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.Matthew 7:13-14
God has mandated non-negotiable principles and truths for the lives of mankind. If these mandates are followed and applied, lives will inevitably be transformed and the blessings of God realized. Even so, God has not taken away the one thing that will determine whether the door will be opened or remain closed for His glory to be revealed, the power of choice. God will not force His will upon anyone, but rather, everyone is persuaded of themselves and choose Him from a loving and obedient heart.
Jesus closes the “Sermon on the Mount” by challenging the people to choose the correct path for their lives (St. Matthew 7:13-14). This path is characterized as the “strait gate.” Although it leads to heaven, it is narrow and must be sought with diligence and earnest desire. It requires commitment, determination, discipline, self-control, and self-denial. Too, it’s laden with adversities, dangers and difficulties, making it necessary for much effort and labor to be expended, to eventually gain a crown of life. On the other hand, the “broad gate” is the way of worldliness, pleasure and fleshly desires. This way is immediate; it is always there and accessible. It’s seemingly attractive, enticing, ungodly, materialistic, filled with carnality, which Jesus says many will obviously choose leading to their ultimate destruction. It cannot be over-emphasized nor over-stated that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Jesus expressed the stringent criteria required to enter the door of salvation as He stated “many will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (St. Luke 13:24). Everyone must “strive” to enter and few are willing to pay the price of self-denial. The world offers much and in many cases the cost proving too great to give up (St. Luke 9:23). Above all and foremost, there is a window of opportunity (now is the day of salvation; 2 Corinthians 6:2; Hebrews 3:15) and it must be seized with all diligence.
The choice of life and death is before us all. We can please ourselves with the “beggarly elements” (Galatians 4:9) of the world now and face eternal damnation or a life of sacrifice for Christ and rewarded with everlasting life (Revelation 2:10). Moses, no different than we are today, faced with the same decision for his life, chose “rather to suffer the affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward” (Hebrews 11:25-26). CHOOSE WISELY!