Summary: Jesus said we must choose either the narrow or the broad path.
Taking the Right Path
The Broad Way
The marks of this way
The way of the crowd.
Last summer, Katie Brule’s friend called her and asked her to go to a party. Katie, 16, declined, but her friend wouldn’t take no for an answer and Katie caved in. At the party, she felt pressure from those around her to drink alcohol so she downed a couple of beers.
Then the police showed up. Before Katie knew it, officers were giving her a Breathalyzer test to see how much she had had to drink. She failed the test and was arrested. The police handcuffed her and put her in a police cruiser.
What Katie succumbed to is called peer pressure. Peer pressure is when teens allow their peers--kids around their same age--to influence their decisions and behavior.
Indeed, the influence of peers can be so strong that teens often choose to go along with the crowd, even if they know their actions will have harmful consequences. For many teens, the anxiety of being ridiculed or losing friends far outweighs any fears they may have about engaging in risky behavior.
The way of Deception
We often fail to consider the gradual, cumulative effect of sin in our lives. In Saint Louis in 1984, an unemployed cleaning woman noticed a few bees buzzing around the attic of her home. Since there were only a few, she made no effort to deal with them. Over the summer the bees continued to fly in and out the attic vent while the woman remained unconcerned, unaware of the growing city of bees. The whole attic became a hive, and the ceiling of the second- floor bedroom finally caved in under the weight of hundreds of pounds of honey and thousands of angry bees. While the woman escaped serious injury, she was unable to repair the damage of her accumulated neglect.
A group of college students were asked their opinions on the media, specifically the R-rated kinds of situations being shown on TV and the movies. When asked why sex and violence were so prevalent, one student answered, “Because it’s no big deal.”
The way of Destruction
In a Newsweek Poll about the existence of hell, 60 percent of Americans say they believe there is a hell and of those, 67 percent believe it’s an actual place, where people who have led bad lives without being sorry are eternally damned; 28 percent say it’s doesn’t exist and 27 percent think of it as an idea, the poll shows.
A full 85 percent of those polled say a person’s actions on earth during their lifetime determine whether or not they will go to hell; 7 percent believe it’s predetermined in advance whether someone will go to hell. Although 17 percent of all those polled say non-Christians will definitely go to hell, 59 percent say that’s not likely to happen.
``It is difficult for me to understand why in this end of this 20th century, people still worry about heaven and hell. The only explanation I find is that we are, with the best of intentions, brainwashed from the cradle on until it is painful to think otherwise. To me, religion is one big fantasy. _ Claude Brock, Wichita.
The Narrow Way
The marks of this way
The way of the Cross
An old Christian drama depicts a little boy working in his parent’s carpentry shop in first century Jerusalem. He protests his chore which is to assist in building a cross. The parents insist that he help because Rome has given them a contract for construction of crosses.
In another scene the boy is weeping. "What is wrong?" his parents ask. He responds, "I went to the market place & I saw Jesus of Nazareth, the Man we love to hear preach, & He was carrying my cross! They took Him to Golgotha and nailed Him to MY cross."
The parents insist, "Oh no, son, that wasn’t your cross. Other people in Jerusalem build crosses. That wasn’t your cross." "Oh yes, it was! When you weren’t looking, I carved my name on the cross I was making. When Jesus was carrying His cross, He stumbled right beside me, I looked, and my name was on His cross!"
There is power in the cross. It’s undeniable. Even unbelievers seem to squirm when considering its potential.
David Brooks, of the Weekly Standard, reports "of the conniption being thrown by the American Atheist, the group founded by the late Madalyn Murray O’Hair (may God have mercy upon her soul). It seems that when the World Trade Center collapsed, the force of the fall, or some supernatural force, fused two steel beams into a 20-foot-high cross, which has been kept on the edge of the site. The atheists want the cross removed, of course, but in their passion to do that, they are actually revealing their faith in the power of the cross. If it didn’t have power, why get so upset?"