It’s like riding on the edge of a cliff, with a sheer drop off on one side, and a towering cliff on the other.
“For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” (Prov. 24:16)
How many people do you know, and you may include yourself here if you so choose to, travel the path to the Kingdom of God at breakneck speed, running the race with great vigor and desire, knowing that they will tumble off that cliff wall occasionally or perhaps hit the wall on the other side so violently as to cause pain? How many people do you know serve the Lord Jesus Christ with their whole being, forgetting the consequences to themselves?
“But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.” (Acts 4:19)
The loss of every friend, every family member, your employment position, your status and standing in the community, being hated by the world because you will not stop speaking about the Savior? “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:12)
A captive servant, driven by the Holy Spirit to go alone with Christ, separated from all you once knew, solely out of a love for Him who first loved you.
I ask you, are those we speak of running towards the prize or away from the world? “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” (Psalm 91:4) Perhaps both, for those that are in the world still are those we are called to reach out to, but we are not to become their close, personal friends, we are not to leave the path to Christ and join them on their wide path to hell, you may as well willingly jump off the path into the abyss, they will not come to us, and we are not to step off the way to the strait gate.
I have been in churches where unrepentant sinners are allowed to sit with those who, at least with their lips, profess the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, and they have been allowed to sit in the pews for years, remaining unrepentant.
“Christians” by association.
Those who profess Him with their lips only slow down on the path, stopping and even leaving it to become associated with those who love the world, thinking themselves servants of the Most High God. Part-time Christians, if you will, believing they can come and go as they please, serving when it is convenient, when deemed necessary, when the world and those in it are not calling them.
A sharp rocked wall on the left, a chasm on the right, any variance will lead to dishonoring of the Lord, and chastisement from Him whom we serve, at breakneck speed, seeking the prize that is Christ. “After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” (Gen. 15:1)
Those who are still in the world are on the wide path to hell, we are to remain on the narrow path, how do we reach them and not step off that path? Serving the Lord is a full-time business, serving man is not, our path runs through the world, not to it, we are not to step off it for any reason. The lost will occasionally stride onto the narrow path, that is when we meet them, the wicked will avoid it at all costs.
If you leave the path set before you, you are walking into the world, and trust this truth, you will be the one out of the ninety-nine that the Good Shephard will need to come and find.
We search for the lost while staying on the path to the Kingdom, stepping off the path is never a wise thing to do.