There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is uniquely un-American…and that’s why most Americans are lost. In America we pride ourselves on our work ethic. If you won’t work for it, then you don’t deserve it. Most Americans believe there is “no such thing as a free lunch” and when offered, it must be “too good to be true.” Finally, Americans don’t believe in surrender. We stand our ground and would rather die than give up. Get my point?
Salvation requires admitting you are deeply and fatally flawed – a sinner. It requires acknowledging that there is nothing within your power you can do to fix your separation from a holy God – you can’t work your way out. Finally, salvation requires you to surrender – not only your efforts to save yourself, but control of your life. If you refuse to do those things…things that “seem right” to most people in terms of going to Heaven…the end “is the way of death” – eternal death.
But there is a warning for Christians in today’s passage, as well.
Your heart is deceitful above all things (Jer. 17:9). It lies to you more than anyone else, but you believe your heart. It is desperately wicked, so its lies are always toward folly and sin. Because your heart is so deceitful and wicked, you cannot fully grasp its danger to you, apart from Scripture’s warnings. The verse concludes, “Who can know it?”
Instead of feeling and thinking, you should be listening and learning. Ideas generated from the inside are always inferior to those found in the Bible, which are from God’s heart and mind. You must become a serious student of Scripture in order to “have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16). If you don’t know God’s language, how can you possibly hear His voice? The more you know of Him, the more you will hear His voice, and the more you will be able to tell the difference between what seems right to you…and the right way. Between the way of life…and the way of death.