Matthew 7:13,14 - The Narrow or Wide Gate? Part 2

Mat.7:13, 14; The Narrow or Wide Gate? Part II

Enter 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. Matthew
7:13,14 (KJV)

Go in through the narrow gate, because the gate to hell is wide
and the road that leads to it is easy, and there are many who travel
it. But the gate to life is narrow and the way that leads to it is
hard, and there are few people who find it. Mat 7:13,14 (TEV)

The path which I have set before you, He said, is narrow; the
gate is difficult of entrance; for the golden rule excludes all pride
and self-seeking. There is, indeed, a wider road; but its end is
destruction. If you would climb the path of spiritual life, you must
constantly ascend; for it is an upward way. You must go with the few; for
the multitude will choose the downward path.

In the road to death the whole race may go, with all their
worldliness, all their selfishness, all their pride, dishonesty, and moral
debasement. There is room for every man's opinions and doctrines, space to
follow his inclinations, to do whatever his self-love may dictate. In
order to go in the path that leads to destruction, there is no need of
searching for the way; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad, and the
feet naturally turn into the path that ends in death.

But the way to life is narrow and the entrance strait. If you
cling to any besetting sin you will find the way too narrow for you to
enter. Your own ways, your own will, your evil habits and practices,
must be given up if you would keep the way of the Lord. He who would
serve Christ cannot follow the world's opinions or meet the world's
standard. Heaven's path is too narrow for rank and riches to ride in
state, too narrow for the play of self-centered ambition, too steep and
rugged for lovers of ease to climb. Toil, patience, self-sacrifice,
reproach, poverty, the contradiction of sinners against Himself, was the
portion of Christ, and it must be our portion, if we ever enter the
Paradise of God.

Yet do not therefore conclude that the upward path is the hard
and the downward road the easy way. All along the road that leads to
death there are pains and penalties, there are sorrows and
disappointments, there are warnings not to go on. God's love has 
made it hard for
the heedless and headstrong to destroy themselves. It is true that
Satan's path is made to appear attractive, but it is all a deception; in
the way of evil there are bitter remorse and cankering care. We may
think it pleasant to follow pride and worldly ambition, but the end is
pain and sorrow. Selfish plans may present flattering promises and
hold out the hope of enjoyment, but we shall find that our happiness
is poisoned and our life embittered by hopes that center in self.
In the downward road the gateway may be bright with flowers, but
thorns are in the path. The light of hope which shines from its
entrance fades into the darkness of despair, and the soul who follows
that path descends into the shadows of unending night.

"The way of transgressors is hard," but wisdom's "ways are ways
of pleasantness and all her paths are peace." Proverbs 13:15; 3:17.
Every act of obedience to Christ, every act of self-denial for His
sake, every trial well endured, every victory gained over temptation,
is a step in the march to the glory of final victory. If we take
Christ for our guide, He will lead us safely. The veriest sinner need
not miss his way. Not one trembling seeker need fail of walking in
pure and holy light. Though the path is so narrow, so holy that sin
cannot be tolerated therein, yet access has been secured for all, and
not one doubting, trembling soul need say, "God cares nought for

The road may be rough and the ascent steep; there may be
pitfalls upon the right hand and upon the left; we may have to endure
toil in our journey; when weary, when longing for rest, we may have
to toil on; when faint, we may have to fight; when discouraged, we
must still hope; but with Christ as our guide we shall not fail of
reaching the desired haven at last. Christ Himself has trodden the rough
way before us and has smoothed the path for our feet.

And all the way up the steep road leading to eternal life are
well-springs of joy to refresh the weary. Those who walk in wisdom's ways
are, even in tribulation, exceeding joyful; for He whom their soul
loveth, walks, invisible, beside them. At each upward step they discern
more distinctly the touch of His hand; at every step brighter
gleamings of glory from the Unseen fall upon their path; and their songs
of praise, reaching ever a higher note, ascend to join the songs of
angels before the throne. "The path of the righteous is as the light of
dawn, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." MB138-143