The Narrow Gate Part 2
“‘Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it’” (Matthew 7:13–14).
Entering through the narrow gate makes a few demands on the person passing through. First, he must enter alone. You can bring no one else and nothing else with you. Some have suggested that the gate is like a turnstile: only one person can get through at a time, and with no baggage.
The narrow gate also demands we must go through naked. This is a gate of self-denial—you can’t carry the baggage of sin and self-will. The way of Christ is the way of the cross, and the way of the cross is self-denial: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 16:24–25).
The narrow gate also demands repentance. Many Jews believed that merely being a Jew, a physical descendant of Abraham, was sufficient for entrance into heaven. Many people today believe that being in a church, or even being a good human being, qualifies them. But the way of repentance, of turning from their own way and their own righteousness to God’s, is the only way to enter His kingdom and therefore the only way to keep from perishing.
What are the various pieces of baggage that people want to hold on to as they enter from death to life? What are the pieces that you still have a tendency to long for, even on this side of the narrow gate?
From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008.