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The Narrow Gate

The Narrow Gate

"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is narrow and the way is constricted that leads to life, and there are few who find it." —Matthew 7:13-14

Looking around today, it's easy to see that there are in fact many people who are on the broad path to destruction—those who are going their own way, living in flagrant sin, having rejected the gospel of Jesus Christ. But what about the narrow gate? Who are the few that will find it, and are we among those few?

Jesus' further words should give us pause. He says, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven" (7:21a), and "I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness'" (7:23). In verse 22, we read that many will claim service in the Lord's name as a reason to be welcomed into the kingdom of heaven. It's clear that they did not have a saving faith, but believed their good works would be sufficient for salvation. Good works are a result of—not the cause of—salvation. (See Ephesians 2:8-10, James 1:22-25, 2:26.)

The fact that there are many who are on the broad path to destruction, and that some of those truly believe they are saved, tells us that these individuals are among us today—perhaps closer than we may think. How, then, can we ensure that we enter through the narrow gate?

There is only one way—Jesus Christ (John 14:6). We must first acknowledge that we are sinners deserving of God's wrath; we have a godly sorrow over our sins. We understand that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ—not of ourselves. This gift is gracious because we are completely undeserving. We acknowledge that the penalty for our sins has been paid in full by Christ's perfect sacrifice on the cross. We repent, turning from our sins, placing our faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

Not only is God's grace a gift, but faith as well. This is not merely a speculative faith. Saving faith causes a total change in our character resulting in a complete commitment to and reliance upon God.

One who has entered through the narrow gate is marked by repentance, submission to Christ as Lord, and a willingness to obey His Word. Those who do the will of the Father will enter heaven (Matt. 7:21b). If you are in doubt—pray! Ask God to open your eyes to the truth and to grant you faith and repentance unto salvation.

Enter through the narrow gate. Repent and believe in Jesus Christ! Take up your cross and follow Him.

"He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." —John 3:36