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Jon Burgess

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 Highway to Heaven or Hell?

Highway to Heaven or Hell?

by Jon Burgess on July 18, 2019

Scripture

And a great road will go through that once deserted land.

It will be named the Highway of Holiness.

Evil-minded people will never travel on it.

It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways;

fools will never walk there.

Isaiah 35:8

Observation

Jesus gives us some more details on this prophesied Highway through the use of contrast:  13“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell (The road that leads to destruction) is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” (Mt. 7:13-14)  It turns out both Highways are toll roads.  One is paid at the beginning and one is paid at the end but neither road is free.  In John 10:9 Jesus makes it clear that He is that gate, He is the way to the road of salvation.  He paid the price for travel on the road of salvation but the only way through is humility.  We must acknowledge our need for Him, our weight of sin, and receive His forgiveness.  No wonder there are so few who take the Highway to Heaven.  Who wants to admit that they have sinned, that they are wrong?  That’s why Isaiah says, “evil-minded people will never travel on it”.  The wording here goes straight to the Levitical law and the need to be pronounced clean or unclean by a priest. Whether it’s mold spores in the house, leprosy on the skin, emissions in the bed, dead animals in the field the Israelites were required to bring the priest in to examine every intimate part of their lives.  That required a level of humility that evil-minded or unclean people were simply not willing to submit to.  Therefore, they would take the wide road. No toll, no payment upfront, no accountability, no problem.  Until they get to the end of the highway of self and find their entrance fee has gathered interest and will be paid off over the course of eternity in Hell.  “9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:9-10)  

Application

I must be honest.  Ever since I started journaling I’ve had the AC/DC lyrics of Highway To Hell playing in the back of my brain.  How come their’s no rockin’ Highway to Heaven songs?  I remember watching a show back in the ’80s called “Highway To Heaven”.  Michael Landon from “Little House on the Prairie” played an angel who teamed up with a cop to help people get out of trouble and back on the straight on narrow.  A show like that just isn’t made anymore.  No one wants to be told their’s only one road to Heaven and the only way on that road.  The idea that we must humble ourselves before Jesus in order to get into Heaven is far to0 exclusive, intolerant and politically incorrect for our modern sensibilities.  We prefer the philosophy that all roads lead to heaven.  What we discover from scripture that any road that doesn’t need Jesus to enter it is simply the Highway to Hell.  Christians were known in the early church as followers of “The Way” (Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14, 22) not “A Way” or “One of The Ways”.  Anyone who thinks that way these days is considered in the way of social progress and needs to get out of the way and join the Amish on the fringes of society.  Jesus made it clear that we can’t actually present the Gospel in any other way no matter how unpopular when He said quite emphatically, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jn. 14:6).  I read a story recently that applies to this. Someone put up a sign along one of the muddy roads in rural Iowa during the rainy season. It read: “Choose your ruts carefully; you’ll be in them for the next ten miles.” It’s a funny sign but it’s sound advice. When roads are slippery, it’s for your own good that you get into a rut. But make sure that you choose the right one or you will surely end up in the ditch. 

Prayer

Lord, let my life be a sign to others that leads them to the right road.  I’m so happy someone did that for me.  They told me what I didn’t want to hear but desperately needed to hear.  I humble myself before you and choose to not be popular or accepted or even understood, but to at least know I’m a muddy sign pointing people to the right rut.  Thank You for paying my way on this Highway to Heaven.  Too often I’m complaining at how uncomfortable, painful and lonely this road can feel.  I must never forget the road to Heaven has been paved with Your blood.  

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