Matthew 7:13 & 14, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Jesus of course was speaking of the afterlife. Why is it that it’s so hard for people to get to heaven? And why is it so easy for us to find ourselves in hell? Apparently if human kind were a pie graph, a narrow 10-20% sliver would be in heaven and the other broad part of the pie would easily be in hell. The thing is, we LIKE doing bad things. We like to drink in excess, eat in excess, and smoke our paychecks away. There’s plenty of evidence that Americans fornicate without restraint as well. Look at divorce rates (even among Christians), look at how many have sexual relations before marriage, and how many registered sex offenders there are. And when it comes to gossip, complaint, little white lies, slander, or plain ol’ discouragement . . . look no further than the social giants of the internet. Pleasure however, is not happiness. And if we continue to revel in what pleases us, what we are really doing is refusing Christ. We would do well to remember that.
The truth is that it takes discipline to do right. It takes restraint and focus to keep ourselves safe from, well ourselves. But there is hope and His name is Jesus Christ. Even if we fail at trying, that’s something. It means that we are no longer just stopped, but we’ve turned around, and made an effort to move toward Jesus. We don’t need to be perfect by any means, because Jesus did that for us. Still, there’s a difference between messing up and regretting it, and knowingly messing up and justifying it.
We spend everyday making decisions in our life. What we are going to eat, who we will talk to, what we will wear, where we will go, and the list goes on. The most important decision we will make is which gate we will walk through, the narrow or wide one.
In case you are wondering where I am going with this – stay with me it will become clearer as I go on. A couple of weeks ago the gospel reading at the church I attend was Matthew 7:12-14 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. 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.” I am going to focus on verses 13&14. Jesus is talking about the path to Christianity here. I am not sure if I totally got it before the sermon that Sunday; but I can honestly say that I understand it now. The sermon spoke of how the narrow gate and the path will not be easy or smooth like the wide gate and that we only go through the gate one at a time not as a group. Now before you think I am not making any sense, I want you to think about it – We are told repeatedly in the Bible that the way of the Lord is hard and we will meet untold troubles on the way. So why do we think that all we have to do to get to heaven is accept Him as our savior with no real heartfelt desires to pursue His word. We should be grateful that we are even given the opportunity to be a child of God and be willing to accept what trials or troubles may come forth from it. The sermon went into great detail about the wide gate and how many will want to enter through there because it is the easy way to go and that the narrow gate is not the most appealing way but is the only way to follow in the footsteps of our Lord. To enter through the narrow gate we must be ready to let go of all the earthly baggage we have; whether it is material things we use as idols, emotional things we cannot let go of or just a basic refusal to accept the writing in the Bible as it stands without changing it to meet what it is we want.
I know I am not giving the sermon the justice it deserves by my paraphrasing here, but I hope you get the picture. We have the FREEDOM to make the DECISION to enter the NARROW GATE, I hope I see you on the path with me.
I want to thank the person who wrote and delivered that sermon; my husband Jim Edgel for opening my eyes to the path I need to be on. Thank you so much, and I love you.
God Loves You And So Do I