Matthew 7:13-14 ESV
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
Narrow vs. Broad
If something is narrow it is restricted and limited. To restrict is to put a limit on; to keep under control. And if something is limited it is controlled. It is regulated. And if something is limited it is restricted in size, amount, or extent. There are boundaries involved here. We can go this far but not farther. This is allowed, but this is not allowed.
So, this is the gate (entrance, door, opening, access) through which we are to enter, this one with moral boundaries, controls, and limits on what we can and cannot do. It is not the easy way which has little to no boundaries, limits, controls, or standards by which we must live. The narrow way is hard (difficult, tough, demanding). But it is the good way. It is the ONLY WAY.
So, why is it that so many people today are teaching the “good way” as the broad (wide) gate and as the easy way to salvation from sin and to eternal life with God, which has no moral boundaries and no biblical standards by which we must live? And the biggest question is, “How is it that so many people are buying into this broad and easy (false) road to eternal life?”
The Big Deception
I think a big part of this deception comes at a time when many people who claim faith in Jesus Christ are not reading their Bibles for themselves but they are relying on preachers, evangelists, pastors, book authors, Facebook memes, and writers of devotions to tell them what the Bible teaches. So, they are often getting a distorted picture of God’s grace and his salvation.
Another big part of this is that the broad gate and the easy way that leads to destruction appeals to human flesh. They want to be saved from the punishment of sin, and they want the hope of eternal life with God in heaven, but they don’t want to have to die to their sin or live to God and to his righteousness. They don’t want to have to obey his commands.
So, they alter the gospel message and turn it into a half-truth (lie) gospel, and they turn God into a genie in the sky there to grant their every request regardless of whether or not they ever pay him any respect and honor. They make their salvation from sin all about them and not about God at all. It is all about what God can do for them, but nothing is required of them.
It Has Requirements
But the narrow way has requirements. The true gospel has moral boundaries and biblical standards for godly living which we are to abide by. God’s grace to us is conditional upon us receiving it in the way that he says and us applying it to our lives in the way that he teaches. We have to walk (in conduct, in practice) now no longer according to the flesh but according to the Spirit or we don’t have eternal life with God. God said it, not me!
But the majority of people, at least here in America, who confess Jesus Christ as their Savior, and Christianity as their religion, are not entering by the narrow gate. In fact, they are being persuaded not to. They are being told that the narrow gate is the wrong way and that the broad gate is the right way, and it sounds good to their flesh, so they follow the broad way.
But what they are not being told is that the broad gate they are entering through to what they think is eternal life with God is really the gate to hell, not to heaven. For, they are being left in their slavery to sin, still living to please the flesh, still deliberately and habitually and premeditatedly sinning against the Lord thinking God can’t see or that he doesn’t care.
The Truth be Told
But Jesus died on that cross, not just to forgive us our sins, and not to hand us a blank check to heaven with no restrictions. He died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. And he shed his blood for us to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so we would now honor God with our bodies (with our lives).
The broad gate calls out to the people in the streets and it tells them to come enter into its gate for there they will find love, acceptance, tolerance, peace, grace, no judgment, no condemnation, and eternal life with God. And all they have to do is just “believe” in Jesus, though it doesn’t really say what it means to believe, but it leaves it up to the individual to interpret it.
The narrow gate also calls out to the people in the streets and it tells them to believe, but it explains what belief is. It says they must deny self, take up their cross daily (daily die with Christ to sin and to self) and follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his ways and to his commands. For, if they hold on to their present lives they will lose them for eternity, but if they lose their lives (die with Christ to sin) for Jesus’ sake, then they have eternal life with God.
Many and Few
The many, the majority, will enter the wide gate that leads to destruction, some of them convinced that they are entering the correct gate that will lead them to life eternal. They are believing a lie which is telling them that they don’t have to submit to Christ as Lord, they don’t have to forsake their lives of sin, and they don’t have to obey Jesus and his commands.
The few (a much lesser amount of people) will enter through the narrow gate, they will be crucified with Christ in death to sin and they will be reborn of the Spirit of God, and they will forsake their lives of sin to follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his commands, in his power and strength. They will stand on the word of God, share the truth with others, and they will suffer much persecution for righteousness’ sake for not compromising the truth.
So, please know this here. The Bible teaches the narrow way to heaven not the broad way. Don’t rely on what people are telling you the Bible says, read it for yourselves one book and one chapter at a time, in context, prayerfully, seeking the truth. And you will see that the Bible says if we sow to please the flesh, we will reap destruction, but if we sow to please the Spirit, we will reap eternal life. If you live in addiction to sin you will not have eternal life.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10]
Breath Of Heaven (Mary’s Song)
Songwriters: Amy Lee Grant / Chris Eaton
I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I’ve done
Holy father you have come
And chosen me now to carry your son
I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now
Be with me now
Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy
Breath of heaven
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