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
There is a heresy that permeates Christianity today. It goes by many different names including “Name it Claim It,” and “Prosperity Doctrine.” They all teach basically the same thing. They teach that if you just follow Jesus, your life will be easy and you will have all the material blessings you could ever desire. You just have to claim them!
To be blunt. That is all a lie.
In this passage, Jesus is teaching that the child of God can choose different paths of how to live this life here on earth. One path is broad. It has many people on it. You can believe anything you want to believe. There are no rules among those that travel there, so no one “judges” your lifestyle choices. If something feels good, you just do it! Since this broad way has many of God’s people traveling there, it seems like you might be doing right. After all, you can have all the stuff you could ever want! The devil tempted Jesus with all the worldly riches and the power and fame that comes along with those things. Those things were not his to give. Therefore he is a liar! Any who promise such things “lie like the devil!”
Here is the bigger problem, Jesus is not on that path. To the soul of a born again child of God, this path is like standing in a stadium of 100,000 people and feeling completely alone. As Solomon put it – “It’s all vanity and vexation of spirit.”
Jesus calls the other path narrow. This means so much more than just “not wide.” It means that this path is difficult to push through at times. There are many things that will try to squeeze you and get you off of this path. It does not promise earthly riches. Those on this path often times have persecution for doing the right thing. There are not many people who choose this path so those that travel there will not be the “popular ones.”
BUT Jesus is on this path.
Look back at how the Sermon on the Mount started. The Beatitudes listed several things that God calls a blessed life that the world says are a curse. Included in that list is being persecuted for righteous living. If the Creator God calls a condition of life blessed then it is blessed! We just need to look at the big picture. The trials and troubles of this world are an evidence to us that this place is not our home. Therefore, we don’t need to get too comfortable here!
David put it simply in Pslam one:
For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.Psalm 1:6
When the Lord “knows” something, that means He is very close to it and cares for it. He is there to help us through the trials; to comfort us when we mourn, to heal us when we hurt, to raise us up when we are cast down. Walking with God brings true and lasting joy into the life of God’s children.
The children of God get to walk with God for all eternity. Why not start now?