The Narrow Gate – Sermon on The Mount 12

Sermon on The Mount – 12 – The Narrow Gate

Sermon on The Mount – 12 – The Narrow Gate

William Stout / General

Sermon on the Mount / Narrow; Choose / Matthew 7:13–14

The Wide and Narrow Paths

 

Matthew 7:13–14 NKJV

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

The Narrow Gate

  • Jesus is beginning to bring the sermon to a close
  • It matters whether and how we apply His teachings
  • He is not just giving some good self help advice
  • He is providing us with revolutionary ideas and principles that are not optional
  • His Words are true and right regardless of the number who choose them
  • and you do have a choice

4 Key elements in this passage

  • The Gate
  • The Way
  • The Many
  • The Few

Enter by the Narrow Gate

  • We are commanded to “enter”
  • So there is an entrance, or gate that we must choose
  • The command to “enter” could be linked back to 5:17-20 where Jesus mentioned entering the kingdom of heaven
  • So the gate could be seen as a City Gate, the entrance into the promised kingdom
  • The idea of a gate is a sharply defined mode of entry –
  • requires a definite decision –
  • one does not wander in by accident
  • You must receive Christ by choice
  • requires a decision to believe, repent, receive forgiveness and sanctification
  • So, there is a very sharply defined mode of entry into this City (Kingdom)
  • this entry is described as a “narrow” gate
  • Narrow is the Gate
  • “narrow” This gate is not obvious. May not be easily seen, or intuitive.
  • perhaps uncomfortable
  • not where the crowd is going

The New International Greek Testament Commentary: The Gospel of Matthew 1. Enter through the Narrow Gate (7:13–14)

the unstated assumptions are that everyone must go through a gate and end up somewhere and that only two gates exist

  • Everyone must end up somewhere
  • Only two gates exist
  • There is the city of destruction, and the celestial city
  • Jesus Christ is this Gate!

John 10:9 NKJV

9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

  • This Gate is narrow – only one

Acts 4:12 NKJV

12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Wide is the Gate

  • There is also another gate
  • This gate is wide – easily entered
  • Not at all difficult to find
  • So far He still hasn’t described the destinations beyond these gates
  • only that one is narrow and one is wide
  • One is able to accommodate much traffic, the other, less comfortable
  • But we are instructed to enter by the narrow gate
  • too many so called Christians are being deceived into thinking that they can enter the kingdom through the wide gate
  • They live in ease, excusing themselves from any responsibility or sacrifice
  • not willing to suffer loss, be inconvenienced, or to work for only His reward
  • Their God is their belly as Paul said
  • Having a form of Godliness yet denying His Power
  • These pseudo Christians live so much like the rest of the world they can scarcely be seen as different
  • They think that the passage in 1 Peter having to do with giving an answer concerning the hope that is in you has to do with worldly wealth or position
  • There is nothing in them that could be described as this “Peculiar people” that Peter mentioned.
  • They want to enter the kingdom one day, but they have no concept of the difference between a wide and narrow gate
  • indeed they measure their success and their godliness by comparing themselves with the rest of the world that does not know Jesus Christ.
  • The evidence of their Christianity is how well they fare in comparison to the rest of the people entering the wide gate
  • compare this to Paul who said if I must boast, I will boast of my infirmities

2 Corinthians 4:7–10 NKJV

7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—
10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

Broad is the way

  • The word picture is expanded now to include a “way”.
  • Having chosen to enter at the gate, one must now choose the best “way” to get to the gate

The New International Greek Testament Commentary: The Gospel of Matthew 1. Enter through the Narrow Gate (7:13–14)

To get to the right gate, one must first choose the right way

  • This introduces the idea of time for the journey – tenacity
  • whereas the gate may represent a decision, the way represents living it out
  • The wide gate corresponds to the broad way
  • this is the way that leads to destruction –
  • this is true in this world, and ultimately of hell
  • The broad way illustrates a wide roadway, able to accommodate a large number of people
  • like a superhighway with numerous lanes

This “WAY” to hell is paved with “self” and “comfort”

