the wide and narrow way20-07-2015 - Posted by Andre Piet
Chances are, that if you are of an Orthodox-Christian origin, you know the above illustration. It’s a classic. On one hand, the broad way, with its temptations, comfort and abundance, and on the other side the narrow way, sober and difficult travel on. For those who had a good understanding, this narrow road was the uncomfortable church path that leads to heaven. The picture that hung in many homes was intended as an artistic representation of Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:13-14) in which He speaks to His people about entering into the Kingdom. What He explains is that many of them will not experience the life of the kingdom, but will perish. That Jesus was only sent to the house of Israel and addressed them (Mat.15:24), was not explained. The church, after all, was the new Israel… nor was it understood that Jesus spoke in view of the coming kingdom that would be ruled from the city of Jerusalem (Matthew 5:35). Consequently, on earth. Instead, they explained the kingdom as the “heavenly bliss” and the “corruption” as the endless hell. Of eon (world-time-period) the Bible translators made ‘eternity’ and of Gehenna (= the Valley of Hinnom in Jerusalem) they changed to ‘hell’. The Evangel of the living God, Who is the Savior of all mankind (1Tim.4:10), as Paul made known among the nations, became overshadowed and even branded as heresy. Not seeing the division of the Scriptures (Gal.2:7-9) and God’s “plan of eons” (Eph.3:11) resulted in a terrible caricature of the Biblical expectation of the future. Church doctrine made of judgment and death, instead of an intermediate stop, a final destination. Without insight into the comprehensive perspective of justification (Rom.5:18), vivification (1Cor.15:22), reconciliation (Col.1:20) and salvation (1Tim.4:10), the illustration of the “two roads” served as a reminder of the desperate end of the majority of mankind. An anti-Evangel. How very different everything becomes, when we are given to see the real, Biblical end perspective!