Matthew 7:13–14 (NLT) speaks about “the many.”
13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”
Matthew 24:9–14 (NLT) speaks about the “the many”
9 “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. 10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.”
These two groups are different. The first group of “many” are those who never connected to the Gospel message, while the second group are those who connected but turned away with cold hearts.
How can this happen? The answer is simple: The lack of truth.
In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul warns Timothy, a young pastor he discipled, that a time will come when people will reject the truth.
2 Timothy 4:3–5 (NLT)
3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will reject the truth and chase after myths.
Then in Romans, the Apostle Paul says, they will suppress the truth:
Romans 1:18 (NASB95)
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress (to forcibly put an end to it: to crush/squash/stamp out) the truth in unrighteousness,
The result of this rejection and suppression of the truth is spoken about through the Prophet Isaiah:
Isaiah 59:14–17 (NLT)
14 Our courts oppose the righteous, and justice is nowhere to be found.
Truth stumbles in the streets, and honesty has been outlawed.
15 Yes, truth is gone, and anyone who renounces evil is attacked.
This should deeply concern all of us. We are living in the “time” Apostle Paul spoke of! We are seeing what Isaiah saw happen because of the rejection and suppression of the truth. More than ever we need to wrap our minds and hearts around the truth of God’s Word. Not only for our sake, but also for the sake of “the many!” More than ever we are called to speak the truth in love and without compromise.