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: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
When you come to a fork in the road leading in different directions, there are only two ways to go, the right way or the wrong way. God has set before us two ways. One is to eternal life in Christ Jesus. The other is to eternal separation from God in the lake of fire.
And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death. (Jeremiah 21:8)
You are today going in one or the other of these ways. There is no middle road. There is not only a gate to enter, but there is also a path to follow.
I. WE ARE COMMANDED TO ENTER THE STRAIT GATE.
- It is God’s will that all men be saved.
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (II Peter 3:9)
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. (I Timothy 2:3-4)
- The gate being strait signifies certain qualifications before you can enter.
- The Lord did not ask us how we would like to get to heaven.
- He told us how to get there.
- There are no alternative routes.
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
(John 14:6; 10:9)
- ILL> When the sheep were brought into the sheepfold at night in Bible days, there was only one opening. The shepherd would sleep in the opening to prevent anything from getting the sheep. It had to be small enough that he could block anything from getting in or out. He literally became the door.
- There are no back doors into heaven.
II. WHY ENTER THE STRAIT GATE?
- Because wide is the gate that leads to destruction.
- Anybody can go in the wide gate – the good, the bad and the ugly – the strong, the weak, the rich, the poor and all those in between.
- There are no qualifications required here.
- There are no restrictions.
- The way to destruction and eternal loss is broad enough to accommodate all.
- Many are going this way.
- In the beginning, it is an easy way, therefore, many chose it, but it become hard.
Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard. (Proverbs 13:15)
III. WHAT IS HELL LIKE.
And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. (Luke 16:22-31)
- It is a place of:
- Unfulfilled desires.
- Eternal agony and pain.
- Eternal separation from God.
IV. WHY WILL PEOPLE ENTER THE WIDE GATE?
- Because the strait gate will not accommodate:
- A baptistry.
- Good works.
- Church membership.
- Grandma’s or grandpa’s righteousness or the family tree.
- Good morality.
- A person must come on God’s terms.
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (John 3:7)
- The way we are to live after we are saved is a narrow way.
- We are expected to live a consecrated, dedicated life.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
- Few even find the strait gate.
- They certainly cannot enter a gate they fail to find.
- They are in need of help to find it.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:13-17)
- The child of God should be pointing out the way to the lost.
ILL> I read this saying on a tote bag. “Life is a journey, not a destination.” A journey without a destination is to wonder aimlessly. You might see and do a lot of interesting things, but what’s the point, if you’re not going anywhere? How many people are wandering through life with no idea of where they are going? If you have no destination, how do you know when you get there? Of course, this life has an end, either in death or transformation (At the rapture, the redeemed will be changed into their glorified bodies without going through death.) we will all stand before God, who will appoint us our final destination – heaven or hell.
Which way are you headed?