When I was much younger, I used to have a uniquely funny imagination of heaven. I had just read the words, ‘Strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it’. I was scared! At that point, I made up my mind that when I died (at the ripe old age of 120), I would ensure that my soul remained stable on the ‘straight’ road to heaven, so I won’t slip off and fall into the eternal flames of hell. I also told myself that I would try as much as possible to squeeze myself through the narrow singular gate to heaven, peradventure, with patience, I would find a way through. And you thought I was smart!
As I grew more matured with age, I discovered some basic truths about this whole Heaven and Hell business:
1. God did not make Hell for human inhabitation. It was meant as a centre of punishment for the devil and his cohorts. However, God loved, and still loves man so much that He gave man the freedom of choice. Thus, where man would spend eternity is a by-product of his choices while he was alive on earth. And by that, a man can partake of the punishment meant for the devil and his demons.
2. If you have time to read through the Book of Revelations in the Bible, you’d discover that Heaven is soooooo big. So big that if every individual from the time when man was created till the end of time itself were to have a mightily large mansion each, there would still be ample space left. Why then would God make Heaven this big, if He only planned to allow a few people to trickle in? Arbitrariness and disorganization are not part of God’s characteristics. Reading carefully through the book of Revelations, we find that at the end of time, the population of Heaven would be so much more than that of Hell. People from all tongues, tribes, nations and colour are going to be in Heaven. Hell is a crammed up place. It is a place of population explosion, so to speak, because the ‘resources’ of Hell were only meant to ‘cater’ for satan and his demons, not man!
3. Also, from the book of Revelations, you’d discover that Heaven has 12 extremely large gates that are ALWAYS open. What’s more, it’s God’s earnest desire for all to make Heaven. His Spirit continually cries out to us, non-stop, ‘Come, come, come’.
Phew! Now that is settled, why did Jesus say, ‘Strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it’???
The world is under a great bondage that majority are unaware of. The Bondage is UNGUIDED FREEDOM. A guy and a girl that like each other start living together as husband and wife without bothering to get married. When the going gets rough, they simply walk out of each other’s lives and move on. Nowadays, the rate of divorces are so much such that a marriage now seems to be the prerequisite for a divorce. In the name of freedom, an individual that finds himself in an exalted position decides that the next item on his agenda is to siphon his organization’s funds to some personal foreign back account. People now indulge their apetites and massage their egos at the expense of their souls.
What Jesus had in mind by the ‘straight’ gate and ‘narrow’ way can be summarized into one word: DISCIPLINE. In order to get the very best out of life, we have to subject our natural instictive desires and apetites to that which is right. When one’s highly disciplined, he is bordered all around by the right principles and guidelines. In that way, he’s prevented from staggering through life without a due sense of responsibility. The narrow way is not the popular way (Check my write up on ‘The Novel Way’ http://www.promisetewogbola.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/63/) and this is why Jesus said only a few find it. Only a few are willing to subject themselves to a disciplined lifestyle.
The narrow way is tough. People would snicker at you. They would taunt you and scoff at you. But at the end there’s an abundance of life in its superfluity. Choose the Narrow Way. It’s worth it.