The Narrow Gate

You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.—Matthew 7:13-14 NLT

People usually tend to prefer the easy way.   Consumers in the market look for the best quality, immediate access, the cheapest prices, and open doors 24/7.   As customers, we deserve that, don’t we?  The customer is always right.  Right?
These reasonings have no value in the Kingdom of God.  The Kingdom is not a market, and the only ones who can enter it are those who recognize that they’ve been wrong.  None of us can enter the Road to Salvation on our own.
When Jesus followed the road that brought us Salvation, the road was difficult and the gate was narrow.  That very literal road–the famous  Vía Dolorosa in Jerusalem—was hard to climb, and Jesus used up all the strength of his life to walk it.   The gate was narrow indeed, consisting of a cruel cross.
If the author of our salvation suffered in such a way to open a breach into eternal life, we cannot expect an easy road.   The only way that leads us to life is the one he knew, one in which he will guide us in every step.
Immigrants know something about difficult roads, and many of them can give testimony to how Jesus has served them as a guide.  But to arrive in a new country gets them only halfway home.  Christ continues to press on along the difficult road, and now is no time for us to take another way.

 

Copyright©2013 Joseph L. Castleberry.  All rights reserved. joseph.castleberry@northwestu.edu

Dr. Joseph Castleberry is president of Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington.  He is the author of The New Pilgrims:  How Immigrants are Renewing America’s Faith (forthcoming, August 2015, Worthy Publishing). Follow him on Twitter @DrCastleberry and at http://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Castleberry.

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A missionary to Latin America for 20 years, I currently serve as president of Northwest University in Kirkland, WA. I am the author of Your Deepest Dream (NavPress, 2012) and The Kingdom Net: Learning to Network Like Jesus (Influence Resources, 2013).
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