Matthew 7: 13 & 14: Not Many Really Understand These Verses, Do You?
The Strait and Narrow Way verses are THE most important regarding Salvation.
The following is an excerpt from my END OF DAYS article, under Theological Discussion on HubPages.
It has already been prophesied that the false prophet will coerce all the fallen religions into one in the 2nd half of Tribulation. That should be of considerable concern if you are presently in the church system. Salvation and the strait gate are linked and you may want to think about that for a few minutes. There are many who think that salvation depends on attending a church, which is a man made institution - THAT IS A LIE. Jesus said, enter ye in at the strait gate - why is it that so many cannot differentiate between the two gates?
When you read the O.T., it tells of the corruption of the leaders in the synagogues of those days and after the cross, nothing has changed in the church system today, they are still deceiving people because it's all about money and a hireling system. The churches that we see today are not the true church - we are the church, (people - not buildings.) God does NOT live in temples made with hands.
After you've read this article, you might dismiss it but I hope you will remember this paragraph - God in His mercy has granted salvation to all who want it and He didn't make it difficult to obtain, He made it simple and the cost was to Him - not us. Now if our salvation isn't difficult or complicated, surely finding the strait and narrow way is just as simple. If you think about it, man makes things complicated, God doesn't.
In the early days of Christianity, most couldn't read or write and they couldn't afford a Bible because they were all hand written. The printing press wasn't invented until 1440, so you had to go to a church to hear the word and the churches knew that so they had a monopoly on you. These days, everyone can afford a Bible and the churches have had to resort to other methods to entice and keep you. They know that attending a church is NOT a requisite for salvation. Sadly, over time the churches have become 'watered down' and polluted by so much false doctrine and this is what the majority of today's churches have become, which are just 'feel good' and 'don't upset me' teachings to keep their converts. When you stop and think about it, a good Bible is the only legitimate source of truth that isn't corrupted - but you do have to be careful to get a good one as there are so many available that are just translations of translations. The 1599 Geneva Bible is a very good Bible available as a free download (in modern spelling and is easy to read) and was written before King James 1st paid to have the KJV written as he wanted/demanded it in 1611 because he despised the Geneva Bible. There are many interesting things in the preface and there are a lot of 'firsts' attributed to it. It brought God's word to the masses relieving them from the corruption of the clergy, which was mingled with the politics of the day. You can download it and save it to your computer at the following:
If you are going to a church, which is the broad way and there are doubts about it because the alarm bells are sounding – then it’s time to think about the strait gate.
Matthew 7: 13 & 14 are just two of my favourite verses that are one of THE most important parables that are strangely, the least understood. So many don’t really understand the truth behind them and I’ll write them here with an explanation:
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.
To my mind, Jesus is responding to a question in Jeremiah 6: 16 which says: Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, [that is, look around you and see what's really happening] and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, we will not walk therein.
There are so many different ways these days, which only causes confusion, (much to Satan’s delight) which one shall I go to? And that’s because most are only looking for one that suits their needs but ignores the big picture. So many in the system think theirs is the right way but lead to nowhere, and millions to their astonishment will find it only ends in shipwreck on eternity’s shore. And most think there are many ways that all lead to the same place, and anyone with this mindset is in ignorance of these verses. Have you ever wondered why all the religions in the world have given themselves a different name? Wouldn’t you think if they were all following the ONE God in the way they should be, they would all be agreeable with each other? There is only ONE true way that is acceptable to Him and Satan doesn't want you to know it, or find it - he is the author of confusion, which is why there are so many different ways, yet people are so blind to the simple truth. And it really is so simple.
And further to this, ANY religion that preaches theirs is the only way – is a cult. (And I know, I once belonged to one to the disappointment of my family.) Jesus has told us about this narrow way that leads to life and we only have to ask the Spirit to guide us and it doesn’t involve going to a money making enterprise, which are all man made, some far worse than others. Yes there are so many ways but in reality, there are only two different roads – and both are leading to different ends. It's either the strait and narrow way (if you've managed to find it) or it's the broad way. Even in O.T. times, as it is today, good scripture is ignored. Jeremiah 5: 31 says it all – The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will you do in the end thereof?
