Like the rest of us, you’re probably hearing that phrase being thrown around seemingly nonstop these days. For the past almost-year since the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
People politically-left use it to describe the efforts and claims of former president Donald Trump and his allies that the election was “stolen”, “rigged” or a variant thereof.
People on the political right say that the “Big Lie” is the “Big Lie”.
They’re both wrong.
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, way, way, way off. Not even close! Because the ACTUAL “Big Lie” – the biggest and most common and most dangerous and deadly and, very unfortunately, most successful, most believed lie, is the one the devil and his minions and the sinful, fallen flesh of humankind tell virtually every lost soul: that they’re on the path to Heaven when they’re actually on the road which leads to Hell.
The devil and his minions have placed big signs every few feet along that road to hell which have four oversized words written on them: “This way to Heaven” – even though they know that nothing could be further from the truth since there’s only ONE path that truly leads to Heaven. The one which goes straight through the immaculate womb and rugged Cross and empty tomb. (I’m copyrighting that because if I ever write a book on the life of Jesus, that’ll be the title: From Immaculate Womb to Empty Tomb 🙂 )
But thankfully, God is faithful to grant clear vision of the truth to every person who accepts whatever amount of the truth about Him and His plan of salvation, the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-8, among many other passages… throughout the entire Bible actually but this Chapter is perhaps the clearest and easiest-to-understand of them all), that they’ve received up to that point. For example, Romans 1:20 and Psalm 19:1-6 couldn’t communicate any more crystal-clearly that nature reveals a certain amount of facts, of truth, about God; so if anyone accepts what nature, for instance, reveals about God, He will always be faithful to send them more truth, to take them to the next level of understanding about Him and human sin and salvation/redemption which is the path that leads to (drum roll, please) Heaven! For all eternity.
But, heart-breakingly, billions upon billions of people who have passed through this life – down to the present day and hour and minute – have opted to put their faith in, say, self-righteousness to get them to Heaven. Wrong way (as the common traffic sign says). Wrong path. Wrong answer. (Insert the “buzzer” sound effect from “Family Feud” here.) Because not a single one of us is good enough to “earn” our way to Heaven. “No not one.”
Some of you might be saying, “But DJ Bible, I go to church every Sunday. Twice! And mid-week, too!” To which I reply, “Good for you! That’s a very good thing… but it won’t get a person even a single inch closer to Heaven in and of itself.”
Others have opted to not have any faith at all in or about God and instead have chosen to be atheists. I pray for them as a group regularly, that they’ll see the light before it’s too late, before they find themselves – their real self, their soul – standing before a certain throne of judgment. Not of forgiveness or mercy for it would be too late. But it isn’t too late yet! Hence my regular prayers for that group and others. I genuinely love atheists. And agnostics. And even the ever-smirking self-righteous like the Pharisees of Jesus’s time. Because God loves them. Every. Single. One. Of. Them. Every bit as much as He loves His own children, for His love is infinite and immutable, continual, constant, cannot change even one iota ever toward anyone. Because it’s literally who He is.
- “… God IS love…” (1 John 4:8)
But please don’t mistake that, as many do, to mean He therefore couldn’t and wouldn’t ever send someone to hell for all eternity.
He, in the Bible, makes it explicitly clear that He most certainly can and will… IF a person hasn’t chosen the aforementioned path that really does lead to Heaven. Or as 2 Thessalonians 2:10 puts it, who “did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.”
- “If we are faithless, He remains faithful [i.e., to Himself, per the next phrase]; for He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13)
All of which brings us to perhaps the scariest portion of the Bible; just listen to what Jesus Himself said (super-scoldingly, brimming with righteous, justified anger but all in love for them, for their souls) to a group of Pharisees who were the “religious” leaders of that era:
- “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'” (Matthew 7:21-23, at the very end of the famous-for-centuries and much-beloved “Sermon on the Mount”)
You see, it’s not about what a person says but rather what a person “does”, what they “practice” in life, what characterizes their lives overall. (You can read more about this specific aspect in a past post.)
Furthermore, when it comes to getting into Heaven, what counts isn’t whether or not you know Christ but rather whether or not He knows you. Not whether I know Him bur whether He knows me.
Further still, note how strong, how powerful self-deception, self-deceit, self-delusion can be. It’s clear by their statement that the Pharisees were absolutely, 100% “certain” they were headed for Heaven.
