The Way to Heaven

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“Wait on the Lord and keep His way; and He shall exalt you to inherit the land” (Psalm 37:34). The Lord hopes that we will follow Him on the path to heaven. At one point during the Lord’s life on earth, He described this walk as a choice between a narrow gate which leads to life and a broad way which leads to destruction (see Matthew 7:13-14). The broad way—following the path of least resistance—may seem to be the easy way, yet it doesn’t lead to long-term happiness.  The path to heaven—the narrow way—may seem more difficult at first, but the Lord is always ready to help us make the journey.

The Story

Read

  • “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life” (Matthew 7:13-14).
  • Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truths and teach me. For you are the God of my salvation (Psalm 25:4-5).
  • You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).
  • Heaven is granted to none but those who know the way to it and who walk therein (Divine Providence 60).

Ideas for discussion

  1. The way to heaven is not always easy. The Lord said, “narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life” (Matthew 7:14). What are some examples of difficult paths that lead to heaven?
  2. In contrast, “wide is the gate and broad is the way” that leads to hell. What are some examples of broad paths that may look appealing to us at first?
  3. The Heavenly Doctrines for the New Church describe some of the paths in the spiritual world. Some seem attractive, but really lead to hell, and others look narrow and sad but actually lead to the joy of life in heaven.
  4. We choose our way and walk along a path with the decisions we make each day.  Will we stubbornly go our own way? Or will we follow the Lord toward the happiness of heaven?
  5. The Lord gives us this comforting teaching in Heaven and Hell 359: “It is not as hard to follow the path to heaven as many people believe. The only difficulty is finding the power to resist love for ourselves and love of the world, and preventing those loves from taking control, since they are the source of all our evils.”

Read more about the way to heaven:

Projects and activities for various ages:

  • Find Your Way through the Maze (ages 5-10)
    Find your way through the maze to heaven.
  • Pathways to Heaven and Hell (ages 6-10)
    Contrast the paths to heaven and to hell by picturing some of things that might be seen along these paths by someone who can see clearly in the spiritual world.
  • You Will Show Me the Path of Life (ages 6-10)
    Color the pathway to heaven and picture the Lord at the top of the pathway.
  • Is the Road to Hell Paved with Good Intentions? (teens)
  • Is this well known saying true or false? In what way might it be true? In what way is it false? Consider whether the Lord cares most about our thoughts, our actions, or our intentions.
  • Guardian Angels and Our Thoughts (teens)
    This chart helps you compare the kinds of thoughts and feelings that evil spirits bring to our minds with the ones angels bring to our minds.
  • Is It Easy or Difficult to Get to Heaven? by David Roth
    A spiritual task inviting us to spend a week observing the decisions and choices we make, paying attention to what our motives may be.
  • Dramatization of Broad and Narrow Ways
    Use existing doorways in your home or arrange chairs  to concretely illustrate a “narrow way” and a “broad way.” One suggestion is to let each person try getting through the narrow doorway (or chairs set close together) carrying possessions or “baggage.” Each will have to let go of these in order to walk along the narrow way. If we insist on holding onto these things, only the broad way will let us enter.
     

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