Why is the Gate to Heaven Narrow & Hard? (Matthew 7:13-14)
In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus 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. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
Why is the gate to Heaven narrow while the gate to hell is wide? Why is the gate to Heaven hard but yet the gate to hell is easy? What did Jesus mean and why would God allow the gate to Heaven become so narrow and hard?
In Matthew 7:13-14 it is Jesus Himself who is the narrow gate. It is Jesus who is the entrance or the only way by which anyone can enter Heaven.
Jesus also refers to Himself as “the door”. In John 10:9 Jesus says: “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.”
In John 14:6 Jesus says: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Therefore the gate to Heaven is narrow because Jesus Christ alone is exclusively the only way or entrance by which mankind can enter Heaven.
There is no other way; there is no other gate; there is no other door; there is no other method by which anyone can be saved except through Jesus Christ. This is the reason why Jesus says that we should enter through the narrow gate.
Why is the Narrow Gate Hard?
In Matthew 7:14 Jesus also says that “the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few”.
So why is the narrow gate hard and why do few find it?
1. You will face tribulation and persecution for your faith and for standing for Christian principles
Jesus did not promise that Christianity would be an easy life. The moment a person becomes a born again Christian, that person is entering a spiritual warzone.
Jesus said that in this world we will face tribulation (John 16:33). Jesus also said that Christians will face persecution (Matthew 5:10-12). You will be mocked and ridiculed.
In John 15:19-20 Jesus says: “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they keep My word, they will also keep yours”
2. You have to deny yourself and pick up your cross daily
Following Christ requires that we put the interests, the values and the will of God above our own self-interests and sinful desires. Christianity requires that Jesus must increase while we decrease (John 3:30). Placing God first and dying to our own self-interests and sinful desires is a daily activity.
In Luke 9:23-24 Jesus says: “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.”
3. You are engaged in a daily spiritual battle or warfare
The Bible also refers to Christians as “soldiers of Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3). Then in Ephesians 6:10-18 we are told to put on the whole armor of God because we do not fight against flesh and blood but against principalities and spiritual forces of darkness.
Therefore the narrow gate is hard because everyday we fight any enemy; we fight the devil; we are at war against sinful temptations; we are at war against the principles and values of a depraved world (Romans 12:2).
Why is the Gate to Hell Wide & Easy?
In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus gives a contrast between the narrow gate and the wide gate.
Jesus says that the wide gate is easy and that the wide gate “leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many”.
Therefore Jesus is saying that there are many people who will enter hell in comparison to Heaven.
So why is the wide gate easy and why do many go through it?
1. Many will enter the wide gate by rejecting Jesus Christ as Saviour
There are many people who reject the true Gospel and the Person of Jesus Christ as the exclusive or only way for salvation.
For example, there are some who believe that there are other roads beside Jesus which lead to Heaven. There are also universalists who believe that ultimately everyone will go to Heaven.
In Luke 10:16 Jesus said: “The one who hears you hears Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me, and the one who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”
2. Many will enter the wide gate through the deception of false gospels
There are many false gospels that exist in the world. For example the theology of salvation through works, universalism, prosperity gospel, antinomianism, progressive christianity and many others.
False gospels either distort or deny the finished work that Jesus did on the cross. False gospels also deny or distort something that relates to the true nature and character of Jesus Christ. False gospels are so dangerous that they can lead people through the wide gate which leads to destruction.
Galatians 1:8-9 says: But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
2 Corinthians 11:4 says: For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.
3. Many will enter the wide gate through false religions and ideologies
From atheism to pantheism to Hinduism, there are many ideologies and religions which deny Jesus Christ and His sacrificial work on the cross.
Colossians 2:8 says: See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
Jesus Christ is the Way
Jesus Christ alone is the exclusive way for salvation. Forgiveness of sins is only possible through Christ. He alone can bring us to Heaven. A personal relationship with God is only possible through Christ.
Acts 4:12 says: And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Jesus Christ is the narrow gate. He alone gives us access to God and Heaven.
DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST?
1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
This means that we have all broken God’s laws and God’s 10 Commandments like those mentioned in Exodus 20:1-17. For example, if you have told a lie; if you have stolen something; if you have lusted after somebody or if you have coveted. This means you are guilty of breaking at least one or more of God’s 10 Commandments. Breaking God’s commandments makes us sinners. The fact that we are sinners who have broken God’s law means that we are accountable to God who is the Lawgiver. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner who has broken God’s commandments and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.
2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to change your mind about sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.
3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.
4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God
Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?
We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.
PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.
“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
Today I repent and have decided to follow you. Thank you for forgiving all my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”
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