Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
The golf gadget business is a multimillion dollar market. The Golf Channel is inundated with commercials for products instantly promising a straight driver with an extra 30 yards, wedges that thump the ball perfectly out of sand, and a device which makes sure our golf balls aren’t off center and roll pure. Hopefully most of us realize there is no device to substitute for proper form and practice. Our society prefers a microwave religious experience in the same fashion. Many attempt to enter the wide gate for salvation by pointing to one time in life when he or she signed a card professing their faith twenty years ago. Others will tell you, “I’m fine, I believe in God.” You will also hear “I was baptized and am a member of Broad Street First Baptist.” The Bible teaches we will know the true believer by their fruits. In Matthew 7:18, it is said “a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” Salvation is not attained by any of our works, but only through repentance and faith in the Christ Jesus. The fruits of that true salvation will be manifested by that saved person’s life. If there are no fruits, the person needs to repent of the old way he/she has been doing things and desire a true personal relationship with Christ. The Bible teaches the easy road is never the proper route. If you can live the same way you did prior to salvation and enjoy the same things of the world, there was no conversion. Not only is the gate “strait”, but the way is also narrow. The way or the walk of life for the true convert is a narrow one. If you are able to spend every Sunday on the golf course or allow your children to spend every Sunday at the rec league basketball gym without guilt from the Holy Spirit, you need to check your investments. What kind of return are you getting from these investments? Your Sunday 83 or Little Johnny’s three points with a great defensive effort isn’t getting you on Tour or Johnny a D-1 scholarship. We don’t take enjoyment in the same things of the world. We make daily investments in our own spiritual life and make daily investments in the spiritual life of our family. There is no substitute for regular prayer, Bible study and attendance at a Bible believing, Bible preaching local church. The Holy Spirit commands and guides us toward these things for a personal relationship with Christ. The answer is not found in a personal relationship with a church or particular religion. Going through the wide gate for salvation will cost us more than a chunk of our paycheck like buying a quick fix golf gadget. The Bible of the patron walking through the wide gate has the same shelf life as the golf gadget of the weekend golfer. He or she will use it for a week or two, but when there isn’t a true change it will begin to collect dust on a shelf in the garage or living room. My prayer today is for us to always be spiritually diligent and seek the higher levels of faith by trodding the narrow way.