Friday, October 14, 2005

The Narrow, Little Way

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)
The world thinks there are many paths that lead to life, that the gate is wide and the way is broad. Truth is relative to them. “Whatever works for you is good for you, and whatever works for me is good for me.” “I’m OK, you’re OK.” Each becomes his own barometer for what is right. “Whatever floats your boat.” “Whatever gets you there.” Now it has been reduced to a shrug of the shoulders and “Whatever.”

But long ago, Jesus taught us something very different: “Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Many non-Christians and nominal Christians love to quote Jesus when He says, “Judge not, that you be not judged” (See Godly Discernment or Judgmental Spirit?). They don’t want their “many ways” ideology to be disturbed by anyone discerning between right and wrong, truth and error, good and evil. But who quotes Jesus when He says, “Narrow is the gate, and difficult is the way?”

G. K. Chesterton, brilliant Christian apologist of the last century (and author of the famous Father Brown detective stories) said that many people reject Christianity, not because they tried it and found it lacking, but because they found it difficult and so never tried it all.

“Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction.” There are many ways that lead to loss, ruin and misery. They are exceedingly easy to enter, and so many people pass through them. Not just heroin addicts, alcoholics, gamblers, prostitutes and the sad little lives featured on the Jerry Springer show. They pretty much know they are messed up, and the bitterness of their way is very near the surface of their lives.

But also politicians, corporate executives, university professors, even church leaders. So many of them have taken destructive paths, but they are able to rationalize their choices for a time. Until one day, their cleverness catches up to them and they find themselves on the broad path that promised them pleasure and plenty, but delivers only pain.

Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. God gave Adam and Eve the choice between the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (See The Tree of Life and The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil). The Tree of Knowledge seems very appealing, but its fruit is poison. The world spends itself in having intimate knowledge and relationship with good and evil, and the result is destruction. Broad is the way.

Jesus invites us to partake of the Tree of Life. “Enter by the narrow gate,” He says. In John 14:6, He spells it out clearly, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (another verse the world does not care to quote — too restrictive for politically correct multicultural diversity).

This little gate is so narrow that you cannot carry anything with you except total dependence upon God through the Lord Jesus Christ. But it will be all you will ever need. In fact, without faith, you cannot enter at all.
For without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)
The gate the leads to life is narrow, and the way is restrictive. But Jesus invites you to enter into that gate, and He will lead you all the way. He IS the way, and it is in relationship with Him that you will find the abundant life of God.



The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth

The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth
Keys to the Kingdom of God
in the Gospel of Matthew

by Jeff Doles

Preview with Amazon’s “Look Inside.”

Available in paperback and Kindle (Amazon), epub (Google and iTunes) and PDF.