Where is the narrow way today?

In his twelfth sermon on the Sermon on the Mount, John Wesley writes about the broad vs. the narrow way:

It is scarce possible to express or conceive what multitudes of souls run on to destruction because they would not be persuaded to walk in a narrow way, even though it were the way to everlasting salvation. And the same thing we may still observe daily. Such is the folly and madness of mankind, that thousands of men still rush on the way to hell, only because it is a broad way. They walk in it themselves because others do: Because so many perish, they will add to the number. Such is the amazing influence of example over the the weak, miserable children of men! It continually peoples the regions of death, and drowns numberless souls in everlasting perdition!

To the extent we agree with John Wesley’s reading of Jesus Christ’s words in the Sermon on the Mount about the broad and narrow way, the question for us becomes: “What does the narrow way look like in 2013?”


9 thoughts on “Where is the narrow way today?

  1. Peer pressure dominates most people. My master’s degree thesis studied ethics in the pagan-early Christian era, with middle school children in role-play. Outcomes of votes in different classes, presented the same ethical problems were clearly controlled by the most popular students in each class. Every class exonerated Brutus because he was in the Senate, and “everybody was stabbing Caesar. ” What does that say about the mentality of modern Americans compared to the crowd that yelled “crucify Him ?”

    1. It is a difficult concept: “Just say no,” when others are on the broadway, and one has to trudge the narrow alley alone. Some get a coterie of friends, think they are on the narrow path of righteousness, but they are really skewing into cultism.

      1. Entering the narrow gate is not easy…..but to describe it as trudging is a bit off the mark. Jesus spoke of it in victorious and conquering terms when He instructed His followers to “strive” to do so. As I’m sure you know, the Greek word translated “strive” is agonizomai, from which we get the English word “agonize.” The implication here is that those who seek to enter the narrow gate must do so by struggle and strain, like a running athlete straining toward the finish line, all muscles taut and giving his all in the effort. But we must be clear here. No amount of effort saves us……salvation is by the grace of God through the gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). No one will ever earn heaven by striving for it. But entering the narrow gate is still difficult because of the opposition of human pride, our natural love of sin, and the opposition of Satan and the world in his control, all of which battle against us in the pursuit of eternity. No one goes it alone…..there will always be a few beside them.

  2. I believe peer pressure plays a role, as Lee points out, but since we know that many who attend church regularly are currently on the “broad and wide way” I believe peer justification plays an equal if not larger role. What seems to be missing is peer example in 2013. The persuasion becomes lost at the point of repentance. It seems to me that repentance has been replaced by many with the successful hiding away of sins so they are not seen, but still remain.

    Many people today have convinced themselves to believe the lie and attempt to find an alternative route to God. They will try to get there through manmade rules and regulations, through false religion, or through self-effort.

    The narrow way in 2013 is being hidden because the church has become a respecter of men always seeking to please man. Again I say….what seems to be missing is peer example.

    Makes one wonder if those professing to be in the “narrow way” will be held accountable in any way when the day of judgement arrives.

  3. I think that Duane and I agree that the straight and narrow is not easy to find and navigate with so many examples of “the good bad guy.” From Robin Hood, Jesse James and Niel Caffrey of “White Collar,” the concept of doing bad for a good cause continues to confound those faced with choices.

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