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May 7, 2013

Text:  “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.”  Matthew 7:13-14

Whether a vacation or a business trip, the venture demands some planning and preparation. A destination must be selected. A means of transportation must be secured. An itinerary is essential. What clothes does the traveler need and how much money should he take? (Someone once told me how to answer this last question. Put all the clothes and all the money you think you’ll need on the bed. Then take half the clothes and twice the money!)

Your spiritual journey through this life also demands planning and preparation. The sojourner through this life must have a goal to arrive at. And the traveler must know the course to be taken. If the pilgrim lacks these he will certainly wander and be lost (as opposed to saved). Without a clear destination and plan he will never wind up where he thought he was going. If you want to live with God eternally, commit  unwaveringly to your destination and course.

Here are some things to ponder as you plod along the way.

There are two gates (or ways), but you have only one choice that determines where you spend eternity and this life is the only opportunity to choose. There is a wide way and a narrow way. Jesus tells us the destination of each. The easy gate leads souls to destruction and the narrow gate leads to (eternal) life. Jesus says of himself, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  John 14:6  If one chooses the easy road he can only end up in Hell. If one chooses the narrow path he can only end up in Heaven.

Jesus lays before his hearers the difficulty factor. For the wide gate the degree of difficulty will be easy. There is no obstruction to overcome getting on this road. It promises pleasure, fame, and fortune. It assures that life is a bed of roses. It is about this life and not life hereafter. The other gate is narrow way with may hardships. The KJV describes it as the strait (not straight, but narrow, rigorous). It is a life of self-denial and cross-bearing. It is a life of purity. Paul was straightforward in warning:  “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” II Timothy 3:12

Jesus informs us about distribution of people among hell and heaven. Luke’s account of this saying begins with someone asking Jesus, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?”  Luke 13:23  Jesus insisted that those who travel the wide path “will be many“. And he was assertive that those who follow the narrow path “will be few“. Choose, then, if you wish to  spend eternity with the many in perdition, or with the few in blessedness. And remember: not to choose is to choose.

If you want to go to heaven you must choose the narrow gate.

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