by William MacDonald
When you look out at the religious world today, you see numerous religions, denominations and cults. And yet basically there are only two religions, as suggested in today's text. On the one hand there is the wide gate and the broad, well-traveled way that leads to destruction. On the other is the strait gate and sparsely traveled, narrow way that leads to life. All religions can be classified under one or the other. The feature that distinguishes the two is this: one religion tells what man must do to earn or deserve salvation; the other tells what God has done to provide salvation for man.
The true Christian faith is unique in that it calls on men to receive eternal life as a gift by faith. All other religions tell men that they must earn their salvation by works or by character. The Gospel tells how Christ finished the work necessary for our redemption. All other systems tell men what they must do to redeem themselves. It is the difference between DOING and DONE.
The popular idea is that good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell. But the Bible teaches that there are no good people, and that the only ones who go to heaven are sinners saved by God's grace. The Christian Gospel eliminates boasting; it tells man that there are no meritorious deeds he can do to win God's favor because he is dead in trespasses and sins. All other religions cater to man's pride by implying that there is something he can do to save himself or to assist in his salvation.
All false religions are "the way that seems right unto a man" but are also the way which ends in death (Proverbs 14:12). Salvation by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ seems "too easy" to men but this is the way that leads to life. In false religions Christ is nothing or only something. In the true Christian faith Christ is everything.
In other religions there can be no real assurance of salvation because a person never knows whether he has done enough good works or the right kind. The believer in Christ can know he is saved because it isn't a question of his works but rather of Christ's work for him.
Only two religions - one of law, the other of grace. One of works, the other of faith. One of doing, the other of believing. One of trying, the other of trusting. The first leads to condemnation and death, the second to justification and life.
Bible verses: Matthew 7:13-14Proverbs 14:12
William MacDonald was President of Emmaus Bible College, teacher, Plymouth Brethren theologian and a prolific author of over 84 published books. MacDonald refused to accept royalties for his books but established a fund for translating his work Believers Bible Commentary into foreign languages. Wikipedia
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