The Strait and the Narrow Way

Matthew 7:13,14 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: 14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.


Death is the unspoken chasm.

1.      There is a seeking for the right way, Don’t find it accidentally.

2.      “leadeth”

3.      Everybody is going - somewhere!

4.      Broadway is easy - because of verse 14.

5.      Proverbs 14:12, 16:25 - A way that seemeth right unto man, but the end is destruction.

6.      Cattle going through a gate - they follow each other “herd instinct”, hard to “buck the tide.”


What lies beyond the grave? US Catholic Magazine recently asked its readers what they thought. One result: the old fire-and-brimstone idea of hell seems to be on its way out, being replaced by the idea of hell as an absence of God. Some theologians say this means people are becoming more concerned about doing good for its own sake -- and less about doing good to avoid hell.

   As for heaven, it apparently is a great place for a picnic -- a "sylvan setting where it never rains", and where you'll be reunited with departed members of your family. Who'll go there? Well, 83 percent of the magazine's readers expect to. The rest must have some very sleepless nights.


See:  Matt 7:13-14


Some time ago a scientific magazine published an article concerning a certain species of alligator. Being lazy beasts, they seldom hunt for their dinner but just wait for their unwary victims to come to them. They lie near the bank with open mouths, acting as if they are dead. Soon flies begin to light on their moist tongues, and several other insects gather. This crowd attracts bigger game. A lizard will crawl up to the alligator to feed on the bugs; then a frog joins the party. Presently a whole menagerie is there; then there is a sudden "earthquake" -- WHAM -- the giant jaws come together and the party is over! Here's the lesson: don't be lured by large groups of people. Remember, the crown is always found on the "broad way." The "narrow way" of life admits only individuals, one by one. Most people take the easy, downward path. You as a Christian must follow Jesus on the upward road; it is the only safe way.


See:  Matt 7:13-14


Lost in the jungle, a man sought desperately to find his way to safety. His strength was ebbing fast as the insects and stifling heat did their deadly work. Suddenly he heard what he thought to be a bell tolling in the distance. Believing he was nearing civilization, he struggled bravely onward; but he never seemed to draw closer to the sound. Finally he fell to the ground exhausted, never to rise again. The mysterious bellbird had claimed another victim! This story is related in detail by G. B. Robeson. He says that many a traveler in the heart of the rain forest of Central and South America has been led to his death by the uncanny call of this seldom-seen bird. Its enticing, reverberating "toll" produces an almost overpowering temptation to seek its source.

   Similarly, Satan employs subtle devices to ensnare the human race. As lost souls seek to disengage themselves from the vines of sin, they are allured by the tempter's "bell" ringing in the distance. "At last," they think, "I've found a way of escape," and so, following the call of the evil one deeper and deeper into the jungle of despair, they are eventually lost for eternity.

   Many are following the deceptive call of the devil's "bell-bird" because it "seems right" to them. O that they might realize the truth of these words before it is too late: "The end thereof are the ways of death." Christ, who declared that "no man cometh unto the Father but by me" (John 14:6), is the only One who can lead poor wanderers to the promised land of salvation and safety!


See:  Gen. 3:1-13; John 8:44; Acts 13:10


This passage is talking about a way of life, not salvation.

1.   Look at all the topics surrounding it.

2.   This passage is talking about the whole of a persons life, not just salvation.

3.   Matt. 5:1 - Jesus preached to the multitude about how to live their lives in a right way.  This would necessarily include salvation.


I.    The manner of life.

A.  You must do something to enter into the strait gate.

1.      You are naturally in the way of destruction.

2.      You don't have to do anything to be destroyed.

B.   "Going with the flow" leads to destruction.

1.   Not necessary to "ruffle everybody's feathers" to be right.

2.   But if you find the world agreeing with you, something is wrong!

C.   The majority of people are ruining their lives, going into destruction.

1.   II Cor. 10:12,13 - Don't measure yourself with other humans.

2.      Measure yourself against the rule of God.

D.  You have to find the strait gate.  See Matt. 7:7: Ask, Seek, Knock.

1.      What is the purpose of your life?

2.   Do you read your Bible at home to find out what God says about your life?

3.   Do you pray when you don't have to?

4.      What would your children (grandchildren, parents, friends, those who are around you) say is the most important thing in your life?  Work?  Play?  Television?  Family?  Friends?  Church?

E.   Some things about the strait and broad gate.

1.      Matt. 7:15-20 - There will be false prophets (professors) among the sheep.  Look at their fruit.

2.      Matt. 7:21-23 - Some of those that have what we call fruit, are lost.  Don't follow men, follow God.

3.      Matt. 7:24-27 - The end of the broad way, or the strait gate.


II.   Salvation.

A.  If you are lost, would you come to church if your parents didn't make you? Or if they didn't expect you to?

B.   There is destruction for the lost.

1.      You must enter (have action) into the strait gate.  Jesus is the door of the sheepfold, John 10:9, "I am the door".