Those today, in whatever belief they hold onto have all heard or read these verses at some time and many wrongly think that the road they're on IS the narrow way. This is cult thinking, nothing that is man made is the strait and narrow way. Christ is the only way and is NOT in the church system. There are so many who prefer the broad way in ignorance over the narrow way and saying what they said to Jeremiah, we will not walk therein. And because of spiritual blindness and/or ignorance, is it of little wonder that Jesus said few there be that find it.
As a simple analogy of the different ways, imagine yourself standing on an overhead bridge over a 15 lane highway and looking at the people in these cars, you notice that most appear happy but some appear unhappy, so they change lanes, perhaps because the other lanes are moving faster and they become content for a while. (This is people becoming restless in whatever religion they’re in and change for whatever reason.) This is the broad way, which is the easy way of the world. Soon you notice a small off-ramp leading off this highway and every now and then, a car exits the highway onto a very narrow road, which is not an easy road. But once off this highway there is so much more to see and understand and the rewards are far greater than the broad way.
The strait and narrow way isn’t difficult to find once you know how and anyone can enter in because it’s in you but there are conditions and it is a difficult road to travel because you/we will be persecuted – you just need to remember that Jesus walked it before us and suffered all for our sake and has promised to walk it with us. He simply said – follow me. (Before Jesus the Jews were teaching in their synagogues by forceful means and until Jesus came, the strait and narrow way wasn’t even heard of, except by prophets like Isaiah who spoke of it, (Isaiah 30: 21 says in part: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it.) which I can only think is the reason Jesus made it available to those who would diligently seek it.) Proverbs 14: 12 tells it like it is. There are so many things to give up (excess baggage of every description) and leave at the gate to enter the narrow way – A complete change of heart.
Just as the Spirit is given by grace, so too, is the strait and narrow way and we access it by faith, which is believing in Him, striving to maintain that belief so that we don’t fall away in the days ahead and by continuing in prayer and reading His word. This is really about how strong your faith is under the pressures many will face in Tribulation by refusing the mark and we can't yet imagine the scale of what it will be like when these days come upon us. Those without a spiritual preparedness of mind will fall. The more we abide and remain in Jesus, the more it will attract Satan's attention and for some who give in, it is easier to slide backwards on a slippery slope than to press forward on a steep and rocky pathway. Do you remember the story about the sower and the 3 types of soil the seed fell on?
These are some of the conditions and you cannot access it without a full, positive commitment to these things. If you are aware of the Spirit working in you, (everyone has the Spirit of baptism imparted by Jesus when you first believed) you only have to ask him to reveal it then believe it, which is Bible teaching. Going to a church doesn’t guarantee salvation or finding the narrow way. No church will ever teach you the truth of the strait and narrow way - and even if they try, it won't be the truth and I'm sure you can understand why.
‘And few there be that find it’ suggests that this gate is hidden, 2nd Corinthians 3: 3 is a wonderful blessing and in 4: 3 & 4, it tells us who will never find it and why.
Many seek to find it but only a few will and most fail because of not seeking with all their mind and heart and honouring the conditions. Remember when you first believed, you accepted Him in your mind first, then your heart – well this is no different. No-one just happens on the narrow way casually without persistent searching until you finally realise it is a given and gifted thing along with the Spirit and is within you all along after you’ve made a choice for God. It isn’t just down the street, and around the corner in a building, or in another town, which is why it IS hidden to human reasoning but it is revealed to the genuine searching heart. So many just accept the first church they find or their friends go there, without ever considering there is a perfect way because they know no different. There are many reasons why people put their faith in the church system - churches have been around for so long, so it must be right to belong to them, which is just a preconceived conditioning of mind either by yourself or someone else but that doesn't make it right, they were corrupted before Jesus and it has continued since. So many think what I'm saying is too simple, there must be more to it than that, some even like the rituals which is just entertainment and becoming more so. ‘Seek and ye shall find’ keep knocking and praying and the door will be opened. Jeremiah 29: 13 was written firstly for the Jews but it is equally for us as well and is beautiful to read: And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. It is so simple that many bypass it unawares and can spend the rest of their lives looking for God and Jesus in all the wrong places because so many put their hope in so called 'sacred buildings' and blindly revere the salaried men within. Those in the broad way think they ARE in the narrow way, saying it’s only the unbelievers who are in the broad way, yet in fact, the unbelievers are not trying to enter anywhere, so how do they explain that? If you enter through the narrow gate, which leads to life, you cannot live in the broad way, simply because it leads to a place called Destruction.
