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On The Road

On The Road

     All of humanity is on a journey. From Genesis chapter twenty-four to the sixth verse of Third John, the word journey is found sixty times. The term is used in a variety of scenarios, but in all, the sense is that one is travelling from one place to another.   A number of people have “picked up” on this and some have capitalized on the idea.   For instance, Ralph Waldo Emerson is given credit for the quote: “Life is a journey, not a destination.” This is true, as life is indeed a journey to a destination.   Therefore, we are all “on the road” to somewhere.   Where there is, and how we get there, is the journey.

     As Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a eloquently points out, a person’s life is contained in the period of time between birth and death. To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die;   Let it also be noted that none knows how much time is allotted to a particular life. In Job 14:1 The Holy Spirit had the suffering servant point this out. Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. This is also addressed in the N.T. in James 4:14. Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

     It is also important to establish that after we depart this earth, we do not simply disappear.   Our bodies are disposed of, but the “inner” man goes to a place to await that final day. Two passages spring to mind. In Job 16:22 we are reminded of this. When a few years are come, then I shall go the way whence I shall not return. This is also apparent in 2Samuel 12:22-23 when king David understood that his infant child had died.   And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? 23 But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.  

     That waiting place, & the eternal destination is in most cases, determined by how the life is lived on earth. “Most cases” is stated because in the death of an infant, life was very short and that infant had no sin. The congregation in Corinth was reminded in 1Cornthians 5:10 that each of them would be held accountable for their time on earth, and be judged as to how they had lived. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.  

     I would be remiss at this point if I failed to remind of the fates of the rich man and Lazarus of Luke 16.   Verses 19-31 tells the whole story, but here I’ll call attention to Luke 16:22-23. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Each had a different outcome to their life.   Why was this? They took different roads through life.

     Some want to point out that there are many “roads” in life.   True, but God in His Infinite Wisdom had The Spirit direct the prophet to write of this, as it was part of the plan of God from before time.   In Isaiah 35:8 the prophet was declaring to Israel that which was yet future. It was the “road” which God wants all to walk.   And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.

     God’s “Way” is seemingly not the way man naturally chooses. The promise of God to not again curse the ground is because “the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth” per Genesis 8:21. This ties in directly to the Words of Proverbs 14:12, penned by Solomon as guided by the Holy Spirit. There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. This is also the idea behind the inspired Words of Moses in Deuteronomy 30:19-20a. Of course, this was addressed to Israel following their departure from Egypt and before entering the Promised Land. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: 20 That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life,.   Indeed, the “road” we take on earth is a matter of spiritual “life or death”.  

     There is no doubt this is what was behind the teaching of Christ in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:13-14. 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: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Clearly, in the Words spoken, there is the idea of choice. God has not determined where man will spend eternity. God offers Salvation. His Son paid the price so that Salvation, (the remission of sins) could be offered to all. Those who refuse to follow that plan have chosen to “walk the road” that leads to destruction.  

     You, my friend, are on a journey.   Don’t take the wrong road.   Don’t take the path that leads to eternal condemnation. God has shown us the Way in His Holy Word. Look into His Word and get on the right road today before it is everlastingly too late.  

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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