How We Flock to Destruction
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No one has ever claimed that sheep were the smartest animals on earth. A few weeks ago, in a village in Turkey, they lived up to their not-so-bright reputation actually. One sheep wandered away from the flock to the edge of a nearby cliff, and he decided it would be fun to jump off. Of course it was the last thing he ever did. Suddenly, all the sheep decided to play "Follow the Leader" and 1,500 sheep leaped off that cliff to the rocks below, creating at the bottom the world's largest sweater. Actually, it was no joking matter. The town lost more than $100,000 in the great sheep massacre.
It's not an accident that over and over the Bible likens us humans to sheep. I'd rather be a lion or a bear or a wise old owl. But the Bible says I'm a sheep. Why? Because we tend to follow where the crowd is going, no matter what that may cost us. Let's face it. There's peer pressure at every age and stage in your life, isn't there? Obviously, young people are pressured to follow where their friends are going, to be what the youth culture tells them they're supposed to be, no matter what heartache that may cause. Everybody's going; I've got to go with them.
But then, there's parent peer pressure too - for you to do and allow what all the other parents are doing and allowing. After all, who wants to be an "un-cool" mom or dad? Right? There's tons of pressure in your business to do things the way that's "smart" even if what "everybody does" is against the ways of Jesus. If you're in the academic world, you face pressure to do what's considered the intelligent thing in your area, even if it contradicts the revealed Word of God in the Bible. But who wants to be ostracized or written off as primitive or simple? There's even religious peer pressure to simply follow what your church or religion says is the way to God and the way to live for God, no matter what the Bible says.
Here's what Jesus said about our decisions to follow what most of the flock is doing. It's in Matthew 7:13-14, our word for today from the Word of God. "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is that gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Jesus said that the right way is usually the road not taken, or at least the road not taken by many. The wrong road is easy - at its beginning. But the farther you go on it, the harder it gets...until it takes you right over the cliff. The right road is hard and it's even lonely at first, but it's the one that leads to life. Make a destination choice - not the one that will win you the most friends right now, but the one that will take you where you want to end up.
Jesus' statement suggests that a whole lot of people who think they're going to end up in heaven when they die aren't going there. "Few," He said will find life. That's why it's dangerous just to follow a religious flock and hope that they know what they're doing. Your religion won't take you to heaven. Only Jesus can do that because only Jesus died to remove the sin that will keep you out of heaven. Only Jesus rose from the dead to be a living Savior for you. The question isn't, "What religion are you?" It's "What are you counting on as the reason God will let you into His heaven?" If it's anything other than Jesus, anything in addition to Jesus, it's the wrong road, no matter how many people are on it. The Bible talks about a way "...that seems right to a man but it ends in death."
Even your Christianity won't get you to heaven, because Christianity isn't Christ. It's about Christ, but it's Christ you've got to have to get into heaven. If you're not sure you belong to Him, it's not smart to wait another day to get things settled with Him. You need to tell Him today, "Jesus, I give up my trust in everything but You. You died for my sin, and I give up my sin to turn to you and put all my trust in You."
If you want to know that security, I would suggest you just check out that brief explanation at our website that I've put there to help you know how to begin your relationship with Jesus Christ. The website is YoursForLife.net.
It's time to start following Jesus. Then you can go to sleep tonight knowing your eternal destination - you're going to heaven with the One who died to take you there.