Billy Graham: The Highway to Heaven

Billy Graham: The Highway to Heaven

We’re all acquainted with roads and highways. In the days of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Roman Empire built great roads that opened up the world for transportation and paved the way for the spread of the Gospel.

And today, millions of people travel on highways. But we’re also traveling down life’s highway. The Bible uses the symbol of a highway in speaking of God’s salvation: “A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for others” (Isaiah 35:8).

Life is often compared to a journey. The ancient Greek poet Homer wrote “The Odyssey,” telling the story of a long journey. “The Pilgrim’s Progress,” probably the most famous Christian book outside the Bible, is also the story of a journey.

The Psalmist said, “Lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:24). What he’s saying is, “Lead me down the road that leads to everlasting life.” The Christian faith is expressed in these words from Jesus: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). And the earliest Christians were known as “people of the Way.”

We’re on a road, a highway. It’s a journey in life, and we’re seeking guidance. Everywhere we look, people are searching for guidance. They search for guidance in areas such as psychology, medicine, the environment, social problems, political problems. In all the problems we are facing today, we need a map. And the Bible tells us we do have a map, and that map is the Bible, the Word of the living God.

Jesus said there are two roads in life, a broad road and a narrow road. He said the narrow road leads to eternal life, but the broad road leads to destruction. Thank God that in this age in which we live, there is a road, there is a path that takes us through the bewilderments and problems of life.

God has provided a great highway of salvation. The Roman jailer in Philippi said, “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). In other words, “How can I find this highway? How can I find this road, this path that leads to eternal life?”

Is that your prayer? You may never express it even to your husband or your wife; you’re too proud. But when you are alone, when you think about life and death and all the problems pressing in, you begin to ask, “What must I do to be saved? How can I find that path? How can I find that highway that leads to eternal life?”

The great highway of God was built by a cross—the cross of Jesus Christ, when He hung and died for our sins. There Christ’s blood was shed for you. And then God raised Him from the dead. The death, burial and resurrection of Christ is the Good News that God has prepared a highway, a way out of this morass that we find ourselves in.

Are you on God’s highway? Jesus said it is narrow, and He said something frightening: “There are few who find it” (Matthew 7:14). Few. Many people will profess Christ, will go to church, will be baptized. But true life under the lordship of Christ? Few will find it.

Thousands followed Jesus when He was popular. But when He started toward the cross and told them He was going to die, and that people would need to deny self, take up the cross and follow Him, many of them went away. 

Are you on the narrow road that leads to eternal life? Are you on the highway to Heaven? You have to come through a narrow gate. The gate of humility. The gate of repentance. The gate of faith. You have to be willing to come through that narrow gate. And that means changing many things in your life.

The road is easy to find, but Jesus said few would find it. Why? Because they aren’t willing to pay the price, to meet the demands of the Lord Jesus Christ. Many countries in the world are lost today, and I fear that America, too, has lost its way. We’re on the wrong road.

And many of you are lost today. Your soul is lost. You’re on the wrong road. You can’t find your way; you’re stumbling along, and you need help. That’s where the Gospel comes in. Jesus Christ has come to put you on the right road.

Choose your road carefully. Choose the road of life, the Lord Jesus Christ. God has provided the road; He has provided the door. But will you go in?

It will cost you. It will cost you your sins because you must be willing to confess them and turn from them.

But it’s a safe way. The Bible says, “No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast go up on it; it shall not be found there. But the redeemed shall walk there” (Isaiah 35:9).

I heard an American aviator telling the story of how he had to parachute down into the jungle in Burma. And a Burmese man came along, slashing his way with a machete to get the airman out. The airman was afraid that he was going to be captured by guerillas, and he yelled out, “Where is the way? Where is the road?” And the man, in broken English, said, “I’m the way. Follow me.” And he got him out.

Jesus said, “I am the Way. Follow Me. I’m the road. I’m the highway. There’s no other road, no other highway, no other way. I’m it. If you want a joy and peace like you’ve never known, and if you want forgiveness of sin, follow Me.”

This doesn’t mean that you’re going to be exempt from troubles and problems and pressures. You may have more than you’ve ever known. But you will have a new strength and a new confidence and a new power to overcome. His grace will be sufficient.

How does God do it? Through the Bible. The Bible is a road map. Millions read their horoscope, trying to find some guidance from it. Read the Bible. Let God’s Spirit teach you His Word. That becomes your map. He’ll guide you along the highway after you’ve received Christ.

God’s way is a holy way. “It shall be called the Highway of Holiness” (Isaiah 35:8). The Bible says “Without holiness no one shall see the Lord” (Cf. Hebrews 12:14). The root Greek word for holiness means “set apart.” You’re set apart; you’re on the right road. You’re on God’s road—the narrow road that leads to eternal life.

And holiness means that you yield, or present, yourself to God. “Present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Romans 6:13). No unholy thing can be on the highway God has constructed.

Now where do you get that holiness? It’s imputed to you by Christ the moment you receive Him. God looks at you as though you have never sinned. You’re justified in His sight, and you’re clothed in the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. We get our holiness not from our own goodness or good things we do. Holiness is imputed to us, though it’s something that we in ourselves don’t deserve. I deserve judgment; I deserve hell. But by the grace of God I’m saved.

I’m going to ask you to go through the narrow gate by faith. What do you have to do? Be willing to repent of your sins. That means you say, “I give up my sins; I’m ready to change my way of living.” And then by faith receive Christ into your heart.

Be sure today that you’re on the road that leads to eternal life. It’s important to come now, because you may never have another moment like this your whole life. You may be a member of a church. You may be a Sunday school teacher. But if you’re not sure you’re on the highway to Heaven—if you’re not sure that Christ lives in your heart—come to Christ now.  ©1976 BGEA

 

Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version.

Photo: BGEA Archives

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