"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." Matthew 7:13-14
The Bible speaks of two ways and two gates by which every person will enter sooner or later. Jesus said, "Enter ye in at the strait gate." This carries a meaning of a point, place, time, and deals with a purpose. To enter the strait gate means to be saved. When one is saved, there is a point, place, time, and purpose involved. Therefore, one can't be saved and not know when, where, how, and what happened. You may not know what to call all that happened, but when truth is preached about real salvation, you can identify the ingredients in your experience and it will be more sure as each day passes.
The strait gate means a narrow, constricted entrance which leads to life. The gate is so narrow there is only room for you and the Holy Ghost. Therefore, salvation is of the Lord and no individual can go through that gate with you; neither can you carry all your sins with you.
In contrast, there is a wide gate which means, "spread out flat." It leads to destruction, which is the lake of fire. This gate is of such a nature that you can carry anybody, anything, and everything you want when you enter the wide gate, and no one will stop you.
There are two ways that lead to these two gates. There is a broad way that leads to the wide gate and the Bible says, "many there be which go in thereat." There is a narrow way that leads to the strait gate and the Bible says, "few there be that find it." This means there are few that even find the narrow way that leads to the strait gate.
One of our greatest problems in our churches today is that too many people are looking for the strait gate while still on the broad way. The strait gate is only on the narrow way. Oh, I know what many preach today. "Just keep your sins; just be sincere; just have a desire and Jesus will save you." Why did Jesus turn away the rich young ruler in Matthew 19? It was because he wasn't willing to forsake all. That's why Jesus warned in 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." Strive means to contend with an adversary. You will have to contend with the flesh, world, and the devil before you enter the strait gate. This is not talking about works for salvation, but simply striving to overcome the obstacles that will get in your way while trying to get to Jesus. Many seek or desire to enter the strait gate, Jesus said, but they will not enter (be saved) because they did not strive.
We are living in a day when we hear a lot about re-dedication and backsliding in our churches. Most of our re-dedications are simply those who move from the broad way to the narrow way, but have not yet gone through the strait gate. Also, most of those we call backsliders are those who move from the narrow way to the broad way, but they have never been saved. They have never been through the strait gate. You will not find the strait gate on the broad way.
You say, "Preacher, you're just making salvation too hard." Read Mat. 19:23-26 and you'll find that Jesus made salvation impossible with man, because salvation is of the Lord and Jesus said in Mat. 19:26, "With God all things are possible."
As I said before, the strait gate is a narrow, constricted gate where there is only room for you and the Holy Ghost as you go through. Mom and Dad can't go through with you, and neither can the preacher; but we can walk the narrow way with you. We can love you, encourage you, pray for you, and just be a friend to you as you strive along the narrow way, headed for the strait gate. I just want you to know if you are going through turmoil, upheaval, doubt, confusion or whatever, I'll be your friend. I'll love you, stick by you, and stand with you, however long it may take, because I understand. I have been there and you're my friend. You are my ministry. Feel free to call or write. We'll send you copies of our ROAD OF LIGHT tapes that God can use to help you. You see, the narrow way is a road of Light and few there be that find it.
Remember this: Phil. 1:6 says, "Being confident of this very thing that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." He starts a good work in you long before you are ever saved. Find the narrow way. Stay in it, and you can by the grace of God. You do so, and you'll enter the strait gate at a point, place, and time with the purpose of being justified. But if you travel the broad way, you'll never find the strait gate and at the end of the journey there will be a wide gate waiting and it leads to destruction, to the lake of fire forever.
Two ways and two gates. The question is, "Which way are you traveling?" By the way, there is a narrow way after you enter the strait gate also. May we ever travel the narrow way.
THE PERSUADER Dec. 1988-Jan. 1989
ARTICLES FROM THE PERSUADER
VOLUME 1 (1987-1993)
Two Ways And Two Gates