Brent Smith

            If we love God, then keeping his commandments is not grievous (1 John 5:3). But Jesus did say, “strait” (or difficult) “is the gate and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14). Jesus also said that coming after him required us to bear our “cross” (Matthew 16:24). Thus Paul’s words are encouraging, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18) But make no mistake about it, life is hard, and living the right kind of life is extremely difficult.

            So why make it harder on folks than God makes it. Why require more out of a Christian than God requires in order to be deemed faithful? There have been religious individuals, under both the Old and New dispensation, who teach for doctrines the commandments of men (Matthew 15:9). The Jewish leaders could make a good case for the various restrictions that they had added to keeping the Sabbath. Their judgments in many cases may have been very sound. When they bound those judgments, however, no matter how good their judgments were, they made it harder to go to heaven than did God, and they themselves became the transgressors.

            All of us must be careful: no matter the Biblical issue, no matter how strongly we feel about it, no matter how wise our judgment may be, if there is any room whatsoever in our interpretation, if any leniency allowed whatsoever by Scripture, if any lack of clarity either because the Bible does not specify or our personal understanding is lacking, we must not make a law where God has not made a law. Why would we ever want to make it harder for anyone to go to heaven than does God?