There is always a right way and a wrong way in everything.
Jesus has told us there are two gates; one is the strait and narrow gate which is unappealing and baffling to human thinking and you will be persecuted on this road, perhaps even to death. The other is the wide or broad gate, much more alluring and easy, with all the trappings of piety and religiousness. You won’t be persecuted on this road (particularly if you take the mark in the 2nd half of Tribulation, thinking God will forgive me) which ends up as the devil’s highway – unbeknown to so many. You cannot/will not find the straight and narrow way while you are still in the broad way. Even now there are many false teachers in the churches and Jesus knew this would happen and even spoke about it, which is the very reason He made the strait gate accessible to all those who would earnestly seek it. And just think, if you’re still on this broad way during Tribulation, which will be coerced into following Satan (in the anti-Christ’s body) by the false prophet, you will be more likely to accept the mark because you are comfortable in the broad way, believing in the church system. And doesn’t that tell you that the easy ways of the world is far removed from the strait and narrow way? I would only ask that you think about this for a few minutes – if the Spirit, which is already within us and is given to lead us into truth, doesn’t it stand to reason He will also reveal the strait and narrow way in us if we’re prepared to receive it in faith with all our heart and mind? And we only have to ask. How weak is our faith? Jesus said, Oh ye of little faith to many on more than one occasion, and this analogy is exactly the same. Jesus has already told us not many will find it and this is the crux of the matter.
1st John 2: 27 says: As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about all things and is truth, and is no lie, and just as it has taught you, remain in Him. This is a very good example and confirms the paragraph above.
John 14: 5 Thomas says in part: and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. There is only ONE God and there is only ONE way that is acceptable to Him. Ephesians 4: 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism.
John 14: 26 says: If you ask for the Holy Spirit to teach you all things, he will guide you. Wouldn’t you rather the Spirit to teach you about Jesus than someone in a man made institution, particularly if it isn’t the truth, and the Spirit will never lie to you – THAT IS THE NARROW WAY.
I once asked someone, why are there so many different religions in the world and I was surprised at his answer – “Because we have freedom of choice.” Thinking about it now I should have said – if Jesus was here right now and standing beside us, how would He have answered that question? I’m sure His answer would have been very different. He has already told us ‘enter ye in at the strait gate’ and there is only ONE strait gate that leads to life and there is none other. If we can’t agree that the strait and narrow way is not found in any church, then you have to ask yourself, why did Jesus tell us about it and where is it???
The broad way encompasses ALL that are in the world and are contrary to Ephesians 4: 5. If you are still in doubt, Matthew 7: 15 may convince you. And there is a good reason why Jesus said this immediately after the strait gate verses, which is because they have all become a business with salaried pastors - their bread and butter depends on you, if no-one came, what would they do?
There was a time when I used to wonder – there is only one God so there must be only one true way, particularly when you consider how many ways are wrong, and I eventually realised, it’s the strait gate!!! IT IS NOT A TANGIBLE OR VISIBLE THING. And if you still haven’t got it at this point, I shall apologise for my bluntness. You cannot touch it, you cannot see it, it is not without - it is within. As it is written, and it was Jesus who said it, enter ye in at the strait gate, let’s just imagine there weren’t any churches anywhere, where would it be?........That’s right, it’s in you.
Salvation and the strait gate are linked - you cannot attain one without the other. There is nothing secretive about the strait gate, nothing complicated, the scripture is there for all who would seek it and Jesus doesn't want anyone not to find it, just the opposite - but He wants us all to know that salvation is only through the strait gate. There is NO other way.
