“While Jesus and the disciples were going through cities and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem, one of them said unto him, Lord are there few that can be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Luke 13:22–24).
We need to understand that the gate can also be a door, and that door is Jesus. He is the only way to obtain eternal life. Remember there are two eternal destinations. One is eternal life with the Lord, and the other is eternal damnation in Hell. We have the mindset that there are ways that we can go to Heaven, but Jesus taught that there is only one way and He is it.
“Jesus continued to say, once the master of the house is risen up and hath shut the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are” (vs. 25) What a terrible thing to hear, that the Lord will tell you that He doesn’t know you. We do the same thing to people. You may see a picture of someone on TV or in the paper, but you don’t know them. Jesus knows who we are as a person, but unless you have accepted Him as Savior, He doesn’t know you spiritually.
He continues in verses 26–27: “Then shall ye begin to say, we have eaten and drunk in thy presence and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are. Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.” We tend to make up rules on how to get to Heaven. As Jesus said for the second time, Go away I don’t know you. Then He added, you workers of iniquity. What does iniquity mean? The dictionary defines it this way: “lack of righteousness or justice; wickedness, in other words wicked, unjust, or unrighteous acts.” Do we fall into any of these descriptions? Have we done any of these things? If we say no, then we are liars because we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
“There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out” (vs. 28). All of the so-called good things that we do will not get us into Heaven. Going to church, paying tithes, praying, and doing what we believe to be holy will count for nothing unless we accept Jesus as Lord. Being a Christian isn’t easy. We are persecuted, killed, mocked, and hated. Jesus told us that this would happen, but He also said that He would be hated first and He overcame the world.
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8). The Lord made it clear; the path to eternal life is open to everyone who asks. The key word is asks. When we were children, we asked our parents for a certain thing for our birthday or Christmas. If they could afford it, we usually got it. Jesus is the same way, He wants to give us eternal life with Him, but we have to ask. Put your faith and trust in Him and you will receive.
Many places throughout the world still will not accept Jesus as Lord. That is why the gate is narrow. But the gate to Hell is wide. Too many churches are preaching a gospel that is contrary to what Jesus taught. Some teach that anything goes, therefore just do your own thing and you will get to Heaven. That, my friend, is the wide gate. The narrow gate is more intense. We have to recognize that we can’t save ourselves; we have to rely on Jesus to see us through. We need to trust and obey the word of God. Don’t depend on man’s way. It will lead you straight to Hell.
That is why it is so important to follow what Jesus taught. God wants us to live with Him. The devil wants just the opposite. Which gate you go through is strictly up to you. No one can force you to accept Jesus. He won’t force himself on you as well. God gave us a freewill. What we do with it is up to us. I pray that you will choose Jesus, “the narrow gate.” If you don’t know Jesus, just simply pray and ask for forgiveness of your sins and begin to live for Him.