Moving along in life
There’s a story about a guy who ran every red light because that’s what his brother did and who sat at every green light because his brother might be coming down the cross street. I was at a stoplight once at the back of the line. When the light turned green, we all started forward, but the fellow driving the car at the front decided to turn left and stopped, although we weren’t in the turn lane. We all stopped in time, but another guy, who had breezed through the previous light, saw only green and maintained the 45 mph speed limit until he rear-ended me – that was a mess.
Roads are dangerous. Actually, roads are innocuous (at least the roads we drive our cars and trucks on are harmless). People are dangerous in the way they drive. We need to realize that we are on one of the two roads of life as well and one of those roads is eternally harmful, even though it’s the road most of us choose to take (Matthew 7: 13, 14).
Travelers on the broad road to destruction run over each other frequently. Even on the narrow road to eternal life, we may get run over because there are many intersections with the broad road (which seems to always have – or take – the right-of-way) and someone on that road will run us over. They don’t stop at the red lights that warn of impending doom (Galatians 5: 19-21; Jeremiah 22: 21; Hebrews 12: 25; 1 Corinthians 10: 1-13). Lights on the broad road are always red but those travelers are color blind and can’t tell red from green (2 Thessalonians 2: 9-12). Lights on the narrow road are always green because everything but sin is, “Yes,” in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 1: 18-22; 1 Corinthians 12: 23, 24; Romans 3: 8; 6: 1-5).
Both roads are one way; you always make a right turn from the broad road onto the narrow road and a left turn from the narrow road onto the broad road. Sadly, Christians sometimes take the left turn onto the broad road and run over other Christians. I have occasionally caught myself going down the streets of life with my left turn signal on. We must be careful to not follow through on that signal and turn left onto the broad road to destruction (Hebrews 2: 1-3) because it’s very smooth in the direction of travel; but, it’s deeply rutted making it difficult to take the right turn back onto the road to eternal life. (Ever drive down the railroad tracks and try to get your car out of the way when a train approaches? Neither have I, but you get the picture.) Consequently, we must always stay on the narrow road and clear the intersection with the broad road as soon as possible.
We might consider the intersection of the narrow road and the broad road as times of temptation or sin. Clearing the intersection during temptation is taking the way out God provides by simply proceeding with caution on the narrow road (1 Corinthians 15: 33; Matthew 26: 41). Clearing the intersection when we’ve sinned involves getting forgiveness (1 John 1: 5-9; yes, Christians do sin and it’s a sin to not admit that truth; but, that’s the topic of another article). When non-Christians get forgiveness and become Christians (Acts 2: 38, 39; 22: 16), they make a right turn from the broad road to destruction onto the narrow road of eternal life.
Throughout history, God has said that, while he forgets our sin when we repent and turn to righteousness he also forgets our righteousness when we sin (Ezekiel 18: 20-24; Revelation 2: 10; 2 Peter 2: 20, 21; 3: 17, 18). It’s somewhat different for Christians whose pattern of life is walking in the light because that does include continuing to seek forgiveness. Still, regarding 2 Peter 3:17, our preacher said recently that you can’t fall from a place you’ve never been. People can have the eternal security of salvation and lose it because they haven’t remained faithful as Christians. We must never forget that we were forgiven when we were baptized and we’ll continue to be forgiven as Christians, if we but ask (2 Peter 1: 3-11). It’s that simple.
I heard another preacher say once and I agree that if we’re not living life on the edge as a Christian, we’re taking up too much space. If we’re sitting still in our Christian life, we’re taking up too much space and may well get run over. Let’s move along in life, growing up in our salvation (Ephesians 4: 11-16; Philippians 2: 12, 13; 3: 13-16; 2 Thessalonians 1: 2-4).