The Spiritual Gate and the Path of the Ekklesia is Narrow
When we look at certain maps to find directions to a particular destination, we often want to know the shortest distance and the least amount of time it takes to get there. We want to take the road that will give us the most pleasant experiences as we travel towards our particular destination.
In our spiritual journey, many in the same way will map out the easiest route to get to their destination. They will confer with others about how to get the best and most comfortable experiences along their travels. Often, their finances will dictate the level of comfort and class they will experience as they take the many different modes of transportation available.
When we use Scripture as our map, it helps guide us towards our destination. We soon discover that our journey will cover terrain that does not have any of conveniences of the many modern infrastructures that are already in place.
The vast majority of people will take a look down the narrow path that can only be walked upon and realize with disappointment that it does not accommodate the exciting modern modes of transportation that is common along the broad path that they suppose arrives at same destination as the narrow one does.
The thought of walking along the narrow path into the wilderness up into the mountainous and down through the valleys and along desert terrains without a GPS, air-conditioning, or having a paid certified guide would seem ludicrous, foolish and even dangerous.
Scripture states that there are two gates and two different roads. The entrance through one gate is very large and the other one is narrow. One gate conveniently accommodates mass groups of people to enter all at once, and the other is so narrow that it only can be accessed one person at a time.
Depending upon the terrain that one travels upon will often dictate what mode of transportation will be chosen. The easiest way, or route is to follow along the physical and organizational structural lines that already have been set in place to make the journey the most comfortable. Travelling along in cruise control and autopilot is widely accepted as the status quo for long journeys. Some of the many perks that come with taking the wide road is that it will have all of the modern conveniences such as road signs, billboards, convenience stores, fuel stations and fast-food restaurants, etc., that have been built along the way.
The Narrow Gate and Path
In contrast, there is a narrow gate that leads along an narrow path. There are no man-made infrastructures, modern conveniences, or short cuts. The gate is so narrow that only one person can enter it at a time. Once through the gate and looking ahead, there seems to be a lot of wilderness leading up into the mountains and then down into valleys and along desert terrains. There is no simple set map that man has made to direct their footsteps. Once one enters through the gate, there is a book that states what is needed to guide your feet and to light your path. Without these tools it would be impossible to navigate along the path.
What is interesting today is that people who are both on the wide and narrow paths claim to use the same book, but it is only those who are able to walk the narrow path are properly able to utilize it. They understand that to carry any more books on their journey would weigh down, hinder and slow the progress to their destination.
What is interesting is that many people on the wide path have the same book too, but they mostly rely more on modern convenient maps, guides and books to make their journey the most pleasurable, convenient and comfortable.
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and THE WAY IS HARD THAT LEADS TO LIFE, and those who find it are few. – Matthew 7:13-14
The Wide Road
Christ said that many are on the wide road to destruction and few will find life. If his words are true, then most people are on the wrong path. They will not find life at the end of the road because they have chosen to purchase the revised and updated maps along with the latest modern conveniences to help them on their journey. Unfortunately, they will not end up where the makers of their products promised to take them.
I AM THE DOOR. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. – John 10:9
There is only one way, not many ways to life. All the maps and signs that state there are better alternative routes will not lead there. The deception is that many see the narrow path and say that there are much better alternative routes, and deem those who choose to walk on the narrow road as “narrow minded.”
It’s ironic isn’t it?
HOW CAN WE KNOW THE WAY?” Jesus said to him, “I AM THE WAY, and THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE. No one comes to the Father except through me. – John 14:5-6
The wide path makes many accommodations for people who appear sincere, spiritual, religious and moral. At the narrow gate there are conditions. You must accept the terms, or you will be turned away. Many pretend to be on it, but the sad truth is many cannot accept what it takes to walk along the narrow path because they desire to have all the modern man-made conveniences along their journey instead that requires little to no effort on their part. The wide road does not require much thinking, or a real change in direction. One of the favourites is called the roundabout that requires no one to stop and think about where they are truly going.
Truly, I say to you, UNLESS YOU TURN and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 18:3
“NOT EVERYONE who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one WHO DOES the will of my Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 7:21
The greatest religious deception today are people who believe that they are on the narrow path while embracing the modern conveniences that are stationed on the wide path. The popular notion is that someone can travel the broad path and call it the narrow one. Today, the modern maps veer of the narrow path onto the broad one. Unfortunately, many hire others to be their guides and leave the navigation to them.
The Right Path
The narrow gate is about repentance. It is moving in a completely different direction abandoning the supposed most convenient and self-serving way of trying to approach God.
Those who follow the narrow way through the narrow gate do not have all the modern conveniences and choices they were once accustomed to. They now rely on Christ who guides their feet and lights their path. Everything is about following in their guides footsteps knowing that any deviation from the course will mean abandoning him for their own ways.
The broad path has many different options, but the narrow path does not. It simply is a pursuit of holiness by faith trusting in and following your guide as he leads down the path of truth.
How can we know that we are on the narrow path that leads to life, or the broad way that leads to destruction?
It depends who, or what you put your hope and trust into.
Are you travelling along man’s infrastructures?
Are you standing apart by conforming to the will of the Father by embracing the narrow way through repentance that leads to a change in direction?
