Traveling in Ireland is always a challenge. If you think the two-way roads in Fall River are narrow, try shrinking them down by half. Then put it on the side of a steep mountain. There are no guardrails, mind you, only little white wooden picks lining the side of the sloping road!
I happened to be a passenger on a bus tour that traveled such a road, many years ago. We were going to Co. Kerry from Dublin.
The mountainside was beautiful. A plethora of green grass draped the hills, feeding sheep that had blue and red markings on them. The sheep checkered the landscape like little moving cotton balls. As lovely as all that was, my attention was drawn to this very narrow road I was on.
My paranoid mind reared its ugly head as we were about to go around a bend. I addressed our tour guide...“Michael,” I said, “What happens if you get into an accident way out here?” “Oh, you don’t get into an accident!” He said with his thick irish accent. I replied, “I see.” Gulp! “Isn’t there another way we could go” “No, this is it.” “Only one way to Co.Kerry.” "The way" was hard and dangerous, but if we wanted to get to our destination, that was the only way to go. I said a little prayer as I slipped back into my seat and looked down the mountainside from my window.
This encounter reminds me that not unlike the country roads in Ireland, there is just one way to heaven. That Way, is through Jesus Christ! Some people say that we get to heaven by our good works. How often do you hear people say at a funeral, “Oh he/she was such a good person, surely they are in heaven.” I’ve heard it often. But that just isn’t the truth. Our good works can never supersede the work that Jesus Christ did on the cross for all mankind. It is really an insult to God to imply so if you think about it.
God sent His only Son into the world for one purpose, to redeem man. “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Jesus submitted to the Father and laid down His life to give us access to heaven, which none of us deserve. Listen to the voice of Jesus… “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” John 10:17-18
Jesus, the lamb of God, willingly, yes determinedly, sacrifice Himself for you and me and the whole world. Jesus suffered and died and rose again. He opened heaven’s doors for all who put their trust in Him. His shed blood is the only perfect sacrifice pure enough to get anyone to God. “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
This is a very narrow road. It isn’t easy, but it is worth everything to know Him. As the love of so many in the world grows cold towards Jesus, we are faced with really going against the grain as His followers. People call us bigots, and intolerant. Even members of our own family may think this of us as believers. But this is nothing new. It has always been this way. “Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also”. John 15:20 God’s word says we are blessed when this happens to us. "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Matt. 5:11
People will say that proclaiming Jesus as Messiah and the only way to heaven is excluding people who don’t believe. On the contrary, the gospel is so full of grace, it includes every single person on earth, should they prayerfully call out to Him. If people don’t choose to put their trust in Him and His work on the cross, that is their decision. But God loves each person and it is His desire to be known to them. He wants to have a relationship with people everywhere. No matter how “bad” a person might be, praise God, His grace in Jesus Christ covers all our sins! Praise King Jesus and take the road less traveled by placing your full trust in Him today!