Warren E. Berkley
“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,” (Matt. 7:13,14).
The word “enter” combines two simple concepts: action and access. When you approach a building and see a sign that says, “Entrance,” you move in that direction, through a door; you take action to gain access.
The God of heaven sent His Son to die for us. Based on that atoning sacrifice, even though we have sinned, God offers us access into His favor and His family. Through the gospel, God informs us, appeals to us and invites us in – to enter; to come into the Kingdom. If we want access, we must take action – the action God has specified. Those who desire access into the blessings and fellowship with God must take action (see Acts 2:38). Jesus said, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door…,” (Lk. 13:24). When you hear the gospel, believe in Christ, repent of your sin, confess your faith and obey the Lord in baptism – you are entering (action to gain access). As you remain faithful to the Lord, you are remaining in that place you entered. We have “access by faith into this grace,” (Rom. 5:2).
Note, there are two gates: the narrow gate and the wide gate. Little deliberation is necessary to discern which gate should be entered. Modern thinking favors the broad gate: do anything you want; go anywhere; join any church; take any path; make any choice; do what is easy! Jesus doesn’t speak nor condone the carnal appeal. There is a single-minded narrowness of focus in His words, compared to the carefree, crowd-pleasing broad way of the world. Now good things abound in this narrow way. Great blessings await those who choose to be citizens of the kingdom. There is no better way of life, than to live in fellowship with God, in surrender to the authority of Christ. Only in the King’s narrow highway is the willful spirit conquered. Only in the narrow way is there “the way that leads to life,” and sadly, only a few find it.
Look through the rest of the seventh chapter of Matthew. Carefully observe: two gates, two kinds of fruit, two foundations! Will you be saved or lost? The appeal is clear and urgent.