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What is the narrow gate? How narrow is the narrow gate? Matthew 7:13-14

Staff Member
Jesus taught about the narrow gate in both Matthew 7:13-14 and Luke 13:23-24. In both places, entrance through the narrow gate is limited to only a small group of people. This has caused concern among modern readers, many of whom wonder how narrow is the narrow gate?

To better understand the answer, it is important to define the symbolism involved in this particular teaching by Jesus. He is the gate or door through which every person must enter for eternal life. John 14:6, for example, explicitly notes that Jesus is "the way, and the truth, and the life." The limiting factor is whether a person will believe in Jesus, entering through Him as the gate.

In comparison with Jesus as the gate, "many" will choose the wide gate. The reasons people choose this wide gate are made clear. Matthew 7:13 says, "For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many." Because the wide gate is easy, many choose it. Unfortunately, the wide gate leads to destruction.

In contrast, because the narrow gate (Jesus) is narrow, comparatively few will find it. By narrow, Jesus means exclusive. He claimed to be the one way to know God. Many choose to reject a teaching that says there is only one way to know God and therefore miss this narrow gate.

Does this mean salvation is difficult or hard to obtain? In one sense, the answer is no. Salvation is not based on our works, but on faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). However, because salvation in Jesus requires choosing Him as Lord, there is a commitment involved that requires repentance of sin and a turn toward holy living. Many will refuse to accept this free gift of eternal life as a result, choosing the "wide gate" that seems easier at the time yet leads to destruction.

Does this mean there will not be many people in heaven? Not at all! In fact, the final book of the Bible makes it clear there will be many people from all parts of the world in God's presence in eternity. Revelation 7:9-10 notes, "After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, 'Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'"

Jesus is the narrow gate. Though not all will enter through Him, many will, and will receive eternal life. Scripture is clear that many came to faith in Jesus in the earliest days of the church's history and have continued to do so throughout history, resulting in an eternity filled with people from every place and background who have come to faith in Jesus as the narrow gate.

original article: What is the narrow gate? How narrow is the narrow gate?
Compared to the many people born into this world in its span of life, Jesus said "few" will actually be saved. Many shall seek to enter (believers), but only a few of those will be saved.

Luke 13:23
Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
Luke 13:24
Strive to enter in at the strait gate:for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

We are told to fight the good fight of faith in order to lay hold unto eternal life (1Ti. 6:12). The word fight in the Greek mean to"struggle" contending for the faith. It's initially difficult and many believers give up on the struggle by saying a believer "cannot"serve and obey God's commands. Therefore they interpret the scripture to their connivence and comfortability by teaching believer don't have to do anything for eternal life. Even though scripture warns against a believer fainting before the end; it's ignored.

Galatians 6:7
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Galatians 6:8
For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
Galatians 6:9
And let us not be weary in well doing:for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Scripture is clear, if a believer sows to the flesh they will die having corrupted themselves. The Spirit also confirms this through Paul when he preached a person is not truly Christ unless they continue until the end.

Hebrews 3:14
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

If a believer does not continue in Christ they are not His. God is not judging a believer to be His until the end (1Cor. 4:5). The only possibility for a person to know Jesus as the way is to know Jesus as the Word and through the Word. If Jesus is not known in a believers walk, He is not known in a believer's heart. God teaches that He doesn't change, but is the same yesterday, today and forever. What was expected of Israel is expected of new covenant believers when it comes to God's Word.

Isaiah 51:7
Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.

1 John 2:3
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
1 John 2:4
He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

Yes... narrow is the way which leads to life.
The way is narrow. It is Jesus Christ. No other way. But that is just the entrance. Plenty of room once you enter.

Luke 8:18, " Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?".

So narrow that Jesus is questioning whether or not He will find any faith on the Earth.

Not sure what that has to say to all those millions of Christians that pays Jesus lip service, but their hearts are far away from Him. (Matthew 15:7-8)

In peace

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