THE 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.
The Bible often uses the picture of a journey to describe our walk through life. The journey of the children of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land helps us to understand our journey from birth to death. We even have an advert on our local television which says, “Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride.”
None of us begins our journey with God. We are born in sin, as rebellious children who refuse to heed our heavenly Father’s instructions. We were all born with a purpose and designed by God to fulfil a destiny, but most people never discover their purpose or fulfil their destiny because they refuse to return to the Father and find out what He wants.
Every journey had a destination and a way to get there. You cannot get on a train going in one direction and hope to reach your destination which lies in the opposite direction. You must choose the way the takes you to where you want to go.
Jesus spoke about two destinations – destruction and life. What did He mean? Most of us think He was talking about heaven and hell. What He was really talking about was what you make of your life by your choices and decisions now. If you want to experience true life, what Jesus called “abundant life”, your choices are narrowed down to only one – to follow Jesus. He said, “I am the life.” That means that the way He lived was real life. When we follow Him, we will also experience real life.
How did Jesus live? He loved the Father and He lived for others. His whole life was focussed on making the lives of other people better to the point where He died to pay our debt of sin and bring us back to the Father.
The other way, the way of selfishness and greed leads to destruction. We only have to look at the way greedy people live to recognise that they are not happy. They are driven by their greed to do whatever it takes to get more, even if they have to kill or steal to get what they want. They use people to get money and when they have it, they spend it on themselves and their families or they hoard to so that someone else gets it when they die. Their families fight over their money and possessions when they are dead, and cause more destruction and heartache between people.
The broad way leaves many choices open to us but, whatever choices we make, if they are purely selfish, or to get our own way, they will hurt other people, destroy friendships and family and cause our lives to fall apart.
Life is made up of many choices. Every day we are faced with the narrow gate which leads to life or the broad gate which leads to destruction. We have to keep making those choices based on the destination we want to reach. If we want real life, we must choose to follow Jesus. If we want ruin, it does not matter what else we do. If we refuse to follow Jesus, we will arrive at ruin. And it’s all up to us choose where we are heading.
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Have you read my new book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!
Watch this space. My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, will soon be on the bookshelves.