TEXT: Matthew 7:13-22
13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
The closing lines of Robert Frost’s famous poem, “The Road Not Taken,” are more well-known than the first lines which I shared with you on yesterday. They go like this:
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
In his writer’s mind, Frost saw two paths — one well-trodden and another that was “grassy and wanted wear.” Very few had traveled down this latter path, and that was the one he chose to take. In our passage for today, Christ presents us with two paths as well. On yesterday, we looked closely at the wide, broad road — the path which many have traveled to destruction. Now, let’s focus on the path “less traveled by” in Jesus’ message. What are the characteristics of this path?
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
The first thing we notice about this road is that it has a “strait gate” and that the road itself is actually a “narrow way.” The Greek word translated as “strait” comes from the meaning of an entrance being narrowed or obscured due to obstacles surrounding it. In other words, it is easy to miss the gate and get distracted by the things placed in front of and on either side of it. Satan throws obstacles and distractions before those who are seeking the strait gate. He will distract people by getting them to believe that the right path actually consists of good works, church attendance, moral living, and gifts to charity. These things are good in their own way. However, one can do all of these things and still miss the straight gate.
The straightness of the gate and the narrowness of the way lead to the fact that few (compared to the broad way) actually find it. The narrowness of the way explains why so few are on it. The Greek word translated as “narrow” means “compressed or contracted.” According to the Outline of Biblical Usage, the word means: to press hard upon as one would press grapes. In those days, people got juice from grapes by dumping the grapes in a huge stone vat and then having several people jump in the vat and stomp on the grapes until the juice ran. Metaphorically, the word means “to trouble, to afflict, or to distress.” That is what it means to walk the narrow way, which is why few embark on it. It is not wide and easy like the broad way. Yes, there are wonderful, joyous times on the narrow road. But, more often than not, you will experience affliction and tribulation once youenter the strait gate.
Finally, just as He did with the broad way, Jesus tells us what lies at the end of the narrow way. “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life.” Life! At the end of the broad, fun road is destruction. But at the end of the narrow road of affliction and tribulation is life! This is not merely human life, but inner spiritual life and then eternal life with Christ and God after death. Dr. John MacArthur writes, ‘God’s way, the way that is narrow, leads to eternal life, to everlasting heavenly fellowship with God, His angels, and His people. Everlasting life is not just living forever. It is a quality of life — the life of God in the soul of man [even while on this earth].’
You see, those who are on the broad road are already dead. They don’t know it yet; but they are simply animated corpses. They may appear full of vitality, but absent from their souls is the life of God. Without the radical transformation that comes only through Christ, they will meet destruction and perish eternally. But those who choose the narrow way — yes, the way that often seems full of affliction and trouble — already have the life of God deep inside their hearts, minds, and souls — and they are guaranteed eternal physical life with Him in Heaven. The choice is clear. “Enter ye in at the strait gate” today.
Karolina Sandall-Berg wrote:
Strait is the gate to all that come,
And narrow is the way,
Which leads unto the heav’nly home,
Where yet is room for thee.
In Heaven, where God His own shall take,
There’s also room for thee.
In Jesus’ Name, for Jesus’ sake,
The gates shall opened be.
Where thousands stand arrayed in white,
Whom God His own declared,
There yet is room and life and light,
By grace for thee prepared.
In Jesus’ heart there’s room, I know,
And in His Heaven of bliss.
He in His Gospel tells me so,
Thanks be to God for this.
Now God be praised, that even I
May in that city dwell,
Where peace shall reign eternally,
And all with me be well.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.