The Easy or the Hard Way

Matthew 7:13-14 ESV

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

The Narrow Gate

A gate is a door. It is an entrance into something. And if something is narrow it can mean that it is restricted or limited, i.e. it has boundaries, controls, constraints, and regulations. And in this context it is being used to describe the door into heaven and into eternal life with God, which is restricted, and which indeed has boundaries and regulations, although some people will tell you it does not. For they will try to convince you that the free gift of God’s grace is without borders and that it is without constraints.

But we read in the Scriptures that God’s grace, which is bringing us salvation, instructs (teaches, trains) us to renounce (to say “No!” to) ungodliness and fleshly lusts (worldly passions) and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return. And we read that we are not to continue in sin now that we under grace, for if sin is what we obey, it will end in death, not in life eternal. So we are not to let sin reign in our bodies, to make us obey its passions (Titus 2:11-14; Romans 6:1-23).

And we read that if we claim to be in fellowship with God while we walk (in practice, in conduct) in darkness (sin), we are liars. And if we say that we know God/Christ, but we don’t obey his commands, we are liars. And if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, then we read that we are of the devil, and that we have not been born of God, we are not the children of God, and we do not have eternal life with God regardless of what we have professed with our lips.

[1 John 1:5-10; 1 John 2:3-6,24-25; 1 John 3:4-10; 1 John 5:3]

And Jesus taught that if anyone would come after him that he must deny self and take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. But if for the sake of Jesus we die with him to sin that we might live to him and to his righteousness (if we forsake our former lives), then we will live. For he said that his sheep listen to him and they follow him in obedience (Luke 9:23-26; John 8:31-32; John 10:27-30; John 14:23-24).

So, if we walk according to the flesh and not according to the Spirit, and if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, we need to understand that it won’t matter what we professed with our lips. For Jesus said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one DOING the will of God the Father. For many are going to stand before him one day and profess things they did in his name, and he is going to say to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (Matthew 7:21-23).

So the door (the way) into heaven is not easy like many will tell you today. It is hard, and it is few who find it. And this is not teaching works salvation. For, yes, we can do nothing to earn or to deserve our own salvation, but our salvation is not absent of works. It is just that they are the works of God which he prepared in advance that we should do, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:8-10). And if we do not leave our lives of sin behind us to follow Jesus in obedience to his commands, we do not have eternal life.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

The Wide Gate

So, what is this wide gate? Well, for one, it is the exact opposite of the narrow gate, and there are many who enter into it. And it is easy for it makes no demands for repentance nor for obedience to the Lord. It sets no boundaries. There are no restrictions. God’s promises have no stipulations. It is a free-for-all. People can just enter the gate and then they can live however they want until the day that they die. And they are being promised that their sins are forgiven, they are saved, and heaven is their destiny.

But it does not lead to eternal life with God as people are being promised. It leads to destruction and to death and to eternal punishment. All throughout the New Testament we read that if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, that we don’t know God, we are not in fellowship with Christ, and we do not have the hope of eternal life with God. For we are all going to be judged by God according to our works, and we will all reap what we sow in this life.

So, don’t be deceived. Don’t take God and his word lightly. And don’t listen to humans who are telling you that God’s grace makes no demands of you at all for holy living and for obedience to the Lord. For God’s grace delivers us from our slavery (addiction) to sin and it empowers us to live godly and holy and righteous lives in obedience to our Lord from now to eternity. So we are not to continue living in sin now that we are under grace, if indeed we are. We must die to sin and live to God or we don’t have eternal life with God.

[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; 1 Jn 1:5-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:23-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Mary, Did You Know?

Songwriters: Greene Lee Rufus / Lowry Mark Alan

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy
Has come to make you new?
This child that you delivered, will soon deliver you

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy
Is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
That sleeping child you’re
Holding is the great, I Am

Mary, did you know?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPsgIhlYQmM
Caution: This link may contains ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s