“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
We want to believe that it is easy to find the way to God and to get into the Kingdom. Yet, Jesus says, “there are few who find it.”
There were 164 million Americans in 2019 who said they believed in God. But how many of them were living by His word, in relationship with Him? Are we? The word says that even demons believe God’s word and tremble. Do we?
Matthew records these two sentences spoken by Jesus, speaking of a narrow gate, and a narrow way. If finding the way to God is so easy, why does Jesus say few find it? Let’s take a look. The narrow gate and the narrow path are all about living an obedient life.
Jesus says in John 14:23, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” In fact, keeping His commandments is a way to show Him that we love Him. “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15.
Romans 8:1 says, There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
When we receive Jesus as our Savior, He washes us clean of sin. We are no longer under condemnation. Yet, as sons and daughters of the King with the Holy Spirit living inside us, if we continue to live in sin and refuse to follow the leading of Holy Spirit or repent (stop sinning and turn and follow Him) the word says, God is not pleased and He will discipline us.
And in Hebrews 12:5-11 “My son, do not despise the chastening (discipline) of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens (disciplines), And scourges every son whom He receives.”
7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
In Christendom today, most hold that somehow the greater part of our friends will go to heaven. Hell, is only for the arch-criminals and villains—the misguided rebellious ones.
The generation we live in believes that heaven can be reached without walking the only way that leads there – the way of the cross.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also]. Matthew 16:24 AMPC
Many believe they can serve two masters. Worship God on Sunday and live as they choose every other day of the week. Frank Sinatra is known for his song, “I did it my way.” Our way is not God’s way. Our way is not the narrow way that leads to life. Our way is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit and it leads to death.
Luke also recorded Jesus’ words about the narrow way. Take a look:
And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23 Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?”
And He said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ 26 then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ 27 But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ 28 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. 29 They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. 30 And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last.” Luke 13:22-30
To enter into the narrow gate, we must 1. Accept the truth Christ taught, what He lived. We must receive into our hearts the Spirit of the Lord who uncovers our sinful practices and by His grace helps us turn from them.
2. We must abandon our path of self-pleasing, self-excusing, and exercise true repentance. We must be accountable for our sins and not place blame on others. We must acknowledge our sin with godly sorrow and follow Him.
3. To enter the narrow gate, we must surrender ourselves completely to God in Christ, realizing we are no longer our own. We’ve been bought with a price—the precious blood of Jesus. Our life now is to glorify Him in all that we do and say, living in line with His truth.
If we Christians truly begin living this way, much of what we do in the way of evangelism would not be needed. Each of us would be living billboards for the Kingdom of God and love would permeate every facet of our world.
Let’s spend time before the end of the year committing to God that we want to be on the narrow way with Him. Let’s ask Him to expose and remove anything standing in the way. 2022 could be the beginning of a mighty move of love.