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.
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In Matthew 7:13 the 'many' should be read as the majority. Looking back at Bible account of world history, out of all the people on earth in Noah's time, only eight were saved. In Jude 1:7 we read that Sodom and Gomorrah is an example of the final destruction of the wicked. Sadly, only Lot and his two daughters were saved, the rest perished. In Genesis 18 Abraham pleads with God, and God agrees to spare the two cities if only 10 righteous people were to be found. Obviously not even 10 righteous people could be found. Jesus tells that only a small minority will be saved (Matthew 22:14). Some will reject Him outright; others will profess some form of Christianity but in reality not knowing or having any kind of personal relationship with Christ. (Matthew 7:21-23; John 14:6-7; 2 Timothy 3:4-5). But it doesn't have to be this way. "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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:16-17; Revelation 3:20).
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE THE "MANY" MENTIONED IN MATTHEW 7:13? Matthew 7:13-14 teaches "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. Difficult is the way that leads to life and there are few who find it" (NKJ). When Jesus says that many are those in the wider path, He simply meant that most people find the path of disobedience easier to follow. This is the path whose author and leader is Satan. Notice that whereas it is easier to find the perilous wider gate that leads to spiritual ruin. No effort is expended in tracing it! Gates in the Bible are symbolic of spiritual choices. There are gates of heaven open to those who choose to obey God. Hell also contains it gates by which those who choose to follow Satan may enter. For the narrower gate and path that leads to eternal life, one has to literally find it and squeeze through it. It is definitely inconvenient for many to take that option. Few people would ever relish a life of spiritual discipline because it comes with pain and self denial. The wider path is the popular path that billions daily throng, a life where the disciplines of godly living have been thrown to the wind and abominations are a way of life. As to how many people are on that path at any one moment, I would place them in their billions. However, only God knows their precise number just in the same way that we can never perfectly distinguish between true believers by our human judgment. Jesus said in Matthew 25:32 that He will separate the righteous from the wicked just as a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats. The sheep will be ushered to the right and the goats to the left. The Bible teaches that the Lord knows them that are His (2 Timothy 2:19). What should therefore concern the child of God is not the speculation on numeric figures but that they keep to the narrow path of obedience to God each day. The writer of the Book of Ecclesiastes teaches that the conclusion of the whole matter is thus: "Fear God and keep His commandment for this is man's all." (Ecclesiastes 12:13). We can only stay on the narrow path by yielding to the admonition of the word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We should also make constant effort to rescue others from the wider path that leadeth unto destruction by daily warning them of the consequences of their disobedience (Jude 1:22-22). Those who persist in disobedience and evil after having heard the truth of God's word have their destiny clearly marked out for them (Rev. 20:11-15).
Why did God make salvation such a narrow path? Question: "Why did God make salvation such a narrow path?" Answer: In Matthew 7:13–14, Jesus said, "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." This passage causes some to question the goodness of God. After all, if He really wants to save everyone, why didn't He make it easier to be saved? Why doesn't He simply let everyone into heaven? When we read the word narrow, we tend to associate it with prejudicial selection. It sounds as though God has rated us all on some scale of acceptability and only allows a select few to enter His presence. However, a few verses earlier, Jesus had told the same audience, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." Jesus made it clear: the path to eternal life is open to everyone who asks. However, the gate to heaven is “narrow” in the sense of having a particular requirement for entrance—faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation is found only in the Person of Jesus Christ; He is the only way (John 14:6). The “wide” gate is non-exclusive; it allows for human effort and all other of the world’s religions. Jesus says that narrow gate leads to a “hard” road, one that will take us through hardships and difficult decisions. Following Jesus requires crucifying our flesh (Galatians 2:20; 5:24; Romans 6:2), living by faith (Romans 1:17; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 10:38), enduring trials with Christlike patience (James 1:2–3, 12; 1 Peter 1:6), and living a lifestyle separate from the world (James 1:27; Romans 12:1–2). When faced with the choice between a narrow, bumpy road and a wide, paved highway, most of us choose the easier road. Human nature gravitates toward comfort and pleasure. When faced with the reality of denying themselves to follow Jesus, most people turn away (John 6:66). Jesus never sugar-coated the truth, and the truth is that not many people are willing to pay the price to follow Him. God offers salvation to everyone who accepts it (John 1:12; 3:16-18; Romans 10:9; 1 John 2:2). But it is on His terms. We must come the way He has provided. We cannot create our own paths or come to a holy God based on our own efforts. Compared to His righteousness, we are all filthy (Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:10). God cannot simply excuse or overlook our sin. He is merciful, but He is also just. Justice requires that sin be paid for. At great cost to Himself, He paid that price (Isaiah 53:5; 1 John 3:1, 16; Psalm 51:7). Without the blood of Jesus covering our sin, we stand guilty before the God we rejected (Romans 1:20). The way to God was completely closed, and sin was the roadblock (Romans 5:12). No one deserves a second chance. We all deserve to stay on the "wide road that leads to destruction." But God loved us enough to provide the path to eternal life anyway (Romans 5:6–8). However, He also knows that in our self-centered, sin-saturated world there are not many who will desire Him enough to come to Him on His terms (John 6:44, 65; Romans 3:11; Jeremiah 29:13). Satan has paved the highway to hell with fleshly temptations, worldly attractions, and moral compromises. Most people allow their passions and desires to dictate the course of their lives. They choose temporary, earthly pleasure over the self-sacrifice required in following Jesus (Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23; Matthew 10:37). The narrow gate is ignored. Most people would rather create their own religions and design their own gods. So it was with sorrow, not discrimination, that Jesus declared that the road to eternal life is "narrow, and only a few find it."
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