Enter by the narrow gate

Published 1:00 pm Sunday, June 30, 2024

“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.” — Matthew 7:13-14 (NKJV)

In a day and time when false teachers declare that it is nearly impossible for a person to spend eternity in hell, these two verses tell a very different story. We have been subjected to the sentimental and un-biblical notion that all persons are basically good; therefore, we should not be concerned about eternal damnation. After all, a Holy God would not sentence us to hell. So then we have only to “try” to be good and everything will be alright. 

We can easily understand how this false teaching is so widely accepted: if true, who wouldn’t want to have the fear of hell become a moot point? That would be terrific indeed, except for the wording of this passage we could arrive at that conclusion. Jesus places the ball squarely in our court with the first word of verse 13: Enter. 

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It is our choice which gate we go through. He doesn’t force us into either choice; He only outlines the ramifications of each choice. On the one hand lies the “narrow gate,” the gate that leads to life, life with Him. The other, or wide gate and broad way, leads to our destruction. We have the option, or will to choose our own eternity.

Which way should we choose? Jesus said that He is the Way in John 14:6. If we want to choose life, then we must choose the narrow and difficult way. All other gates lead to eternal destruction, because only Jesus saves.

In August of 1915, Robert Frost wrote a poem entitled “The Road Not Taken.” It speaks of a man facing the difficulty of choosing which path of life to travel. After some considerable examination of his choices, a decision was made, “And I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

Just as Mr. Frost’s explorer was rewarded for his correct choice, so too must we choose the path that will bring us to eternal peace and joy with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

It is ours, and only ours to choose — Heaven, or Hell.

Choose wisely my friends.

The Rev. Bobby Thornhill is a retired pastor.