The Lord Jesus Christ said, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matt. 7:13-14 ESV) These words are quite famous but rarely considered.
Why do I say that? The true Gospel message which Jesus Christ came to deliver is the most intolerant, unacceptable, and offensive truth humanity has to receive. This is the case because it inherently rejects the validity of all paths. In fact the passage makes explicit that not all paths lead to a desirable destination. There is a way of life and a way of death.
We understand this imagery. When we consider Christ’s words, it’s as if someone from central Pennsylvania said, “I need to go to Pittsburgh, so I’m heading out east towards Philadelphia.” What would be your response? If you had any sense of direction you would say, ‘Buddy, you’re going in the complete opposite direction, you need to turn around or else you’ll never get there.’ It’s the same thing with Christ’s example.
You see, we are all wandering in the wrong direction, driving every way but the one we ought to go. The Bible teaches us that what we need to do is make a spiritual about-face. The Bible calls this idea “repentance.” Repentance involves admitting our sin to God, and asking Him to forgive us because of what Christ did for us. It is a change of heart, which leads to a change of life.
Our section of Scripture is the beginning of Christ’s conclusion to the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). As a conclusion, Jesus looks His disciples and functionally asks: “Which will it be? Death or Life?“ (see Deut. 11:26-29; Jer. 21:8)
The only command we receive from Christ in our passage is this: Enter by the narrow gate. The gate through which a person must enter to avoid certain eternal destruction is not the easy one, nor the simple one, nor the popular one. However, the Christian path will avoid the horrific end of eternal destruction, and in turn will yield life in its fullest abundance; a life dedicated to God. Nevertheless, the Christian path is difficult, hard and sometimes lonely, yet Christ assures us, it’ll be worth it because He’ll be with us every step of the way.
As mentioned earlier, the gospel message of Christ is the most intolerant, unacceptable and offensive truth one has to receive because its exclusive. You cannot have Christ reign on the throne of your heart and have Him share it with something or someone else. Jesus Himself declares in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (ESV)
The narrow gate which Christ now calls His disciples to enter through, is none other than Himself! Meaning, that no person may hope to enter the gates of Heaven, or enjoy communion with the true God apart from Christ. As the adage of the Reformation, solus Christus (Christ alone), made abundantly clear, there is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved other than the name of God’s only Son, Christ Jesus our Lord, who is the only mediator between God and man.
Which path are you on this very moment? Are you pretending that Christ is not who He claims to be? Are you seeing Christ as merely one voice amongst many? Are you pretending perhaps that He is your Lord and Savior by appearing religious yet having no relationship with the true God?
Or are you resting in His promises, knowing that your only comfort in life and death is that you are not your own but have been purchased by the precious blood of Jesus Christ?
We will demonstrate by our lives where we are headed. Where are you headed? Is it worth arriving at? Are you seeking to follow this great God who has revealed Himself fully through Jesus, the eternal Son of God? Believe in Christ Jesus today. Repent of your sins and heed the call to life that our Lord cries out to you this very day: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28 ESV)
For more articles like this check our website at . To learn more about Jesus Christ, join us for worship Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. at Christ Reformed Church on 502 Main St. in Alexandria.