Read Matthew 7:12-14
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.
Have you heard others complain that it is narrow-minded to believe Jesus is the only way to heaven? What is your response to that?
The most common pushback I've heard about Christianity is that it is narrow-minded to believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven. My response? Is it narrow-minded to trust the surgeon's prescription of chemo for cancer? Is it narrow-minded to follow the nutritionists' orders to follow a diet and exercise? I guess so, but when it's the right prescription, I want to be narrow-minded. God is no different.
Jesus Himself told us that in order to gain everlasting life, we have to enter through the "narrow" gate. He never makes the claim that the path to heaven is anything less than narrow. In the Gospels, He said very clearly that He is the only way. He also never said it would be an easy road. On the contrary, He repeatedly tells us that it's a hard road. He tells us we will be hated as He was hated, that we have to deny ourselves, that we have to lose our lives to find them, forgive people that hurt us, and pray for our enemies. No, He never claimed it was easy.
But it is simple. We enter through one gate. That is Jesus Christ. We believe in Him and trust Him for our salvation. Then we follow Him and walk with Him on that often difficult path for the rest of our earthly lives until we reach eternity. And that will be our reward. Everlasting life in a perfected world with Jesus. It will be worth it!
Just because the road is narrow, it doesn't mean that it is exclusive. The narrow gate is open to everyone. You don't have to fix yourself first. You don't have to be a certain race or gender. You can't buy your way in, and you won't be excluded because of poverty. Your good works won't get you in, and your past deeds won't keep you out. The gate is narrow, but it is not locked. If you want to enter through the narrow gate that leads to life, follow Jesus right on through!
The reality is that only a few find everlasting life, not because it's an exclusive club and others aren't welcome, but because many people don't want to enter by the gate. Our sin natures tell us that we can do things our own way. But God has the right to tell us how to get to His heaven. And He did through His Son, Jesus Christ. All we have to decide is will we enter the gate or not.
Father, Thank You for making a way for me to get to You through Jesus. Help me to stay the course on the narrow path that You have set before me. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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