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The Narrow Way, Part 3: A Tale of Two Cities

By Kyle Rapinchuk

“IT WAS the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.” This brief passage from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens has become one of the most well-known and easily identified passages in all of English literature. Here Dickens describes London and Paris before the French revolution.

In Jesus’ sermon, we are confronted with a similar picture. We have two roads before us that lead to two very different cities simultaneously. On the wide road that leads to destruction, we have Hell; on the narrow road that leads to salvation, we have the New Jerusalem. Just like in Dickens’ work, these are two very different cities, two very different realities, yet they exist simultaneously. We could rewrite Dickens’ famous paragraph…although I don’t think we have to. Imagining Hell at the end of one road and the New Jerusalem at the end of the other, listen to Dickens’ words again. “IT WAS the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.” Which city do you want? Your decision about the city, requires also a choice about the road. You cannot choose the easy road of the world and end up in the New Jerusalem. If you want that city, then you must follow Jesus’ road, for it is the only way to get there. All roads may lead to Rome, as the saying goes, but only one road leads to a place worth spending eternity, and that is the narrow road tread by Jesus.