shutterstock_60569020(In August, 2014 this blog will be available in an audio version).

 

Today we are going on a trip down a special road, a road called the Highway of Holiness. The scripture that describes this highway is found in the book of Isaiah 35: 8-10.

Isaiah 35:8-10 (KJV)
8 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.

We are all on a journey. I know that many of us act as though we are going to be here on earth forever, but in our heart-of-hearts we know better. Every day that we wake up and see a new wrinkle or feel a new stiffness or pain we are reminded that we did not come to earth to stay. Babies want to be “big boys and girls” and teens want to be grown-ups. But by the time age 30 arrives, the outcome of aging becomes real to us. The cry of the human heart becomes, “Stop! I don’t want to keep aging. I don’t want to go the way of the older people”. It’s also about this time that we begin to understand that we have been on the path towards the end of our lives since the day we were born. Isn’t it amazing how much time and energy people spend trying to stay young? We have entire industries built upon trying to keep us looking 16, but they don’t work. Anti-aging products may delay some aspects of aging but ultimately, they fail. People hate change because they want to stay in the now, but change is inevitable.

Another great truth that many people just don’t want to face is the fact that unless we do something to change our ultimate destination, the end of life’s journey is The Lake of Fire by way of Hell. It’s going to happen whether we like it or not. And what is the “something” that we must do to change our ultimate destination? We must accept the escape route that Jesus provided for us when He died upon the Cross of Calvary and bought our salvation. We must repent of our sins. We must accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and we must choose to serve the Lord for the rest of our days. Our ultimate destination is then changed from the Lake of Fire by way of Hell to Heaven.  Joshua 24:15 warns us about the importance of making a wise choice concerning serving the Lord:

15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

How do we know that Heaven can be our destination if we choose to serve the Lord? Our manual for life – the Holy Bible- gives us the answers about life that we need. Unfortunately, however, people just don’t like to read manuals. Though most people have owned a car, for example, few have read the manual that comes with it. If you’ve ever tried to assemble a bookshelf or a child’s toy the importance of the manual looms large. Have you ever messed up an assembly only to discover that after you read the manual or instruction sheet you actually have to go back and do your work over? The same is true with the Bible. If you read it early, you can avoid many of the pitfalls in life. If you read it as you travel, you can be sure that you are on the right road.

In Matthew 7:13-14 the Bible tells us about two roads that lead to our final destination. Both are entered by a gate, but there is a specific distinction between the two. The roads are called the broad way and the narrow way.

13 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.

The gate of road number one, the broad way, is called the wide gate. The road is wide because the majority of the people will choose this road. What are some of the things that can be seen along this road? It is filled with loud and unholy music. Bright lights and lots of glam and glitter are along this road. Outwardly, the people on this road may appear to be happy because there is lots of laughing and backslapping. Inwardly, however, they are miserable. There will be plenty of clubs and partying along the road. The alcohol will be flowing and free sex is available. You’ll hear people lying and cussing. Fights will break out and stealing each other’s possessions and spouses will be rampant. Tattoo parlors and prostitution will be everywhere. You can expect backstabbing and cheating too. You are even going to find some “churches” along the way, but not the churches that will lead you to Heaven. In some of these “churches”, the pastor may be sleeping with every woman in the congregation. When you walk in this “church” the people will have a form of godliness but God is nowhere to be found. The people walking along this path resemble the children in the story about the Pied Piper of the Brothers Grimm who lead the children in the city into a cave and caused them to die. How did he do it? He lured the children with enchanted music. They just pranced and danced right into the cave where they died. The same is true of a lot of people who are just dancing and prancing themselves into Hell. Satan is the pied piper who is luring them. One of the lures that he uses is by having them think that they are alright with God. Another lure that he uses is the lie that living saved is for old people. “You’ve got time”, he says. “Just have your fun now and get saved later.” This might be a successful tactic were it not for the fact that we never know when our road is going to end. Those following Satan’s lures never know when they are going to drop off the end of the pier and fall into the lake. The lake that I am talking about is the Lake of Fire. Many people don’t realize it, but Hell is not the worst place to be. It is simply a holding tank, because ultimately Hell itself is going to be thrown into the Lake of Fire.

Revelation 20:14-15 (KJV)
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Now, let’s talk about Road Number 2. The gate that leads to this road is called Strait and it leads to the road called the Narrow way. This road may not appear to be as exciting and appealing to the flesh as Road Number 1.  Sure, it has a few rules and guidelines, but they are there for our own good.  The book of Matthew tells us that this is the road that we should choose. Why? We should choose this road because it is the road to eternal life with God. This road has another name, which is the Highway of Holiness. It is described in Is. 35:8 in this way:

Isaiah 35:8 (KJV)
8 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.

What is holiness? Some people think that we are talking about a church denomination when we say holiness, but what we are talking about is a specific way of life. To be holy means to be separated from sin. Though we are unable to live this life without the power of the Holy Ghost, we can when the Holy Ghost abides within. The Bible tells us that our God is holy and He wants us to be holy too.

1 Peter 1:15-16 (KJV)
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

The last half of Matthew 7:14 says “and few there be that find it.” That’s clearly telling us that not everyone will be found on the Highway of Holiness. While every man will be given an opportunity to get onto the Highway of Holiness, many will hear the truth but simply reject it. The Highway of Holiness is the road out of sin and into the Kingdom of heaven. God himself built this spiritual highway as only He could.  John 14: 6 tells us that Jesus is our escape route from sin into sanctification.

6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Not a single unclean person will be found on the Highway of Holiness. Individuals who are lying, cheating, cussing, drinking, drugging, fornicating and committing adultery are not on this righteous road. If you are clubbing on Saturday night and attempting to be an usher in church on Sunday, you’re on the wrong road. You can’t claim to love God, never pray, never read His word and be on the right road. Watch out. The devil has you deceived and you’re on the wrong road. The Bible tells us that the road is so simple that even the simple-minded will be smart enough to find it. Some people reject salvation because they are afraid that they will not be able to live for the Lord, but if a fool can do it, what about the wise?

The Bible lets us know that the Highway of Holiness is a safe place to be. 1Peter 5:8 tells us that Satan acts like a lion but we will be safe from the “lion”  if we are on the Highway of Holiness.

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
But Is. 35:9 says
9 No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:

Is. 35: 10 gives us an idea of what the people will be doing on the Highway of Holines.

10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

At the end of our individual destinations, we are going to be eternally glad that we got onto the right road. As we close, let’s look at where the Highway of Holiness will lead us and who we will be living with forever.

Revelation 21:2-4 (KJV)
2 And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. (Emphasis added by the author).
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

May God bless you as you travel the Highway of Holiness.  And if you are not walking this road…start while I’m talking.

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