Matthew 7: 13, 14 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.
Intro: This week I read an article that literally broke my heart. It was an article in the Washington Times from 2014.
Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, said it’s his work for more gun control — along with his anti-smoking and healthy eating campaigns — that have won him God’s favor and a sure spot behind the Pearly Gates. His exact words, made in context of discussing his smoking cessation and anti-obesity pushes, as well as his concerted crackdowns on private gun ownership, to the New York Times were: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”
There are so many things wrong with this statement that I do not even know where to start.
First of all, he starts out with “…if there is a God.”
- Psalms 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.
Secondly, if there is no God, how can there be a Heaven? The same Bible that tells us that there is a Heaven tells us that there is a God. You can’t have one without the other.
Thirdly, there will not be any interviews at the pearly gates.
Fourthly, there is not a single person that has ever or could ever EARN their place in heaven!
Notice our text this morning:
- 13 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:
- 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
I. The Contrasts
There are two ways described in this passage.
They are stark contrasts.
- Psalms 1:6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
A. The Contrast of its Description
One is described as a broad way. It has a wide gate.
The word broad here means spacious.
Plenty of room. No restrictions; no boundaries; no limitations.
If it feels good, do it. If you think its ok, then it’s ok.
- Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
The other is described as a narrow way. It has a strait gate.
The word NARROW in verse 14 is the GREEK word: thlibo
It means – to press (as grapes), press hard upon; a compressed way; narrow straitened, contracted; metaph. to trouble, afflict, distress
B. The Contrast of its Destination
The first way leads to destruction.
- Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
The second way leads unto life.
II. The Crowd
Many versus the few.
- Exodus 23:2 Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil;
When it comes to the broad way, the Bible says “MANY THERE BE WHICH GO IN THEREAT…”
- It is the way every person was on when they were born.
SEE Romans 3
- 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
- 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
- 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
- 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
- 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
- 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
- 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
- 17 And the way of peace have they not known:
- 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
- The broad way comes easy; it is natural. We have to be taught the narrow way.
- Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
- Acts 18:26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
When it comes to the narrow way, the Bible says “FEW THERE BE THAT FIND IT”
Let’s be honest. Not too many are looking for God.
Not too many are searching for the truth.
Not too many are looking for the way to Heaven.
There are not too many that are willing to buck the system.
Not too many that are willing to reject conventional wisdom.
III. The Choice
Jesus simply said, “Enter in…”
You and I have a choice
- Jeremiah 21:8 And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death
We were commanded to ASK for the good way.
- Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
To “enter in” – to choose the narrow way, you must choose Jesus Christ.
- 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
- 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
- 4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
- 5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
- 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Jesus said in
- John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
- 10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
- 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
- 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
You will have to forsake your own way, and choose Christ.
- Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.