The Road Less Traveled
In 1916, a poetry collection by Robert Frost was published called Mountain Interval. The first poem in that collection was a poem by the title of The road not taken. The lyrics to that poem are as follows:
The road not taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
Approximately 1,920 years earlier, the Jewish Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) talked about 2 gates leading to 2 different roads. One gate was wide and broad and many people would chose to travel on it. It was called the gate of destruction. You may remember the word ἀπώλειαapōleia from some of my other posts. It literally means punishment, eternal destruction, and damnation.
In a word, hell.
Many people will choose the road of destruction – many people will choose the road that leads to hell. It will be well traveled. It will be preferable.
Matthew 7:13 (CJB)
13 “Go in through the narrow gate;
for the gate that leads to destruction
is wide and the road broad,
and many travel it;
Why would they do this? Why would they choose to do this? What is it about the other gate, the alternative gate, that is so repulsive that they would choose destruction and hell over it? What is so horrifying about this other gate that people would choose death rather than travel on the road it leads to?
We know that the gate is narrow.
We know that the narrow gate leads to a hard road.
We know that the narrow gate is hard to find.
We know that the narrow gate leads to life.
Matthew 7:14 (CJB)
14 but it is a narrow gate
and a hard road
that leads to life,
and only a few find it.
What is so terrible about a narrow gate that leads to life, that most would willingly pick death and hell rather than search for it? Rather than enter through it?
Yeshua (Jesus) give us the answer in a similar teaching to the one in Mattityahu (Matthew). Let’s look at part of His teaching before he does (for context):
Luke 13:23-25 (CJB)
23 Someone asked him,
“Are only a few people being saved?”
24 He answered,
“Struggle to get in through the narrow door,
because — I’m telling you! — many will be demanding to get in
and won’t be able to,
25 once the owner of the house
has gotten up and shut the door.
You will stand outside, knocking at the door and saying,
‘Lord! Open up for us!’
But he will answer,
‘I don’t know you or where you come from!’
Here is where Yeshua (Jesus) gives us the answer:
Luke 13:26-27 (CJB)
26 Then you will say,
‘We ate and drank with you!
You taught in our streets!’
27 and he will tell you,
‘I don’t know where you’re from.
Get away from me, all you workers of wickedness!’
The final line of the final verse says much – it answers much. In it is the word wickedness in this translation. It is a translation of the word ἀδικίαadikia which means injustice, wrong, wrongdoing, unjust – literally, unrighteousness.
If you remember in the recent post YES! One man CAN make a difference!, God flooded the world, God did not spare the angels that sinned, and God condemned S’dom and ‘Amora as a WARNING to those in the future that would live UN-godly lives – unrighteous lives. However, he spared Noach (Noah) because he was a preacher of righteousness – just the opposite of unrighteousness.
In the post right after that (Cause & Effect), we see that God also rescued Lot. Why? Because Lot was also a righteous man (again, the opposite of unrighteous).
You see, the road less traveled, the road to life, will be that way because it will be a narrow gate that is hard to find. It will be a narrow door that is a struggle to enter. The word struggleis a translation of the Greek word ἀγωνίζομαιagōnizomai which can be explained with the words strive, contend, enter a contest. It is a struggle for virtue and truth – a military battle. Not an easy thing. Not a small thing. It is hard.
It will require commitment to enter this gate. It will be a hard road to travel. It will be a hard door to open. It will be difficult. It will be a battle. A contest that you win (heaven) or lose (hell).
Few will find it. Few will want to . . .
And so that there is no mistake, calling yourself a Christian or Messianic won’t be enough. Prophesying in His name won’t be enough. Expelling demons in His name won’t be enough. Performing many miracles in His name won’t be enough . . .
Matthew 7:21-23 (CJB)
21 “Not everyone who says to me,
‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven,
only those who do what my Father in heaven wants.
22 On that Day, many will say to me,
‘Lord, Lord! Didn’t we prophesy in your name?
Didn’t we expel demons in your name?
Didn’t we perform many miracles in your name?’
23 Then I will tell them to their faces,
‘I never knew you!
Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’
It will be a hard road and a struggle because people do NOT want to give up their worldly lives. They choose their worldliness over what their Father in heaven wants. They do not want to give up their secular music. They do not want to give up their secular movies. They do not want to give up their abortions. They do not want to give up their homosexuality. They do not want to give up their divorces. They do not want to give up their NFL even though most of what it stands for is a blatant disregard of God’s wants for mankind.
I am going to do some preemptive rationalization (making the unreasonable sound reasonable) busting right now . . .
You are to Be Holy because I am Holy . . . ring any bells? To say that James Bond having sex on the big screen is okay for a believer is equivalent to saying that it is also Holy . . . Really?!? Is this what you have rationalized that the Father in heaven wants you to do?!? To say listening to Ozzy Osborne is a matter of conscience is the same as saying that Ozzy’s music is Holy – that this is what you Father in heaven wants you to do . . . again, Really?!? To say that NFL cheerleaders in their outfits which promote only one thing is what the Father in heaven wants is ludicrous. To say that idolizing a particular football player or team is okay with God or what God wants is the worst form of self-deception – the worst form of rationalization. To do this you have to literally say that idolizing a football team or secular artist or secular movie star is Holy unto God.
It is not!!! It is loving the world pure-and-simple.
It is concerning ourselves with the things of man (worldliness) instead of concerning ourselves with the things of God (Holiness).
To be worldly is to be lawless. To be worldly is to be wicked. To be worldly is to hate God. Think I’m wrong?
1 John 2:15 (CJB)
15 Do not love the world
or the things of the world.
If someone loves the world,
then love for the Father is not in him;
I know that this is an uncomfortable for many of you right now, maybe most of you.
Some of you may call yourself Christian or Messianic and think you can love the world and love God with no consequences.
I am here to tell you that you can’t!
The flood was real!
The punishment of the angels that sinned was real!
The destruction of S’dom and ‘Amora was real!
It was done as a warning to those in the future that would live worldly lives – UNgodly lives.
To try to love God and the world at the same time is the same as trying to go through the broad gate and the narrow gate at the same time. It is impossible!
It is about 2 choices. Broad or narrow. Hard or easy. Worldly or Holy.
One or the other – not BOTH! You can not be complacent in your spiritual lives because it makes Him want to puke!
Revelation 3:15-16 (CJB)
15 “I know what you are doing:
you are neither cold nor hot.
How I wish you were either one or the other!
16 So, because you are lukewarm,
neither cold nor hot,
I will vomit you out of my mouth!
only those who do what my Father in heaven wants
So here we stand at the gates where the two roads diverge . . .
Most will enter (or already have) the broad gate leading to the wide road – the easy road – the road where wickedness and lawlessness is nothing more than a matter of conscience. Pagans are not the only ones going down this road. Churches go down this road, Shuls go down this road, Synagogues go down this road. Pastors, Christians, Rabbis, and Messianics go down this road. Israel goes down this road. America goes down this road.
This is the secular gate – the worldly gate . . . it is concerned with human standards and not godly ones. It leads to destruction. It leads to hell . . . and sadly, most will choose this road and even prefer it. They will do this to their own destruction.
The narrow gate is hard to find and leads to a hard road. It is concerned with godly standards and not human ones. Few will enter this road because few want to do what my Father in heaven wants. Few think the struggle is worth it if they have to give up the worldly things they love like secular movies, secular music and their hero worship of their teams and sports heroes to concentrate on what the Father in heaven wants.
So again, we stand at the gates where the two roads diverge.
Which road will YOU take?
As for me and my house, we choose to take the Road less traveled . . .