“…Enter through the narrow gate…”
If someone has the misconception that the world’s sinful population will somehow make it to heaven without accepting the Savior’s forgiveness, then they must seriously consider what God has consistently explained. Such widely held idealism is not supported by the Old Testament’s teachings about the law or by the New Testament’s teachings about grace. Such thinking is in reality Satan’s highly alluring and destructive deception! Universalism is the theological enemy of fulfilling the Great Commission and stands against the Christian faith! It negates the spiritual purpose of Jesus’ command to be witnesses (see Acts 1:8) and make disciples (see Matthew 28:19).
In contrast to man’s wishful thinking, experiencing God’s truth is the only way to make His blessings personal. Because the Father alone knows every human heart, only His Son can speak with authority about who will be welcomed into heaven’s kingdom. Speaking as our all-knowing Savior, Jesus caringly warned, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven…” (Matthew 7:21)
and there are many who enter through it.
For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life,
and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
Our Lord would have been negligent and therefore imperfect if He had not informed us about both eternal gates (see Matthew 7:13-14). He therefore urgently warned us to avoid society’s dangerous road. He did this because He fully understood the – consequences! He realized that the last thing mankind wanted to hear was that there was only one way to heaven. The Truth however remains fearlessly honest and eternally the same, so He went directly against the grain to teach us about “the narrow gate.”
As the Lord’s 21st century disciples, it is essential that we quietly pause to think about what He taught us. Then, by faith, we can proceed wisely. Our calling is to faithfully declare “… the truth in love…” (Ephesians 4:15) This must include explaining God’s urgent warning about the destruction that awaits those who choose the broad road of self-rule rather than the narrow road of God’s rule.
Christians have been directed to help seekers – understand and enter heaven’s “…narrow gate…that leads to life…” (see Matthew 7:13-14) It is obvious from the Lord’s teaching in Matthew chapter seven that false teachers are spiritually dangerous. This is true because the result of their untruthful instruction is “…bad fruit…” (v. 7:17)! It also follows that such persons of influence can point their friends, loved ones, and even entire congregations in a direction that “…leads to destruction…” (v. 7:13). Christians are therefore at cross-purposes with popular worldly thinking that fails to emphasize God’s narrow road.
Those who naively avoid God’s plain-spoken truth are normally offended by the width of heaven’s narrow gate. They sadly fail to understand that it was sovereignly chosen as God’s personal design (see John 14:6)!
Regarding the Truth and man’s future spiritual judgment, Jesus summarized our need by saying, “… everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man…” (Matthew 7:24) Those who are wise in every generation recognize the difference between life’s two eternal destinations. Then, they make their decisions accordingly. Our job is to help point everyone we know in heaven’s wonderful direction!
By Billie Hanks Jr.