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Monday, March 19, 2018

When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you shall surely die' and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man will die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. Ezekiel 33:8 (English Standard Bible)

The Bridge is Out

The driver and his family had been following the fine wide highway for miles. It was an easy way to go. Coming around a bend they came upon a state highway worker with a large stop sign.

The driver stopped and rolled his window down and asked the road crew worker, “What's the problem?”

The road crew worker said, “The bridge ahead is out.”

Oh, that shouldn't be a problem,” said the driver.

The road crew worker lowered his sign. “I will be held responsible, not to mention guilty, if I don't warn you there is no bridge across the river and it is treacherous and deep. If you keep going you and your family will perish.”

The driver smirked. “How could a State that loves good drivers send them into a river to perish?” he asked. The road crew worker smiled sympathetically. “If you turn around and go back to Highway 7 it will take you safely to your destination. It's narrower than this road and a little harder to navigate but it will get you there. If you keep going down this road you will perish.”

The driver rolled his eyes with contempt. “Oh, I don't believe the bridge is out and as you can see this highway is wide and fine. And as far as I'm concerned I don't even believe there is a river. I'll go on and it'll be fine. I'm a good driver and the State should know that. Now stand back.”

Before the road crew worker could say another word the driver hit the gas and squealed around him and headed down the road. The road worker frowned as he watched the car disappear down the wide road. “Hmm,” he said to himself, “the narrow way is hard and few there be that find it.” Neither the driver nor his family were ever seen or heard from again. How could a State that loved good drivers send a person to a destroyed bridge on the edge of a swollen and raging river? It's simple. Even with the warning the driver chose to ignore it and go there. The State did not send him there.

Call me what you will but if I did not tell you that hell is an agonizingly real place and one to be shunned (Luke 16:19-31) I would be negligent and guilty in my duty to you as a follower of Christ. Jesus spoke often about hell (Matthew 8:12, 13:42, 25:46, Mark 9:42-48). Hell is eternal separation from God and a domain of great horror. Consider what Jesus had to say about it in the verses above. God doesn't send anyone to hell, they go there by their own choice. Have you never heard that the gates of hell are locked from the inside? In fact, God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2nd Peter 3:9). But how can a completely Holy God allow a completely sinful people to spend eternity in His presence?

Why did God choose eternal death as the penalty for the unrepentant? Because men and women can never fully pay for their sins and the payment for rebellion against God is eternal death even as the righteous price Christ fully paid to forgive sin is eternal life in Him. Eternal punishment was originally prepared for Satan and the angels who rebelled with him against God (Matthew 25:41).

Sin has destroyed the bridge we once had to God. However there is good news. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to fix it. He became the only Bridge of Access to God that has reestablished fellowship with Him once again (John 14:6). If you're in the driver's seat and you don't believe that God sent His Son to be that bridge to fellowship with Him then I would suggest you turn around and take the narrow way (Matthew 7:13-14) through the Son and believe on Him. It's true the way is narrower than the wide way that leads to destruction but it will still get you safely to where you want to go.

If you simply believe that Jesus is God's only begotten Son (Acts 16:31), who died for your sins and rose bodily from the grave three days later and will return again to Earth as its ruling King, you will have taken the narrow way to righteous eternal life. It's that simple. Why not trust in Jesus? What have you got to lose except a washed out bridge to disaster?