There is another road to Hell quite as sure!
(J.C. Ryle, "Practical Religion" 1878)
"Strive to enter in at the narrow gate: for many will seek to enter in, and shall not be able!" Luke 13:24
"STRIVE" teaches that a man must expect many adversaries and a hard battle — if he would have his soul saved. And this, as a matter of experience, is strictly true. There are no "gains without pains" in spiritual things — any more than in temporal things. That roaring lion, the devil — will never let a soul escape from him without a struggle. The heart which is naturally sensual and earthly — will never be turned to spiritual things without a daily fight. The world, with all its opposition and temptations — will never be overcome without a conflict.
I warn you to take heed that you do not perish forever — for lack of "striving." Do not suppose that it needs some great scarlet sin to bring you to the pit of eternal destruction! You have only to sit still and do nothing — and you will find yourself there at last. Yes! Satan does not ask you to walk in the steps of Cain, and Pharaoh, and Ahab, and Judas Iscariot. There is another road to Hell quite as sure — the road of spiritual indolence, spiritual laziness, and spiritual sloth!
Satan has no objection to your being a respectable member of the Christian Church. He will allow you to sit comfortably in church every Sunday you live. He knows full well, that so long as you do not "strive" — that you must come at last to the worm that never dies, and the fire that is never quenched! Take heed that you do not come to this end. I repeat it, you have only to do nothing — and you will be eternally lost!
Think, think above all things, what a state this is to die in! Your life is but a vapor. A few more years at most — and you are gone! Your place in the world will soon be filled up; your house will be occupied by another.
The sun will go on shining;
the grass and daises will soon grow thick over your grave;
your body will be food for worms,
and your soul will be lost to all eternity!