تنګ لاره

If you were to go on a trip from Nairobi to Makindu or Makindu to Mombasa., how would you find the way if you have not been there before?  Maybe you would ask a friend for directions?  You could use a paper map to find a way, or you could find the way using a map program on a cell phone or a computer.  There are many ways to find directions to a place and sometimes there is more than one way to travel there.

Suppose today you want to go to heaven; how many ways do you think there are to go to heaven?  Jesus talked about two different ways, and He was extremely specific about these two hugely different roads to choose.

The sermon on the mount is one of Jesus’ most famous messages.  Jesus preached many things the people needed to know about His way.  For example, they needed to be humble, meek, merciful, and pure peacemakers.  He also told them they needed to be the light of the world.

Mathew 5:20

“20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

Here Jesus is teaching the people that their religion needs to be better or different than the religious people they were seeing at that time.  He taught they must live nothing short of their best.  He also taught them that they needed to hate, loath, and resist anything repulsive to God.  This meant denying self, abandoning their dearest idol, and forsaking their sinful ways to have communion with God.

Matthew 5:29-30

“29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”

Jesus was truly clear in His speech.  I am sure many were standing in the audience that day wondering about His words.  What are these piercing and flesh-withering commands?  And they probably asked themselves this question, “Who then can be saved?”  Let us look at the two ways Jesus told them they could choose from.

Matthew 7:13-14:

“13 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:

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

Jesus spoke of two ways one could take.  He told them the “gate” or way to Salvation is “strait” and the way that leads to life is “narrow”.  He faithfully warned that there is also a “wide gate” soliciting their entrance, and a “broad road” inviting them to walk therein, but that road or way ends in destruction or hell.  The “strait gate” is the only “gate” to “life,” the “narrow way” is the only one that leads to heaven, and few find this gate to heaven.  Jesus told them to avoid the broad way.  Because the narrow way is the only way to life and heaven.

The Greek word for “strait” signifies restrained or Narrow.

What is the purpose of a gate?  A gate either lets someone in or shuts someone out. In Mathew 7:13, Jesus is saying, all who enter in at this narrow gate, gain admittance to the way that leads to life; but all who enter not by this narrow way, are eternally barred from God’s presence.  Who is this gate and how does one find it?

John 10:7-9

“7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

Here Jesus is teaching the people and us that He is the “door”, He is the gate, He is the way that leads to life.  Jesus also stated in:

John 14:6

“6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Such a beautiful picture!  We get into this way of life by going to Jesus.  Jesus clearly states here, “He is the way”.  We go to the door, which is Jesus, He is the door!  We go to the gate, and we ask for permission to enter His way.  The way to gain entrance to the narrow way is to accept God’s precepts and God’s ways into your heart.  You must be willing to get rid of all sinful pleasures, all sinful pursuits, all sinful interest, and ask God to forgive you and accept Him into your heart.  Only then can you walk in the narrow way.  This is a beautiful way, a holy way, a high way.  So first you must enter in and accept God into your heart, but second, you must deliberately abandon this broad road Jesus spoke of in Mathew.

Jesus taught this deliberate abandonment when He spoke about the prodigal son.  The son left his father’s house and took the broad road.  Then one day the son woke up on this broad road of destruction and as he thought back to his father’s house, he realized the narrow way was a much better way.  But he had to choose to go back to the father.  Today we must choose to enter the narrow way.  It is a choice, and we must reject the broad way of destruction.

The Story of the Prodigal as it is written in God’s Word

Luke 15:3-24

“3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying,

4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?

9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.

10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:

12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,

19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.”

God wants us to seriously consider our decision to enter the narrow way.  God is not pleased if one day we decide we will walk the narrow way and then the next day decide to partake of things on the broad way.  God wants us to decide to go through Jesus, the door, and join the narrow way for life.

The world is lined up against people, convincing them not to take the narrow way.  The world thinks Christians are crazy.  They might say, “If you go God’s way, you will miss out on all the fun in life”.  I was saved at a young age and can tell you I have had a lot of fun in God’s narrow way.  As I become older, I can see that the broad way the devil entices people toward, is extremely destructive.  The devil convinces people to the broad way by showing them all the happiness.  He may convince a person to try drugs or drink alcohol, saying, “This will make you happy, like the other people on the broad way”.  The devil is a liar.  The broad way the devil wants you to choose leads to destruction.

Sadly, today many people in the world fail to enter the narrow way.  People that choose the broad way prefer to sin than to be holy.  They prefer to walk after the lust of the flesh than to walk according to the scriptures.  God’s word is true.  Let us look at Mathew again.

Mathew 7:13-14

“13 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:

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

Remember the question we asked in the beginning?  How many ways are there to heaven?  In Matthew chapter seven, we learned there is only one way to heaven and that is through Jesus.  Which way are you on?  Are you on the narrow way, and have you accepted Christ as your Savior?  Or have you rejected God, and are you on the broad road where the flesh is allowed liberty but at the end there is destruction?  I challenge you today, choose life, choose the way of life, and I can guarantee you this is the best way.  Because the end of this narrow way, through Jesus Christ, is heaven.  I pray that each of you will choose the way of life today.