The Bible says a lot about salvation, mostly that it’s only through Christ that we can be saved, so here are Bible verses about salvation that reveal it’s open to all, but it’s not the broad path many people think it is.
Repentance and Faith
Jesus best described the gospel of the Kingdom of God in Mark 1:15 when He began His earthly ministry and said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Jesus said, “The time is fulfilled,” meaning the age of grace had come but it comes only through trust in Christ. Today, if you hear His voice, or the Spirit’s call, don’t harden your heart (2 Cor 6:2), because if you were to die or Christ returns before trusting in Him, there is no time left to repent and believe. This is no time to sit on the fence and think about it because those who wait on the fence will be judged along with those who openly reject Christ today, so “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). Why not “confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead [and] you will be saved” (Rom 10:9)?
The Narrow Road
Years ago, when I briefly lived in Arkansas, there was an old winding dirt road that went up Bernie Mountain in northwest Arkansas. The road was dangerously steep and curvy but there was no other way up the mountain, at least by car, so as hard, narrow, and steep as that road was, we had no choice but to take it. It was the only way. We didn’t’ really complain about the road because we knew it was the only way up to our home, so in similar fashion, Jesus says, quite specifically, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). God offers the free gift of eternal life, but it’s not just any way but Jesus is “the way,” just as the Apostle Paul wrote, that it is “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph 2:8-9). Obviously, this means “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5), so finding the narrow path to eternal life is not by works, but by what Christ did in His life and His death and His resurrection.
The Broad Path
Since the Bible states, “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12), this rules out any other human source or power by which we can be saved to eternal life. Tragically, Jesus says that not everyone who “says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matt 7:21), but “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). Jesus says to all that we must “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many” (Matt 7:13). If you look around the world, it doesn’t appear that most of the world has trusted in Christ, so naturally, the path that leads away from Christ and toward destruction is broad. If only few, comparatively, have trusted in Christ, the path or road doesn’t have to be as broad. You don’t build four-lane highways where a county road is because there’s not that much traffic. The narrow path or gate to eternal life is passed through, single-file, and no one gets in on the coattails of another, however, the path or gate to destruction is wide. That’s why many will say, “Lord, Lord,” and not a few, and those same “many” will be turned away at the time of their judgment (Matt 7:21-23).
For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many (Matt 7:13).
The Man of Salvation
There is not really a plan of salvation as much as there is a Man of Salvation, and that is Jesus Christ. When the jailer spoke to the Apostle Peter and Silas about being saved, he asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family” (Acts 16:30-31). On the Day of Pentecost, Peter told the crowd “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38), so even though the way is narrow, and it only goes through Jesus Christ (John 6:44), it is still open to all (John 3:16). Jesus says, whoever comes to Him, He will “give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28). The psalmist puts it well in writing “Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame [but] they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous” (Psalm 25:3). On the day of His visitation, the one who puts their trust in Christ will hear His master say to him or her, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matt 25:21).
The gate may be small and the way may be narrow, but at least there is a way, so to complain that there is only one way and the way is narrow, is like complaining that there’s only one emergency exit out of a building on fire. Escaping the fire is only possible through a fire escape, and it’s typically narrower than the doors that everyone came in through, but people don’t care that it’s narrow when there’s a fire. They’re just glad there is a way out, narrow or not, because at least there is a way. Jesus is still and always be the only way of escape from the wrath of God (John 3:36b), for “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame” (Rom 10:11), so clearly, “Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this” (John 11:25-26)? The answer to that question determines which path you will take and where you will end up, and there you will stay, for time without end.
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.