This can be such a hard thing for many to accept. To recap, we have the Spirit who teaches us truth and will reveal the narrow way, which is also truth and we have our Bible. Can it be any simpler than that?
If you’re willing to make an effort and after you’ve grown a little, the Spirit will come to you – and truly, that’s a wonderful thing. I have mentioned before about having a preparedness of mind – that simply involves reading your Bible as much as you can, which is the only way you can spiritually grow and is 'part and parcel' of the narrow way. The Spirit will not come to you if you only make half-hearted attempts in fulfilling the conditions. How can you enter the narrow way if you don't read about Him and believe in Him first? This is particularly true for 'first time' believers - babes in His grace, and it takes a little time for them to reach spiritual maturity and to be aware of and recognise the Spirit working in them so that they can become a help unto others. It is often the young immature believers without a strong grounding in faith who will come 'under fire' from the one who would steal it away from them and we as mature believers need to shelter them until they can stand in the battle.
In this world of materialism it’s easy to find or invent a multitude of reasons for not reading your Bible but just remember, it’s Satan who puts up the ‘detour sign’ and we all need to be aware and overcome that. Human Nature being what it is, finding the time to read can seem like an unnecessary chore – I’ll do it tomorrow and it keeps on repeating, all to Satan’s pleasure. I’m also guilty but we can all find 10 minutes or so a day creating a habit and once you’ve developed the habit the Spirit will come to you – that is, if you are willing to respond to his leading. The more often you read, the more God will send His Spirit if you invite him. We only have to play our part. Satan will always try to drive a wedge in between us and God and he will do that by whatever means and one of the very worst ways he discourages us, is from reading the Bible regularly because he knows the Bible is the only source of legitimate truth and he doesn’t want us to know it – not even in the smallest measure. It takes a determined effort on our part to resist this attack; we must get rid of the wedge before it’s driven in too far and if we give in to this sort of attack we will slide backwards. And if we allow it to continue it may and can end in apostasy. If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all. It's too late to learn to shoot a rifle after the war has begun.
One of Satan's favourite tricks is to cause you to look back on past sins and telling you that you've failed, which only halts forward progress. ALL sins that are confessed are dealt with and forgiven and we are all tempted to look back, but there is absolutely no value or reward in that. Remember Lot's wife - she looked back and paid the penalty. And we all sin IN SOME FORM every day and we must confess daily, asking for forgiveness and move on - if you keep Jesus as your focus you eventually won't look back. Correction may either be severe or light but whatever it is, it is by His mercy and it's for our own good.
There are two animals inside all of us that are constantly at war with each other, our human nature and our divine nature - which one will win? The one you feed!!! This is a good analogy of Romans 7: 15 - 25.
If you can’t find a good church that is teaching truth according to scripure, which has already been said are few and far between or you are hesitant to go for whatever reason, it’s very difficult on your own – and we all need help. This is why I believe it’s better to get a good Bible and start reading it together with ichthys.com beginning either in the Peter’s Epistles Series as they’re not overly long or in The Satanic Rebellion. For most people the Bible isn’t enough, we all need a good teacher to explain it and for me, the best teacher on earth is ichthys.com and it may be for you as well – and I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.
A quick ‘crash course’ in reading the Bible at the last minute is not recommended - you need to prepare spiritually now as there is a day coming when it may be too late. For those spiritually prepared there will be much 'work to do' to help many when these days arrive - that is our duty and each and every one of us is given at least one spiritual gift of ministry.
Amos 8: 11 - 13 says: Behold the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it. In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.
For so many ‘first time’ readers of the Bible, it is not an easy book to understand, particularly if you start reading it in the O.T. and so many give up. By beginning in the N.T. and reading it all the way through then follow up with the O.T., a greater understanding of Jesus will come. After all, it is Jesus we want to learn about first and our focus should always be on Him. Once you’ve made it a good habit, you will find the Bible is a very enjoyable book, particularly with the help of the Spirit. The Bible is the only book you can start reading from the middle for a complete understanding to help you to be grounded and settled in Jesus. As an analogy, if you were to smell a sweet scented flower, the strongest scent is in the middle isn’t it.