There are only two religions in the world, that which comes from the heart of man, and that which has come out of the heart of God.
The one is only an imagination, the other is a revelation, let us look at (Gen.11:4) “And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” We must remember that our way is not God’s way.
No work of man can hope to escape the all seeing eye of God. Even now he is acquainted with the thoughts, and words, and works, and ways of every individual on earth according to (1.Ch. 28:9) And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts ,”
In these verses we notice two gates, two ways, two companies, and two ends.
First, The Way into Life. What does this life mean ? “The gate” suggests the idea of a city, a place of safety, fellowship, and plenty. The life which is in Christ is a life of safety from sin and wrath, it is fellowship with Jesus Christ, it is a life of satisfaction in the fulness of God, it is a passing from death into life.(1.Jh.3:14) “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.”
It is a open way that all people may come to Christ. It may be strait, but, thank God, it is not shut. “Behold, I have set before thee an open door” (Rev. 3. 8).
This way was closed up by sin, and fenced up by the Hebrew law. Peter stated in (Ac.2:38) these words, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Grace is a open way for all mankind.
Christ opened it through bearing our sins and becoming obedient unto death according to (Col. 2:13,14) “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;”
It is a new and living way consecrated for us, “‘Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,” (Rom.1:1).
There are no back doors into the kingdom of God, (Rom.5:21 “as sin reigned in death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Christ Jesus is the way unto the Father.
Jesus is the leader in the road, not a type of the way, he is the guide to the wandering, the teacher of the ignorant, and the example to all mankind. Jesus is our hope in this world and the world to come.
The way of our Lord is a narrow and strait way, “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way.” Perhaps the gate on the side-walk may be referred to, where even camels were sometimes dragged through after stripping them of everything. Heb,12:1) tell us, “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”
Men needs a stripping to enter here. Self-righteousness is not admitted.
This gate is as narrow as the new birth according to (Jh 3:5) “Jesus answered,Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
The straitness is not with God, but in man’s utter unfitness. People who come to God must be born again, born in to the kingdom of God.
If the way be narrow it leads to a large place, (Jh.14:2) declares, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you,”
It is the way of the few. “Few there be that find it,” because few there be that seek it, “Seek, and ye shall find.”
There are few on it, because many shun it, preferring the darkness to the light, because their deeds are evil, (Isa. 5:20) “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
Some put off, others hope to stumble into it by chance. This is no chance work. “Strive to enter, ” “Ye shall find Me when ye shall seek Me with all your heart” (Mt. 6:33).
Secondly, The Way of Destruction. The word “destruction ” here means “loss,” It is the loss of that which alone can save and satisfy. Like a watch losing its mainspring, like a plant losing the earth from its roots, a man Iosing all his privileges and hopes.
This is a broad way. It suits the carnal mind. There is plenty of room in it for all the sinner’s likes and pleasures, (II.Ti.3:2) “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,”
The world, the flesh, and the devil have full scope here. It is broad enough for the staggering drunkard, for the dishonest and the unclean, for the scoffer and the proud and haughty religious formalist, (II.Ti 3:5) tells us this, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. “
The broad way is a crowed way. “Many go in there at (v.13) ” It is easy going downhil1. Generally man’s first choice is the “broad way.” The heart of man is deceitful and wicked, and naturally prefers the pleasures of sin to the fellowship of God, (Jer 17:9) tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
There is nothing so false and deceitful as the heart of man; deceitful in its apprehensions of things, in the hopes and promises which it nourisheth, in the assurances that it gives us, unsearchable by others, deceitful with reference to ourselves, and abominably wicked, so that neither can a man know his own heart, neither can any other know our hearts.
Some are being pushed along in the crowd without any serious thought.
All are without God and without hope. (Jer.17:10) “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” The broad will be fatal at the end. There is but one only possible end to this way, destruction. (Lk.13:34,35) tells us, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”
As sure as a stone sinks in the sea will the man perish who loves and follows sin,“The wages of sin is death” according to (Rom. 6: 23). “Turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die?” is the question that (Ezek. 33:11) ask. “Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death” (Jer. 21. 8). Choose life