ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that
leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait
[is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there
be that find it,”
In the days when Jesus
walked the shores of Galilee it was notable
that the roads leading into the larger cities were broad allowing a huge throng
of travelers to enter together. There were also narrow pathways with even
narrower gates for entering such cities unobserved, and according to Jesus’
statement few enter in through that narrow gate. What Jesus is alluding to here
is that many people will choose to travel the wide path, that’s those that are
of the world. People who are unconcerned with God or their eternal salvation are
who Jesus is talking about. They are only concerned with the daily grind of
getting ahead, what they can glean out of this life, “what’s in it for me” type
of attitude. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish
foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God,” 1
They are blinded from the truth of the Gospel of
Christ. They see no benefit in following Jesus’ teachings. They pay no attention
to the idea of dying someday. They only wish to pursue pleasures that keep them
content for the day. “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.
For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness,” 1
The highway which leads
to death is broad and multitudes travel that path. It is a great highway in
which most people will never come to realize its destructive powers. They fall
into following that destructive path easily and they are persuaded of its allure
by others who have already made it their life’s path. Leaving that path takes a
special kind of thinking. Those who are perishing for the most part have no
concept what awaits them at the end of that wide path.
Christ has laid out for
us in advance how we are to enter into Heaven, we must enter through Him, and He
tells us it won’t be easy to follow His path, “Yea, and all that will live
godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution,” 2 Timothy 3:12.
Following Jesus won’t be a cake walk. We must understand that
entering in through the narrow gate and following Jesus Christ will lead to
persecution and hatred from those who are still on the wide highway, many of
which may well be family members of whom we love.
Everyday we are fed lies
that are designed to keep us off the straight path and away from the narrow
gate; this is in direct opposition to the Gospel of Christ. Through movies and
television, the leftist news media, the internet, and our humanistic public
schools, we are taught there is no such thing as God. In the view of secular
scientists there is no other path to take other than the wide path. In their way
of thinking the straight path and the narrow gate aren’t even an alternative.
“There just isn’t any truth in the Bible” they say. “It’s antiquated and not
reliable, stay away from it.” As you can see, people are programmed from an
early age to travel the path that leads to destruction.
With Jesus’ words taken
from Matthew 7, it is clear that for a huge multitude of people what awaits them
is everlasting torment once they leave this world. Why? Because they couldn’t
reconcile themselves to the truth and make a lane change. For a select few in
comparison, there will be everlasting life in Heaven with our LORD and Saviour
Jesus Christ. This is so, because we followers of Jesus Christ persevered in the
face of adversity. We are admonished to hold fast to the faith. “Let
us hold fast the profession of [our] faith without wavering; (for he [is]
faithful that promised;),” Hebrews 10:23.
There is a joy that goes
along with our salvation which is frankly difficult to explain to non believers.
But aside from that joy, we have God’s assurance that for those of us who have
elected to travel the straight path and enter in through the narrow gate, Heaven
Hell, on the other hand
doesn’t conjure up any joy whatsoever. Some foolish people make the comment, “Oh
well, I’ll be with friends.” Nowhere in the scriptures are we told that Hell
will be this huge everlasting kegger in park. No, Jesus tells us in the Gospel
of Matthew what Hell is, “The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and
they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do
iniquity… And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and
gnashing of teeth,” Matthew
13:41, 42. Jesus uses this phrase (wailing and
gnashing of teeth) six times in the Gospel of Matthew. Therefore it
must be quite significant. Hell is described as a lake of fire created for Satan
and his angels. Hell was not created for man nor will God send anyone there.
Those whose final destination is Hell will only have themselves to blame, not
God. Adam and Eve’s rebellion led to Gods creation being cursed, and because man
sinned, God dealt with it. God gives everyone on the face of this planet ample
advance notice of the two destinations of which one or the other awaits us all.
In Heaven we will be
surrounded by indescribable beauty and a magnificence that is beyond our wildest
dreams. There will be no sorrow or pain, and shortly after our arrival, no more
tears, we’ll have no complaints, only pure joy and splendor with the one and
only true God of the universe.
Hell on the other hand is
the ultimate in everlasting suffering. It is a place where no one in their right
mind would ever choose to go. Yet it’s a place where everyone, through their own
resolve, will end up for eternity if there is no repentance and acceptance of
Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. For those who don't get the concept of an
eternity in Hell let me explain. Going to Hell isn’t just a life sentence such
as going to prison; it’s an eternal sentence with no possibility of a reprieve
from the Governor, or in this case Jesus Christ our LORD. Since we’re told its
everlasting that’s what I believe. Some will try to say that everlasting only
means for a while. Jesus Himself uses the word everlasting four times in the
Gospel of Matthew. The Greek word is aiōnios, when translated into English we
get the following meanings, for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time,
eternity. Therefore there’s no reason to assume that those who find
themselves in Hell for eternity, all because of their foolish pride, arrogance,
lack of faith will ever be released from that horrible torment.
Narrow path or wide
highway, it's a choice we must make and there is no middle ground. It’s kind of
like the television game show the Price Is Right only there’s just two doors to
choose from, door number 1 and door number 2. But unlike the game show, what’s
behind each door is in plain view for everyone to see, and everyone on the face
of this planet will play.
“Jesus saith unto him,
I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by
me,” John 14:6.
If we choose to travel that wide path, that worldly
path, that path that will lead us to destruction, we have no excuse because it
was our choice. Just like the game show above, we made our choice freely.
Wouldn’t it be better to choose the strait path and enter in through the narrow
gate that is Christ Jesus our Lord in whom we receive eternal life?
When we die our choices
are over. The very instant we die we will either be with our Lord Jesus in
Heaven or in Hell for all of eternity. Don’t let anyone fool you into believing
that our paths are pre-determined; we must decide for ourselves which course we
are going to take, and nothing is more important than our eternal salvation.
Remember this no one knows what tomorrow will bring. As fragile as these bodies
of ours are, today could be the very day we enter into eternity.
“He that believeth on
him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he
hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God,”
John 3:18. Which path will you take?
The wise choose Jesus.
The foolish choose…well you know.
God bless you all,