Some years back, I preached at a prison and at the end was having an altar call. We need to ask people to make commitments in front of others. There is a principle where once others know of our commitment, we are more likely to keep it. On this day there was one man who accepted the invitation to give his life to Jesus.
After he came up, I started to test his resolve and prepare him for all that lay ahead. I remember telling him in front of everyone about how hard it was going to be as a Christian. How much he would be tempted to fall away. How his friends and family may turn against him. I remember asking him, “are you sure, are you really sure you want to do this”? He was! In that little prison chapel, this young man gave his life to Jesus.
Jesus never taught that the Christian life would be easy, and neither should we. Jesus said, “…difficult is the way which leads to life…” (Matthew 7:14).
The Christian life is not an easy path, but the right path. Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
The narrow path may be difficult, but the destination is to die for. “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
Too often we sugar-coat the Christian life and try to market it the same way the world sells its goods. We think we must soften the truth to get unbelievers to believe, but what have we done? How can we bring others to the truth of Christ while we are masking the truth? No wonder so many fall away. If we want people to trust in Christ, we must be truthful in how we present Him.
Jesus said the Father will draw people to Himself. “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44). It is our flesh that thinks we must market the Christ like a product, when only the Father can draw people to Him.
The reason so many Christians fall away is they were told a lie that the Christian life was easy. It is not easy. We need to prepare our brothers and sisters in Christ on how to persevere. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
Preach the narrow path and then let people decide for themselves. “Then one said to Him, ‘Lord, are there few who are saved?’ And He [Jesus] said to them, ‘Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.’” (Luke 13:23-24).
People complain that there is only one path to heaven. Instead, they should rejoice that there is a path to heaven. “Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me’” John 14:6 NLT).
Certainly, we will have peace and strength in Christ, but we will also suffer and go through many trials. We should never hide part of the truth, but tell the whole truth, that we would prepare new believers for their journey. Coming to Christ will not remove all their trials, but Jesus will help them to endure. The hope we have is not an easy life now but an everlasting life after.
Blessings to you,
All Scripture is quoted from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. Please use the version you prefer to review the verses shown here. The best version is the one you read. An even better version is the one you live.