We must trust solely on Christ our guide to deter us from following after man’s devices to becoming a follower who is in one spirit with our Father in heaven (John 17:20-23).
There are two gates that open to two very different directions; one has many crowds and majority of the people, and the other does not. One is a divine calling and the other is human calling (religion). The choice of road we travel upon determines our eternal destiny.
“You are those who justify yourselves IN THE SIGHT OF MEN, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God. – Luke 16:14
Divine righteousness and human (self) righteousness are two separate paths. When man relies on himself, he will not have a broken repentant spirit.
Entering through the narrow gate and on to the narrow path is an imperative urgent message. It is a command to an immediate action because the time is running out to access the gate.
This is the time to no longer compromise on God’s laws and standards, but to come out of the man-driven systems of this world and prescribe to the way of Christ our Saviour. Action is not lip service, but walking and living in God’s ways on His terms. This is how we must enter. Standing, talking about and admiring the gate means nothing unless you put your faith into action.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, I AM THE DOOR of the sheep. – John 10:7
There are no alternatives. Many believe that their group activities are the way, but the entrance to the Kingdom of God is not a floodgate, but is exclusive and personal. Denominational name brands are not the gate. Alter calls are not the gate. Clergy are not the gate. Certificates are not the gate. Church doors and signs do not lead to the narrow gate. Being part of religious crowds are not the gate. People must individually act out their faith by entering alone and learning to trust solely in the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Many don’t even know about the narrow gate because they are not even looking for it. They want someone else to search for it on their behalf, even paying them to do it.
‘YOU will seek Me and find Me when YOU SEARCH FOR ME with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:13
Walking down an aisle and sitting in a pew is not striving to enter the narrow gate.
"Strive to enter through the narrow door; for MANY, I tell you, will seek to enter and WILL NOT BE ABLE. – Luke 13:24
It is imperative that we seek the narrow way, but it doesn’t stop there. We must count the cost to enter, but unfortunately many are not willing to do it.
How many do you know who agonize to enter into the Kingdom of God?
Many believe that they can be entertained through the narrow gate.
They followers of Christ (the ekklesia) are people who seek the Kingdom of God first with all their hearts by hungering and thirsting for divine righteousness with a longing to be transformed with a renewed and changed life that does not want to strive after the things that are on the wide road.
Many believe that playing church game is the way into the Kingdom by singing songs, raising their hands and putting money into the offering plates, but this too is the wide gate. The narrow way is not about self-righteous people patting themselves on the back and practicing their righteousness for all to see.
But they do all their deeds TO BE NOTICED BY MEN – Matthew 23:5
Many get to the narrow gate, but cannot fit through it because they want to take all their baggage with them. They don’t want to get rid of their love of money and deny themselves. They cannot accept the terms of repenting of their carnal ways.
Walking through the narrow door requires utter dependency like little children in total abandonment to God through Christ. The whole book of 1 John 2 clearly expresses the manifestation of people who do and do not walk in obedience to God’s word.
The signs and billboards of disobedience are written all over the man-driven church system. It's easy to sing, "Kumbaya!" and enter the wide gates in groups. There will always be a toll to pay to enter because this is a mandated requirement to be able to get to your destination with as much baggage as you require. There are many bellboys and concierge services to help with your baggage and other special services that may be needed.
In which you once walked, FOLLOWING THE COURSE OF THIS WORLD, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – Ephesians 2:2
The wide road claims to have “fishers of men,” but dead fish are an easy catch as they simply float downstream with the current and converge on the stream corner. It’s easy, you let the current do the work and the dead fish float right on through.
The alternative narrow way does not go with the flow. It does not deviate from the set course that steps out from the crowd against the mainstream.
It is our guide on the narrow path that will enable and give us the strength, ability and perseverance to press on towards the goal. Unfortunately, many believe the narrow path is walking down a carpeted slope and sitting in the many rows of pews.
The principle of entering through the narrow gate on the path of the Kingdom of God is not done on man’s terms.
Psalm 1 and the first part of Matthew 5 are good reminders of the narrow way.
Christ is our gate and our guide on the road that leads to life. The journey is extremely narrow and difficult to be on, but it is His strength in us that will carry us if we allow him to.
Are you on the narrow road, or the wide one?
Questions to Consider
What makes you think you are on the narrow road?
Don’t ask your pastor.
Don’t ask your friends.
Do you know what road you are on?
Don’t ask your pastor.
Don’t ask your friends.
Have you found the small gate?
Don’t ask your pastor.
Don’t ask your friends.
Take a look around you.
Are you following a large crowd?
Many have not fully accepted Christ's terms, but would rather go with the flow of the many named religious crowds that give lip service to the narrow way, but are on the broad road.
Do you believe you are eligible enter the narrow gate?
I guess that would depend on who your guide is.
"For the GATE IS SMALL and THE WAY IS NARROW that leads to life, and THERE ARE FEW WHO FIND IT. – Matthew 7:14
Who is your guide?
- The Wide Gate, or the Narrow Gate?
Jesus said that many would choose the wide path. This means that there are many who are in company with each another on a well-traveled path including "church" attenders.
- Are You a "Christian," or a Disciple of Jesus Christ?
The vast majority of people who associate with man-named buildings call themselves “Christians.” This is a religious label that defines whom their allegiance is to.
© 2016 PlanksandNails