God never intended that we should follow the fancy of our heart, ”And God saw that the wickedness of man was great…and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6: 5.) He calls us to himself, and invites us by every argument that can touch a reasonable being.
He will not leave us to fail for want of strength, he will always give us the strength to over come. If we will apply ourselves in earnest and cry unto him for help, nothing shall be impossible unto us.
Difficult as the duty is, it has been performed by many in all ages. We must not stand aloof, doubling and hesitating whether we shall enter upon this way are not, “Enter ye in at the strait gate:” Jesus said in (v. 13), “This way will lead to joy and eternal life.”
We must not wait until we feel that there may be a more convenient season, “Behold, now is the day of salvation” (II. Cor. 6: 2.) The commandment of God is clear and they are universal “Enter ye in at the strait gate.” It was not easy to be a Christian in the early days of the church because of persecution, it is not any easier to-day when the difficulty comes rather from the all pervading atmosphere of worldliness.
Let us speak about the entrance into the gate. First, we need to take a look at the straight gate. There are two gate, one is narrow, the other gate is wide.
We must consider the gates first, until we have passed through it we cannot be in the way at all. No one can become a Christian without and effort. We do not drift into the kingdom, nor do we grow up in it unconsciously.
Children of Christian homes must come to a decision about Jesus and make a deliberate choice.
There are sins to be repented of, evil habits to be renounced, pride must be humbled, and the simple trust of a little child attained. We become Christians by complete surrender to Jesus and obeying his word.
Let us take a look at the width of the second gate. We do not need to make any choice of evil, evil is all around us. We have but to let go, and we shall be swept through the wide gate.
This gate is so wide that we cannot miss it if we permit ourselves to go with the crowd, “many there be which go in there at” (v. 13).
Now, let me speak about the First gate, why is the right way so narrow. Life is more than the beginning, we must consider its whole course.
The course we take is likely to resemble its origin. The strait gate leads to the narrow way, the wide gate to the broad way.
There is but one right way, while there is an endless diversity of wrong ways.
Righteousness involves self denial. There is a call to take up the cross and follow Jesus.
Secondly, why is the broad way the wrong way? The very variety of evil makes it so. There is no law in sin, “For sin is the transgression of the law.”
According to (I. Jh. 3: 4), the way of evil is one of self-will, it is everyone turning to his own way, “ Yea, they have chosen their own way, and their soul delighteth in their abominations” (Isa. 66: 3.)
Finally, Let me speak about the end. The two ways are separated from beginning to end, neither issues in the other, Jude stated “Woe unto them for they have gone in the way of Cain.” (v.11) The broad way is not a short cut to the narrow. Each way has a separate objective.
The wide gate is, deceitful, it is unprofitable, it is a restless way, it is a delaying way, it is a disappointing way, it is easy to fall on it, it will lead to destruction. We do not all come to the same end.
Let us keep in mind the character of the end is determined by the character of the way. If you live by the sword you may die by the sword, “For all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” (Matt.26:52)
This makes the way of great importance. This path of truth is not a city in which we dwell, nor even a temporary camping-ground on which we rest for a night. We are always moving along it, each and everyday toward the end.
In closing the great question is, were does it all end for us. Jesus sets the alternative before us very clearly, eternal life or destruction.“Enter ye in,” Jesus said in (Jh.14: 6) “I am the way, the truth, and the life:” Jesus is truly the narrow way, he is the only way to eternal life.