NIV - 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
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A gate In scripture speaks of not only an opening or access point but also a containment area. Christ said in John 10:27 "Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep." Again in John 10:29 "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." Christ is the straight and only gate or access point to eternal life. John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Compared to the masses of humanity, there are few that find it.
Why do people strive to go after short cuts? The Narrow Way is the way to salvation and life. The Narrow Way is an ever narrowing way that gets narrower and narrower as we go. It’s a path not for wussies. It’s a path not for the faint hearted. It’s a path for slaves, dedicated to the service of Christ and Christ alone. However, the ever Narrowing Way is riddled with escape hatches placed there for those who are not truly saved. You see, only the truly saved will last the whole way. Those who are pseudo Christians will only last while the going’s good. Then as the path gets narrower, the pseudo Christian starts feeling the stress and strain. A clump of coal feels no pain while it sits undisturbed. But when the forces of nature with its unrelenting pressure start to squeeze and compact that lump of coal, that’s when the lump feels the pressure. That’s when it wishes it could abort and return to its former life. But alas, the clump of coal has a destiny, and that destiny will see it through to its glorious end as a diamond. In the same way, the Christian has a similar destiny. God sees a diamond in him. But in order to realize this destiny, God must squeeze and crush the Christian until the work is done. If we persevere to the end, through submission, through surrenderedness, through dependance upon the Holy Spirit, we shall be saved. The kingdom of God has no place for the proud. In order for you or I to be saved, we must be so only through the work of Christ on the cross that continues in us until THAT DAY. This ever narrowing way squeezes unto the mold of Christ alone. We cannot enter into life eternal if we think we can ride upon someone’s coat-tails. If we think we can model ourselves after the latest evangelist, whomever he or she might be, and obtain life, we are sorely mistaken. Only the model of Christ ensures salvation. We must walk His steps, live His life and die His death. How can we enter His rest, His salvation, His heaven if we follow a man-made pattern? Sorry, doesn’t work. Didn’t work for Confucius, didn’t work for Mohammed, won ‘t work for you. Jesus made some amazing and potentially preposterous claims. He said, “I AM The WAY, The TRUTH and the LIFE.” (John 14. 6) He did not say, I am one of the ways, or a version of the truth or a path to life…He was very concise and straight forward with His claims. He also said “…that before Abraham was, I AM.” (John 8. 58) This is a clear statement verifying and establishing His claim to godhood. How can you, a professing Christian hope to find salvation without recognizing the DOOR to that salvation? Jesus said that He was THAT door (John 10. 7-9). No man can be saved unless he, buy the power of the Holy Spirit enter that door (John 1. 12) and receive power to become the sons of God. Now what happens to a man when he enters that door and is saved? He becomes a new creature (2 Corinthians 5.17). He becomes a brand new species of person. Alive, awake, immortal. His life changes, his ways change, his desires change. His relationship with Christ and sin changes. His old ways suddenly look different. The mask of subtlety is removed and he sees his sin for what it is. Disgusting, stinky rotten death. Why would anyone embrace a rotten corpse? This is exactly what the new Christian does if he does not turn his back on his old life and ways. This is why a new Christian is different and regularly gets ostracized by his peers, family and those around him. It’s a hard life being a Christian. It’s fraught with trials and tribulations. It’s a life of self-denial and self sacrifice, knowing that once on this journey there will be only two ultimate decisions: Abort or death...to read more, click this article I wrote...it's too long to paste here. http://revivalandreformation.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/the-ever-narrowing-way-the-wide-road-and-submission/
Jesus was making a reference to the Truth that Salvation comes through Him alone. There are not many paths, or many ways to God, but it is only through forgiveness of sins that comes exclusively through Jesus Christ atoning work on the cross. Therefore, "Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth to life." It's also important to note that the word used is "strait" and not "straight". Strait is meaning that the way is narrow, close, and not obviously entered. It is difficult.
I think you could be asking, "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."
I believe It's narrow and few find it because of God's sovereign will and election. Election and predestination are subjects that are highly debated among Augustinian/Calvinist/Reformist and Armenian/Methodist/Freewill Baptist etc. Below I present some scriptures in regards to God's sovereignty. John 6:44 (KJV) - No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (Notice it says you can't come to Jesus unless the father draws you to him.) Romans 9:15-16 (KJV) - 15 For He says to Moses: “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then, it does not depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. Note: Again it requires God's mercy not works or even your will. Spiritually dead people have no will to come to God. Here is a scripture to back that up: Genesis 6:5 (KJV) - And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually. In the below verse we read about someone who used to be spiritually dead. God's sovereign choice of election drew them to Christ and they're now a new creation as a result. Ephesians 2:1-10 (NKJV) - And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the [a]course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Election Verses) Ephesians 1:4 (ESV) - Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love Romans 8:29 (ESV) - For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. My point is you can't chose the narrow path (Christ) unless God has given it to you to do so.) (John 6:44). I hear people say "I found Jesus." This thought process in my opinion is not biblical. You don't find God, aka choose the narrow path (Christ). The narrow path (Christ) is given to you before the foundation of the earth according to the bible. I feel the bible is clear about this. Even more evidence of God's sovereign will in choosing who will come to him. Note: In the below scripture we see God not allowing people to see Jesus and accept him. Romans 11:8 (ESV) - As it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.” Here is the bible answer for people that say it is unfair. Also keep in mind what is fair is that no one gets to come to God: Romans 3:23 - For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; New Testament Answer: (Romans 9:19-24) Old Testament Answer: (Job 38:4-30)
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