New Testament Journey – Day 26. Matthew 7:13-14 – Jesus Teaches about the way to Heaven
“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for many how choose that way But the gateway to life is very narrow and road is difficult and only a few ever find it.” – Matthew 7:13-14
I’ve read this verse so many times but for some reason the word “Difficult” stuck out to me the last time I read it. So many people are looking for an “easier way of life”. They try Christianity and then when there are still trials and tribulations they question where God is and why life isn’t just a breeze. Once you become a Christian, you are “in this world” but not “of this world”. You have a friend in Jesus who sticks closer than a brother. You have hope that if you stand through the trials on this earth (and this life is but a vapor compared to eternity) you will have an eternal home in heaven! Even with it’s trials, life on this earth can be beautiful and amazing as we seek to know God. As we see miracles in the smallest details of every day. God is Faithful. His word is true.
As I read this verse I think of how “easy” it is to sin. To be in the world. To just go along with the crowd. Kris’s opinion is because if you haven’t given your heart to the Lord – you’re searching. You’re searching for a moment, a person, a certain amount of money to fill a void that can only be filled by letting the one who created you into your heart. I have yet to meet one person living in sin who has that joy and peace that only Jesus can give. Oh they may be “happy” from time to time – because happiness is based on happenings. So in the moment of sins pleasure they feel happy. But when they go home alone after giving themselves to someone they shouldn’t, they feel miserable and hate themselves. When they find out they are pregnant and baby daddy is no where around, they struggle. When they steal and the money runs out, they wonder where the next dollar will come from. When they gossip and spread rumors and all of their friends realize it and walk away, they feel lonely, depressed and angry. It can be “difficult” to stay home alone until the right one comes along. It can be “difficult” to struggle with bills and work long hours to get them paid instead of just taking what you need. It can be “difficult” to love those who hurt you, who pray for those who ridicule you, to not gossip, not bully and not fight and instead walk in love. But friend, I promise you, in the end it will be SO WORTH IT!
I am reminded of a story that Tom has told from the pulpit. There was a young man who found the Lord his Junior year in high school. He started bringing his bible to school to read during his study hall. He no longer participated in bullying at school, being rude to the teachers or hitting on girls merely for sex. His friends noticed the change and started to harass him. They didn’t like him being “different” now.. he no longer “fit in”. One day as he was walking down the hallway as his old “friends” came up behind him and one said “Look at preacher boy with his bible” as he knocked it out of his hands and they all laughed. Back in the day the young man would’ve whipped around and gave that boy a beating. But not today. The young man slowly bent down, picked up the bible and wiped it off and reached out to hand it to the boy who knocked it out of his hands as he said “Here, you think you’re so tough, YOU carry it.”
The gate that leads to eternal life is called “narrow”. It doesn’t mean that it is difficult to become a Christian but that there is only one way to eternal life with God and that only a few decide to walk that road. Believing in Jesus is the ONLY WAY to heaven, because he alone died for our sins and made us right before God. Living his way may not be popular, but it is true and right. It’s easy to fit in with the crowd, it’s harder to stand up and stand out.
Friends, we were born to stand out, not blend in. Dare to be different!