“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” - Matthew 7:13-14
The Christian church, especially in America, has been accused sometimes by those outside the church of being exclusive -- of being too narrow. And as believers, we might ask: Why is it that people look at religion and discard this idea of narrowness? Why wouldn’t people choose the right door? Is it because it is morally inconvenient?
Yes. It is morally inconvenient because it doesn’t fit our own preferences, and that makes us uncomfortable. We want to be accepted in the Kingdom. We want to be loved but we want it on our terms. We want it however we want to make it up. We like to think about the idea of going to heaven when we die based on whatever and however we want to enter in.
We tend to ignore certain truths in the Scripture because it’s not convenient to the way we are currently living our lives. And we change it so that it fits. And yet, Jesus very clearly introduces us to two doors, which means there are no options. So, what’s behind these two doors?
Behind Door No. 2 = Wide Door
The wide door seems inclusive, loving. It seems free, but it leads to a different and dangerous place: DEATH. But why does it seem to be appealing, iInclusive, loving, and freeing? It’s because through the broad and wide door, we don’t have to make many choices when it comes to evil, things that are contrary to God’s holy will.
Evil is all around us. We have but to let ourselves go to experience it and to get caught up in it. It’s easy to be swept up in it and through it. That’s how wide this door is. It is easily accessible. Sin and wickedness is very much available now to us. We’re very much surrounded by the temptations to do evil. This is one reason why there are times we find it easier to get anxious and be worried than to be patient and to trust. It’s more convenient to respond in anger rather than hold our tongues whenever we’re caught up in a swell of emotions. It’s sometimes easier to be affected by the news that we hear than to stay calm and keep ourselves in God’s truth.
It is so wide we cannot miss it. We need to merely permit ourselves to go with the crowd and we’re caught up in it. Why is the wrong way broad? Because sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4) and if there is no law in sin, then it makes it easier for us to fall into. The wide variety of evil makes it appealing. It’s everyone turning to his own way. We are counseled today by the world to accept all that is on the wide path and count it as equal to the truth. But what if all the outside paths actually lead to death? And all the other doors actually lead to danger? Wouldn't it be wise to stay on the one right path?
Behind Door No. 1 = Narrow Door
The door is narrow because there is only ONE way. And if there is only one way to experience this abundant life with God, why then would we question this door in favor of all the other options that we might discover? Why couldn’t we stop and say: “Lord, thank you for creating a door. Thank you for giving us a way out. Thank you for giving us a way into the streams of living water. Thank you for showing us a way where we can experience that!”?
We need to remember that there is no other person in the history of mankind who has faced death and died and rose on His own power. There is no other one. There is no other one who fulfilled all of the prophecies in the Old Testament written and transcribed hundreds of years before His birth. There is no other one who effectively fulfilled all that Father commanded in the law and prophets, thus satisfying the holiness required to be perfect and holy. Only Jesus. (John 14:6)
Jesus provided an open door for us. Because we can’t do it. We can’t fulfill all of it. The door cannot be opened by us because we all fall short ( Romans 3:23), and that’s why God had to do something about our predicament, so He sent Jesus to be the only door, the only way to the Kingdom of God. Think about Jesus. There is no other who perfectly loves the world and transforms the human heart than Jesus. He opens the door from death to life. There is nothing more broad, more loving, and more inclusive than the Christian message, the message of the Gospel of Jesus that is for ALL people. It is not designated for a few.
We can choose to celebrate that there is a door to receive the blessing of life that the Father longs to share with each of us, and as we think about Jesus who claims to be this door, let’s remember what He did on the cross for us and follow Him through the door that He opened.
The truth is, while there is an infinite diversity of wrong ways, there is but one right way and that is JESUS. Today, once again, we are given our choice. Which door will you use?