The Two Ways

The Two Ways

Jesus says: „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“ (Matt 7:13-14).

Two Gates

Ever since the Lord Jesus gave this mighty message of Matthew chapters 5-7 all of us face a challenge. We have to choose between two gates, two ways and two destinies.

It is like standing in a place where two roads cross. The Lord Jesus, full of love for mankind, calls us to follow him on the road to heaven. Hear his loving voice saying, „Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Whoever comes to me I will never drive away“ (Matt 11:28; John 6:37).

Will we follow his invitation? Are we going to pay attention to his warnings such as these, „Today, if you hear the voice of God do not harden your hearts. I tell you, now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation“ (Heb 3:7-8; 2 Cor 6:2).

Narrow is the Gate

The teaching of the Lord Jesus is direct and urgent. He does not ask or advise us. He commands us, „Enter through the narrow gate.“ Why does he do that? Because this narrow way leads into the kingdom of God. At the same time it saves us from destruction. We are told here that the Christian life starts with a narrow gate. Before we can enter this narrow gate there are certain things we must give up or leave behind. There is no room for our pride, our worldliness, our selfishness and greed, if we want to enter the narrow gate. We must leave behind the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eye and everything that hinders us from following the Lord Jesus.

In other words the narrow gate is a picture of true repentance, of bowing down before God and being sorry for our sins and wrong-doings. We thus agree with the words of Psalm 38:4, „My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.“

Wide is the Gate

The other gate mentioned in our text is a wide gate. It does not restrict man. He can easily walk through this wide gate along with masses of people. It leads into the kingdom of this world. The world has a lot to offer in pleasure and entertainment and invites everyone and anyone to enter the wide gate.

The Broad Road ...

All those people who enter through the wide gate start walking on the broad road. They follow the way of a life without true knowledge of the living God. God is ignored and forgotten about. Although these people should know God, they do not honour him, nor do they thank him. Instead their empty minds are filled with darkness. They say they are wise, but they are fools: instead of worshipping the immortal God, they worship images made to look like mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles (Rom 1:21-23).

„Because these people refuse to keep in mind the true knowledge about God, he has given them over to corrupted minds, so that they do the things that they should not do. They are filled with all kinds of wickedness, evil, greed and vice; they are full of jealousy, murder, fighting, deceit and malice. They gossip and speak evil of one another, they are hateful to God, insolent, proud and boastful, they think of more ways to do evil, they disobey their parents, they have no conscience, they do not keep their promises, and they show no kindness or pity for others“ (Rom 1:28-31).

... Leading to Destruction

The Lord Jesus tells us that the end of the broad road is destruction. Many other Bible verses warn us against the danger of being thrown into hell, into destruction. In Luke 16:19-31 we read the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man was a person who chose to live a life without God. He spent his days in great luxury, wasting fortunes on just himself. Yet he never showed any kindness, love or concern for poor, sick Lazarus who lived next door. Both men died and Lazarus was carried into heaven, while the rich man woke up in hell, suffering great pain. Now this is the destruction Jesus is talking about. Damnation! An eternity spent in hell, with no hope, no mercy offered and no possibility of escape.

„It will be like this at the end of the age: the angels will go out and gather up the evil people from among the good and will throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will cry and grind their teeth“ (Matt 13:49-50). „Whoever did not have his name written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire“ (Rev 20:15).

The Narrow Road ...

However, people who pay attention to the words of the Lord Jesus will enter the narrow gate and start walking on the narrow road. They repent of their sins and lay down their burden at the cross of Calvary. They believe in God who loved the world so much that he gave his only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in him, shall not perish, but have eternal life. Their eyes are opened to the truth of 1 Peter 2:24, ‚Christ himself carried our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness. It is by his wounds that you have been healed.“ A new revelation fills their heart and mind as they believe, „When anyone is joined to Christ he is a new being, the old is gone, the new has come“ (2 Cor 5:17).

They are born into God’s family and are eager to follow the Lord Jesus Christ. They do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but let God transform their lives inwardly by a complete change of their mind. And so they are able to know the will of God, what is good, pleasing and perfect to him (Rom 12:1-2). As they live a life in fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ, their lives become fruitful. The Scripture says, „The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control“ (Gal 5:22-23).

… Leading to Life ...

All those people who follow the narrow road will experience that God’s promises become a reality to them. Jesus says, „I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full“ (John 10:10). This new life in Christ makes the believers complete in Him. This life cannot be destroyed by death. True believers know that this short earthly life is not the end, because Isaiah 35:10 says: „And the redeemed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.“

… and only a Few Find it

Finally, our heavenly Lord says that only a few find this life. In other words, it is not the way of the masses of people. The crowd will follow the way of this world as it has always done. But those who respond to the Lord’s invitation will receive this beautiful life in Jesus Christ.

Dear reader, if you have not yet found this life, then God’s hour has struck for you. Now God wants to help you to receive this life. „Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord“ (Acts 3:19).