Score another one for the “Big Lie”. Those men, those souls were like countless other people before and since whose human heart has definitively convinced them that they too are headed for Heaven, But as the Bible also makes crystal clear about said human heart:
- “The [i.e., human, fallen] heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” Or as the King James Version puts it, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
I’m sorry to say that I know this to be true firsthand. Thankfully the Bible – and especially Bible memory and recitation and meditation – can and does and will transform the human heart/mind (c.f., Romans 12:1-2) so I’m very, very, very grateful for that but all of us, all of our hearts and minds and souls start out life in the very same boat as described in Jeremiah 17:9 and – still enveloped by fallen, sinful flesh until the day we physically die – that battle never goes very far away in this life, on this side of eternity (c.f., Romans 7:14-25 and Galatians 5:16-26, and note that word “practice” in verse 21 of this latter passage… like I said in that past post, it’s all about “practice”!) – even for the most spiritually mature, which I feel very safe in saying was the Apostle Paul [who physically penned those words] since he was undoubtedly the fullest imitator of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1) the world has ever known (and, not coincidentally, probably suffered more than any other human has other than Jesus Himself, but perhaps more about that in a future post) (see also 1 Peter 4:1-2 … definitely more about that in a future post, very powerful and empowering and relieving and freeing/liberating!).
Getting back to this present post’s primary passage in Matthew 7, note that those Pharisees were putting all of their weight and dependence and faith in (admittedly very impressive but equally insufficient-to-get-to-Heaven) deeds rather than having an actual relationship with God. (Meaning a good, active, ongoing and ever-growing relationship, as technically everyone has a relationship with God… some good, some bad; some functional, some dysfunctional; some peaceful, some hostile; some effective, some ineffective; some sufficient, some insufficient.)
And the fifth and final fact from this bit of our beloved Bible I’ll note is that two-word phrase “narrow gate” here in Matthew 7:13, both of which are repeated in verse 14. The picture painted by Jesus is that of a turnstile.
Ever gone with your family to the airport or amusement park or many other places and tried to all go through the turnstile at the same time, together? To say that doesn’t work very well is an understatement. Because it doesn’t work at all.
Does. Not. Work.
And that’s EXACTLY how it is with Heaven, too! It’s entirely an individual thing. Nobody, absolutely nobody can enter as part of a group or family or couple or even denomination. Strictly “one at a time ” as the signs on turnstiles blare.
Good, spiritually-mature and doctrinally-correct families can certainly be a huge help in terms of (post-salvation) spiritual growth, but not salvation itself; no, that’s a decision which each one of us must come to, must make entirely on our own, individually, from our own heart.
The previous post on this blog was about 9/11 (20th anniversary). I’ll end this one by begging any of you who haven’t yet come to that point, who haven’t yet made that decision of salvation through faith in Christ and specifically His becoming a human (Philippians 2:5-11) via the immaculate conception by the Holy Spirit; His perfect, sinless life (how would you like to have been Mary’s other children… talk about sibling issues, yikes, always having to be compared or live up to an older brother who was perfect – truly perfect, not like some who just think they are, but I digress 😉 ); and His death, burial, and resurrection.
THAT, my dear friends, is THE path, the RIGHT path that does indeed lead to, which will indeed take you to Heaven when your time here on earth comes to an end.
And harkening back to 9/11, please don’t make the potentially eternally-dreadful mistake of “putting off the matter” for another day or until another time. Because just think about those thousands of people who woke up on September 11, 2001, and went to work at their office in the World Trade Center or Pentagon as usual, just like every other day, or hopped on an airplane as many of them had so many times before.
Very often, death doesn’t give a one-year or one-week or one-day or even one-second notice. Much better, much wiser to plan ahead in this most important matter. And for the many of you reading this who no doubt already have, how crucial it is to lovingly tell those in your inner circle or whose paths you cross about this.
I feel compelled to end this post by reiterating something I emblazoned on the BibleMemory.ORG Home page and also said in the Overview video on the Home and Videos pages: in my view, in my perspective, I’m the biggest sinner I know, I’m the biggest sinner I’ve ever known, and I’m the biggest sinner you’ve probably ever known, at least that’s the way I see it, since memorizing a lot of Bible verses and indeed entire books opens one’s eyes very widely so as to see these two things (among countless others) very clearly: how righteous and perfect God is, and how sinful and unrighteous and imperfect we are in and of ourselves, apart from Christ – “who knew no sin [became] sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21, one of my favorite verses in the entire Bible, one of my favorite statements ever made by pen or tongue). Harkening back one last time to those Pharisees in Matthew 7… it’s not about me, it’s not about you, it’s not about us, it’s all about Him!
And praise the Lord for that.
Thankfully this “Big Truth” totally trumps, utterly outweighs the real ”Big Lie”, which the devil is constantly throwing out, hoping to snag and drag as many unsuspecting people as possible with him to an eternity in hell. (Misery loves company, eh?) Let’s rededicate ourselves, right now, to thwarting those plans of his by lovingly and humbly and powerfully and confidently communicating – by our lives/deeds, then our words – to as many people as possible starting with those in our inner circles, the “Big Truth”.
In fact, now when someone so much as says that phrase “the Big Lie” you have a perfect reply! Talk about an open door!