Narrow And Wide Gates


‘Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.’ Matthew 7:13-14

‘Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, ‘Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?’ He said to them, ‘Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.’ Luke 13:22-24

Because the way to heaven requires a humility that is combined with suffering and persecution, few will enter the gate into heaven. Many will enter the gate to condemnation into hell since it is the way of indifference, self-righteousness, laziness and hypocrisy.

The fact that Jesus here states that it’s wide assumes that most people will be lost, most people who live upon the face of the earth will choose not to obey God. The narrowness consists of the restrictions, disciplines, and requirements throughout the whole area of Christian living.

Such things as self-denial, the forgiveness of others, commitment, meekness, rejection of the pursuit of wealth as the main goal of life, and countless other basic Scriptural principles are opposed to the natural man whose baser instincts propel him constantly in the direction of the wide gate and the broad way.

Only those who are truly spiritual, who have set their minds upon the things in heaven, shall enter and negotiate the straitened way that leads to life and we must remember that God will keep on saving men until the fullness of His purpose is achieved, Romans 11:25.

Luke’s account happens later in Jesus’ ministry, but Luke clearly tells us that only a few are saved. This question stimulated Jesus’ teaching concerning the narrow gate. It’s a fact of historical significance.

Throughout history, few people are obedient in comparison to the population of the world. As in the few eight souls who were saved in Noah’s ark, so few who will be obedient to the gospel at any one time in history, 1 Peter 3:20-21/

We must enter the gate purposely, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.

The gate is narrow, not because it’s the fault of God, but because of the unwillingness of people to submit to the will of God. People make the gate narrow because of their own rebellion against God and they will not be able to enter because they are either trapped by their love of the world or are caught in the deception of their own devised religions.

Many religious people cannot enter because they have tried to make their own gate through which to enter. Since they have convinced themselves that their gate is the right gate, they will not seek to enter the true gate, John 14:6 / Acts 4:12.

If we know that many souls will be lost, what should this teach us about our evangelism efforts?

Are we as concerned as Abraham was over those souls who lived in Sodom? Genesis 18:22-32.

Are we as concerned as Paul was over his fellow Jews? Romans 9:1-5.

There should be a sense of urgency. We quarrel and fight over issues and the focus ends up being taken away from the lost and put on ourselves.

We must remember that every single soul is important to God and we should be going out of our way to help them seek Him through the narrow way.