Summary: Discussion of Jesus’ words about only getting to heaven through him.
Narrow Road, Small Gate
August 21, 2005
This is one of those messages that fits in real well with the beliefs of our church and what the Bible teaches about God, Jesus, and heaven, but won’t win me any friends with people who think we’re narrow minded about such things.
And you know what? I am narrow- minded about some things. No question. And this is one of those things.
But the good news is that I’m in pretty good company. Because Jesus is narrow-minded about it too, as we’ll see in words we’re about to look at.
As we’ve worked our way through the gospel of Matthew, and in particular, the Sermon on the Mount, we’ve seen Jesus talk about a number of things, ranging from the beatitudes, to how to be salt and light to the world, murder, adultery, being "spiritual" for show, and judging people.
Today we see Jesus turning the corner into some warnings - about getting to heaven, false prophets, and other such things.
And in starting this, he starts by discussing two roads and two gates as he gives a warning about not missing the way to heaven.
Listen to his words, which are printed for you in the note-taking guide.
"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."
How many of you have gone to the Brown County Fair this week? I went yesterday. And you know what I discovered? They actually have roads that lead to different parking lots.
They’re kind of narrow, barely enough for two cars in some places, and never wide enough for three or more.
They also had places marked where you couldn’t even drive a car. They were too narrow for vehicles.
At the Brown County Fair, there are narrow roads and small gates.
If it’s important enough to use narrow roads and small gates at the county fair, can you imagine how important the issue is when it comes to heaven and how to get in there?
Let’s take a look at what we can learn from this passage, okay. But before we do that, let’s pray.
Here’s the first thing we can learn from these words of Jesus:
The gate is only one person wide: Jesus.
I’m starting with this point because I want to make sure that there is no missing it because it either got lost in the middle of the message or you were too tired to catch it near the end.
"I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved."
There is no room for anyone but Jesus, and there is no room for anyone with Jesus.
This is so important. In fact, this is one of those things that if you miss this, it will impact your eternal destiny.
I know that’s not very politically correct nowadays, but you know what? That’s not the issue. Because when your time comes, it won’t be the ACLU you’re standing in front of, it’ll be God Almighty.
He’s gonna ask you which gate you used. And if you didn’t use HIS gate, then you won’t be welcome in his heaven.
It’s that simple.
Jesus said in John 14:6 -
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
The challenge has been around since the time Jesus was on earth:
Was he lying, was he insane, or was he telling the truth?
If you can’t believe that he was lying or insane, then the only other option you have is to believe he was telling the truth.
And then you have another choice to make: do you act on it now or do you wait until later?
And in considering that question, let me give you something else to consider: can you afford to put it off?
Are you sure that you will be around later so you can put your faith in Christ? I hope so, for your sake.
But make no mistake, some people are going to die today, and they weren’t planning on it. And if they have not put their faith in Christ, they are lost for eternity.
But let’s turn our attention to a question that I think is worth considering when we look at this passage, and that is...
Why do only a few find it?
I think this is a good, valid question. Why do only few find it? Has God hidden it? Is it only for the privileged few?
I don’t think so, especially here in the U.S., where access to the good news of Jesus is unparalleled anywhere else on earth. But I do think there are a number of reasons why few people find it, and we’re going to look at a few of these in a moment.