  • This road represents the path of ease, and carnal pleasure
  • It is easy to take this road – just set he cruise control and go
  • Decisions are led by emotion and self satisfaction on this road, and should never be difficult
  • Jesus didn’t come to make us comfortable (contrary to the opinion of some)
  • In fact, this was one of the problems He had to confront
  • The Pharisees were comfortable in their self righteousness
  • the Sadducees were comfortable in their legalism
  • the sinners were comfortable in their sin
  • the Romans were comfortable in their idolatry
  • Jesus made them all very uncomfortable!
  • commanding to repent! To give! To Love! To Forgive!
  • Those Pastors who make people comfortable in their sins are warned
  • This Broad way must be avoided

Psalm 1:1 NKJV

1 Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

  • Clearly, it matters which “way” you take
  • Clearly all paths do not lead to heaven
  • There are only two gates
  • only two destinations

1 Corinthians 10:21 NKJV

21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons.

  • Just as Jesus Christ is the gate (door) that leads to life
  • He also is the way to reach that door

John 14:6 NKJV

6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

  • So, Jesus is the decision that we make in choosing life, and He is the way we choose each day in the journey!
  • And there is no other way
  • There is a false Christianity today teaching that there are many “ways” to heaven
  • These false teachers and false prophets wrap themselves in many subtle disguises, and slowly leak their false doctrine into the water supply of Life
  • with such graduality and subtlety that it largely goes unnoticed.
  • Consider the recent movie “The Shack”
  • There is overwhelming Christian support for this movie
  • Christians applaud it as an evangelistic tool, teaching the love and character of God
  • It is in fact a satanic lie – distorting the Character of God and hiding the truth of an eternal hell and judgement for the unbelievers
  • This movie, like so many other false teachings, supposes that God, because He is good, would never judge anyone, and that in fact all “ways” will result in salvation
  • Describes God in a way that is different than the way scripture would describe God

Hebrews 2:3 NKJV

3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,

  • This, if it were true, would completely negate not only this parable of the wide and narrow gates, but all of the warnings of God concerning life and death, salvation and damnation, eternal life and the wrath of God.

Deuteronomy 30:19–20 NKJV

19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;
20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

The Many

  • Wide is the road that leads to destruction and many there are that go in there
  • This “way” is wide, convenient, fast, popular
  • There are many multitudes who have gone this way
  • so many by choice have rejected the other way
  • while many others through ignorance have been lured to this way, by its glitz, by the crowd, by the glamorous attractions along the way
  • And still others, have been deceived into believing this road was somehow the right way, through lies, through selfish ambition, through hard heartedness
  • Yet they all should have known that, any “way” that lacks the savoir could never lead to life
  • any way that cannot atone your sins could never redeem your life.
  • Many will come in that last day, only to hear “I never knew you”

The Few

  • But some will find Him.
  • There are some, who though this world with devils filled should threaten to undo them, they know that the right man is on their said, and they will not turn from the narrow way.
  • Like John Bunyan’s Pilgrim, they will reach the celestial City
  • The fact that there seem to be so many more taking the wide road to the gate of destruction is irrelevant to them

Romans 3:3–4 NKJV

3 For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect?
4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: “That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged.”

  • This “few” should not be interpreted to mean a small number however
  • It is quite likely that there will be many hundred millions and perhaps even billions of souls who are saved

Revelation 5:11 NKJV

11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,

  • John saw in Revelation a great multitude that no man could count

Revelation 7:9 NKJV

9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,

  • Jesus said that there would be many that would come and sit down with Abraham
  • So the “few” then should be interpreted in relation to the seemingly many more that are at ease without care for their salvation (seemingly)
  • Or perhaps to the feeling of aloneness that we who have chosen this narrow road often feel while walking out our faith in this world
  • Like Elijah, we can often feel that “they” have broken down His altars and now “i” only am left and they want to kill me
  • Like Elijah, we can be assured that there are thousands (times thousands) who have not bowed their knee to Baal
  • Yet, if there were none, we must Choose for ourselves whom we will serve

Conclusion

  • Enter by the Narrow Gate
  • Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to life
  • Choose Life!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:32 AM July 10, 2017.

0 Comments

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *