February 12, 2007, Enterprise Dispatch
Pastor's Column

It’s a matter of choice

Rev. Keith E. Carlson, Evangelical Covenant Church, Dassel

This week, I would like to share with you what Jesus said about following Him.

A few years ago, I did a study of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and noticed that He says many things in that passage about how God wants His people to live. Especially concerning the issue of following and making choices, these words from Matthew 7:13-14 are important:

“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.”

The Lord was sharing with a multitude of people around Him about how one enters into His Kingdom. In so doing, Jesus explains that there is a choice to be made during our lifetime that is very important. This is a choice that has eternal consequences.

It is very easy to let the choices we make in our lives become routine. There are so many we make each day – choices like when to get up, what to eat, what to wear, etc.

But, among all the choices we make, there is one that, in Jesus’s words, is the most important. It is the choice of how we will respond to God’s call to follow Him.

According to these verses, Jesus is wondering if we will choose to walk through the narrow gate that leads to life or choose to walk through the wide gate that leads to destruction. Jesus is telling us that what seems to be the easiest and most rewarding choice at the moment is not necessarily the right choice.

There are many tempting and appealing choices that Satan places before us that would divert us away from the narrow road, which Jesus says leads to life. It is intriguing that Jesus calls the way to eternal life a narrow road, or narrow gate, as though we have to travel very carefully.

I recall driving to visit someone who lived in the country. As I drove on the gravel roads to find their place, I came to a very narrow old bridge that crossed a river. It was such a narrow bridge that the county had posted a sign announcing that it was a single lane and only one car could pass through at a time.

So it is with the gate that Jesus says leads to life. I believe that this gate is only as wide as one person, Jesus Christ, and it is through Him and Him only that we can enter the kingdom of God and receive eternal life.

The Apostle Peter affirms this truth in one of his first opportunities to testify about the risen Lord when he said: “And now there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

It is my hope and prayer that as you make many choices throughout the days to come, you will take time to consider the most important choice of all. Will you follow Jesus?

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