Friday, September 16, 2011

Entery by the Narrow Gate


“Enter by the narrow gate” (Matthew 7:14)

As a Christian, have you ever been called narrow-minded? No doubt if you have spoken of Jesus Christ being the only way to salvation you have been considered narrow-minded. There is a narrowness that goes beyond speaking of salvation in Jesus Christ which adds rules and regulations that are not biblical when it comes to salvation. Even in the context of lovingly speaking the truth of the gospel we are considered narrow-minded. But Jesus only gives us two options: The narrow gate and the wide gate.

I often wonder why people won’t say Jesus was narrow-minded but only those who speak the truth from his Word are narrow-minded. He says for us to “enter by the narrow gate” and then proceeds to tell us why we should. “For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.” Jesus is lovingly warning all to enter the narrow gate so they will not be destroyed. Sadly he also lets us know that many will walk on the wide path of destruction. But nonetheless Jesus is trying to tell everyone that there is only one way that leads to life. “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” This is not the normal path people walk because only few find it. Is Jesus being loving or narrow-minded?

Narrow-minded is “having a closed mind.” Having a narrow-mind consist of showing respect and being open to the opinions of people but has nothing to do with the truth. People won’t get upset with you when you tell them that four quarters equals a dollar. Why? Because it is true. But as soon as you tell them Jesus is the only way for salvation their faces turn red in hostility. Jesus is the only way to salvation as four quarters does equal a dollar. Both are truth. As a matter of a fact the reality those four quarters equal a dollar could change but Christ being the only way to the Father will never change. The truth about Jesus is absolutely, universally true forever. Jesus is the gate. The reason people will always call Christians narrow-minded, no matter how lovingly they communicate the truth, is because they want to reject Christ. But we must speak of Christ. No matter the response of the world we must give them the only hope. Jesus says, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved” (John 10:9). “I am the way…No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Telling others about Jesus is how we love others.

The narrow gate is the only way to life. This is the road all of us want to be on but many don’t want to enter through the Gate. We desire the way to life while walking on the road to destruction yet when warned we reject the truth. This is sad. But this is also a reminder of grace. Only through God’s mercy is anyone walking on the narrow road. Only through the work of the Holy Spirit has anyone entered by the narrow gate. This is all of grace. May we not be concerned with the response from the world about the message of Christ and him crucified for sinners. This is the message that saved us so why would we not want to tell others. Right before Jesus talks about the two gates he says, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.” Knowing what you know now about the holiness of God and his wrath to be poured out on sinners who do not repent and believe in Jesus Christ; why would you not do unto them what you would want them to do for you? We should be pleading with people to be reconciled to God: “Enter by the narrow gate.”

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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