(Article for publication week of 12-17-2008 AD)
“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). In this passage our Lord Jesus Christ is illustrating for us the doctrine of true conversion. And the very first thing we notice in the text is our Lord’s urgency in calling men to the narrow way.
My friends, I want to press upon your minds this week the great urgency of salvation. These words of our Lord Jesus Christ have a note of awful urgency about them. It is an urgent matter for you to attend to, the state of your never dying soul. Our Lord says here that conversion is an urgent matter, for if you are not converted by getting through the gate that leads to life, you are headed for eternal destruction. It is apparent that our Lord is speaking here of eternal destruction in hell for we read on in the rest of Matthew chapter 7 about unfruitful trees being hewn down and cast into the fire (Verse 19). Further down (verses 21-23) our Lord tells us of a great Day of Judgment when false professors must hear their awful doom, “depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Do I seem as one who speaks as idle tales to you? Oh! My friends please do not dismiss me as a crank. I am labouring for your never dying soul and beseeching you to consider the urgency of getting out of the broad way that leads down to hell, and entering through the strait gate into the narrow way that leads to heaven. Heaven and hell are not idle tales. Heaven is a real place where the saved by grace shall live in eternal bliss with the Lord Jesus Christ. Hell is a real place where multitudes are already weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth. Hell is a real place where you will spend eternity unless you are truly converted to Christ. Unless you go through Christ the Door to be saved you must spend eternity in hell.
If I were you I would not do anything else until I had found the way of salvation and entered in. What is more urgent than the state of your soul? Will you be like Felix who would wait for a more convenient season to be saved? (Acts 24:25). As far as we know that poor sinner never found a convenient time to call for the Apostle Paul to come back and tell him the way of salvation through Christ. Paul laboured for Felix’ soul as I am for yours and told Felix of the Dear Saviour Who is able, willing and ready to save the chief of sinners and Felix trembled but waited for a more convenient season. He waited too late and as far as I know that old sinner has been in hell well nigh two thousand years now. Oh! I think I hear Felix cry from the burning pit for a convenient season, but he will never have another opportunity to hear Paul preach Christ again. His doom is sealed for eternity and so will yours be unless you get through the gate that leads to life, and that gate is Christ himself.
Or will you be like Agrippa who was “almost persuaded “ to become a Christian (Acts 26:28). Like Agrippa some of you are almost a Christian , but you are still lost. You have been shown the way of salvation but you have never entered in by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. “Almost but lost” will be your cry as God casts you into hell. I weep as I consider how awful the day of judgment will be for most of you. You are “almost” a Christian. You have your church membership (and that is good if you are saved and are a member of a Bible believing church), but you have never gotten through the gate of conversion. Some of you read these articles every week and you have been almost persuaded, but you are still lost. Some of you may have a faithful pastor who calls on you faithfully to come to Christ, but you have told yourself you’re all right but deep down inside you know things still are not right between you and Christ. Some of you have heard a man of God warn sinners of lost profession and you said to yourself, “he must be talking about my neighbour“, but friend he was talking about you! Salvation is too urgent to wait for a convenient season or be almost persuaded. Repent and come to Christ now is my urgent call to you today.