The ancient Jewish temples had many entrances to them. Among those were broad and tall entrances as well as narrow and short. Entering through the wide gates was obviously easier while it was almost impossible to enter by the narrow gates without stooping down and brushing one’s self against the wall. Jesus said the road to destruction like the wide gate is fast and easy while the path to everlasting life is as difficult as entering through the narrow gate.
I want to preach from this parable today because we come across both wide and narrow gates every day in our walk with Jesus. It is important that we learn to discern narrow gates from the wide gates because Jesus said only a few find the narrow gate which leads to eternal life. When we look at the church today we see that many are entering through the wide gates while only a small number of people are entering by the narrow gate.
Read Matthew 7:13-14
1. The Wide Gate
The people entering through the wider gate aren’t heathens. They are three groups of Christians and that gate is a symbol of the kind of life they lead.
A. The first group is made of namesake Christians who compromise with the world, (1 John 2:15).
B. The second group is also made of namesake Christians but the people in this particular group are people pleasing cowards, (John 12:42-43).
C. The third group is made of the worst breed of namesake Christians. They deceive people in the name of Christ (2 Timothy 3:5-7).
Although made of three different groups people that enter through the wide gate share the same fate. A fate that is not short of eternal damnation!
2. The Narrow Gate
The people entering through the narrow gate are the Christians that are committed to Christ on a daily basis. There are three levels of commitment.
A. The first level is made of Christians that refuse to compromise with the world, (Daniel 1:8-21)
B. The second level is made of Christians that are not ashamed or afraid of following Christ, (John 19:38-39)
C. The third level is made of Christians who will take a stand for God at any cost even if it means death, (Daniel 3:16-18).
Most of the time you don’t find yourself in the third level but if you are in the first level you will soon find yourself in the third level.
3. The Right Choice
Making the right choice is definitely rewarding but it is not without a hefty price that manifests in different forms. A few examples are given below.
A. We can’t follow Jesus and earthly possessions at the same time because Jesus demands we leave our possessions behind, (Mark 10:17-25)
B. Jesus has called us to be different and swimming up the current is not as easy as swimming with the current, (Romans 12:2)
C. Persecution will be abundant but Jesus said to be strong because he overcame the world, (Matthew 5:10-12) and stand firm until the end, (Matthew 24:13).
The right choice of entering by the narrow gate instead of the wide gate is a daily Christian discipline that we must cultivate so that we shall not miss eternal life.
Some evangelists preach that getting saved is one of the easiest things in the world. It is not, because the perfection of our salvation involves choosing between wide and narrow gates and entering by the right entrance every day, in other words, we must work out our salvation every day, (Philippians 2:12) and offer our bodies to God as living sacrifices, (Romans 12:1). We do all of that by entering through the narrow gate, not by the wide gate.
Unlike the wide gate, the narrow gate is not a popular gate to enter by. No wonder Jesus said many will miss it. What a solemn warning I shall say? It shows that “Once saved – Always saved!” is the wrong way of understanding our salvation in Christ. Some of you may not agree with me. You might say once saved we are always saved indeed but honestly, I got nothing to lose even if I am wrong. What if you are wrong?
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