypass roads?
Being born again is a supernatural, spiritual work God does in a human being. This is not a mechanical process that happens automatically when we do certain religious things. But when God actually does this work in a person, everyone can begin to see the changes in that person's life like fruit coming out of a tree. Some fruit may be seen in a short time, but some over a longer period of time. What is important to note is that if these changes are not seen even after a period of time, we have to recognise that no real rebirth has taken place in that life. If we are the ones who have shown him the way, we will be guilty of having misled him, with eternal implications.
Preachers are only human beings, and they are tempted to expect great results from their work, and they may be also looking for fame, recognition, respect, honour, position and even wealth to come from their preaching. Or they may not want to make their 'way' look hard or narrow. So they modify their message to make it more pleasant to the hearers. They omit mentioning the coming judgment for sin, an eternity in hell, and the finality of a man's choice on earth without any remedy after death. They make things simpler by just asking people to raise their hands, come forward, sign a slip, repeat a prayer or get baptised, and then assure all who have followed such instructions that they have now become children of God! How tragic!
Many leaders preach this because they themselves have not known anything better.
But the day of judgment is certainly coming when the books will be opened, and those whose names are not found in the book of life will be thrown into the lake of fire where they will be forever (Re.20:15). Of course, many are going to scream and resist at that time with no avail. But what do we think will happen to others who misguided these ones with broad and easy ways assuring them with promises?