narrow is the gate


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Jesus Christ said narrow is the gate and many who once claimed to follow Him now reside in hell, not because they lost their salvation—as Scripture teaches this is impossible (John 10:27–29)—but because they didn’t walk the narrow path to everlasting life even though they professed to know Jesus.

It’s difficult to imagine a more terrifying situation in the Bible than facing Christ on Judgment Day and falsely believing you’re saved. Jesus Himself says in the Book of Matthew that not everyone who believes in Him will enter the kingdom of heaven and even tells them to depart from Him because He never knew them.

Verse 13 in chapter 7 of Matthew isn’t talking about atheists, pagans, or members of cults. It’s condemning individuals who call Christ “Lord,” which are those who claim to share our same faith in the gospel. These are not nonbelievers but people who claim to follow Jesus and He still tells them that and warns that narrow is the gate and the path that leads to life.

narrow is the gate

Christ’s caution goes beyond the clear divide between the church and the world. It calls for the discernment to differentiate between true and false believers. More importantly, it challenges us to reflect deeply on our true standing with God.

This guide stresses the importance of understanding Christ’s warning in the Book of Matthew. For that reason, I’ve written this as a plea for all who read this to genuinely look at their faith, their lives, and themselves to see if they are indeed headed down the narrow path because narrow is the gate that leads to eternal life.

Are you walking through it?

Why Did Jesus Say Narrow Is the Gate?

When we look at Jesus saying “Narrow is the gate” from Matthew 7:13-14, we can see its crucial role in guiding us toward salvation and everlasting life.

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:13-14

narrow is the gate

Understanding Matthew 7:13-14

The concept of “the narrow gate” is relatively simple to understand. It’s more challenging to navigate through a narrow gate than a wide one. It also means that it is harder to find and you have to put in effort to, not only find the gate but to enter through it.

By saying “narrow is the gate” in this verse Jesus was describing the narrow pathway to life—true, eternal life—as something requiring effort and focus to enter. Only a relatively small number of people ever even set foot on that path and even fewer actually make it through the narrow gate.

Matthew 7:13-14 forces readers to explore one’s heart and where it truly lies in both belief and in actions we take. It illustrates them through two paths: a wide gate and a narrow one. 

It suggests that while the wider path might seem more inviting to most, it ultimately leads to ruin. Conversely, the narrower path, though less chosen, is the one that guides us towards everlasting life.

When Jesus talks about the narrow gate, He highlights not only its exclusivity but also its difficulty in being found and followed. It requires commitment, sacrifice, and living in accordance with God’s word.



The Significance of Choosing the Narrow Path

Choosing the narrow path means more than just making a one-time decision; it involves daily choices that align with Christ’s teachings on love, humility, and service to Him. In our journey toward salvation through this narrow path, every action counts—every act according to His commands reflects our commitment to following Jesus’ footsteps.

Christ Jesus told Nicodemus that one cannot see the kingdom of heaven unless he is born again (John 3:2-3). Nicodemus, in all of his wisdom, could not grasp the concept of being born again and some of us today may struggle to understand. Christ is referring to being born again in the heart which will allow you to traverse the narrow road and allow the Holy Spirit to come upon you to do so.

This is the path less traveled because it challenges human nature and societal norms—it asks for us to live counterculturally by valuing what lasts eternally over the temporary pleasures or gains of this world.

By embracing this way of life Jesus described in Matthew 5-7 during His Sermon on the Mount, we inch closer towards entering through that coveted narrow gate into eternity alongside our Lord and Savior.



The Wide Gate Versus the Narrow Gate

“Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:21–23)

As we can see Jesus Himself told those who believed in Him but did not follow His commands and teachings that he never knew them and to depart. This is a clear message that we must do the will of the Father, in addition to faithfully believing in Jesus, in order to see heaven.

narrow is the gate

Characteristics of the Wide Gate

Simple everyday decisions in life can often lead us to the broad gate, which seems inviting, comforting, and less strenuous at first glance. 

For example, giving into lustful staring at attractive women when you’re married instead of looking away and/or removing yourself from the temptation is a decision that leads to more sin and therefore the wide gate. 

A truly saved and changed man will still always struggle with this battle, but he will make every effort to choose the right thing to do which is not easy. It is easy and pleasing (at least in the present moment) to keep staring and follow the rabbit hole of sin, but it is difficult to fight that human urge.



The wide gate and broad path are crowded because it promises comfort without challenge. But what makes it so tempting? 

First off, this path doesn’t ask for much sacrifice or change in behavior. People are drawn to its leniency and freedom from strict rules while still believing that they are saved because they do indeed believe in Jesus.

This gateway seems to offer everything on a silver platter – success, pleasure, happiness, and salvation with little effort required. It is a sad deception by Satan to be quite honest. 

narrow is the gate

It is written in 1 Peter 4:1-2 : “Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.”

Why the Narrow Gate Is Less Traveled

Narrow is the gate and it is less traveled for several reasons; foremost among them is its demand for commitment and discipline. People don’t like to put in the effort toward discipline because it is hard.

Choosing this path means accepting the fact that you must be in a state of constant self-denial and embrace the challenges that come along with that as part of growth towards salvation (Luke 9:23-24).

narrow is the gate

To walk through the narrow gate requires one to live by Jesus Christ’s teachings as outlined in Matthew 5-7 during his Sermon on the Mount. You can read it here on Bible Gateway which is one of my favorite online resources. 

This includes turning away from worldly desires and focusing on cultivating inner virtues like humility, mercy, purity of heart, and peacemaking abilities amongst others. It also includes spreading the Gospel to the world despite persecution and resistance, which is guaranteed (2 Timothy 3:12).

Fewer people choose this route because it looks demanding at first glance and it certainly is; however, those who do will find deeper meaning in their lives here on earth and will rejoice in God’s kingdom at the end of the age.

Studying Scripture Is Essential

Navigating between these two paths and gates requires Bible study so we can be aware of how to be saved. The Scriptures illuminate why choosing the narrow gate not only leads to heaven but also enriches our earthly journey by making us beacons of light in a dark world. 

Online resources can provide numerous tools, including cross references and study guides, to deepen our understanding of the scriptures like verses 13-14 in Matthew 7 related to salvation’s narrow path. 

By dedicating time to reading scripture and prayerfully seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit, believers are equipped to make wise choices that reflect eternal values over the fleeting pleasures offered by today’s world which draws you to the wide gate that leads to destruction.

Key Takeaway: 

Choosing the narrow gate means embracing challenges and discipline, guided by Jesus’s teachings for a life filled with deeper meaning and alignment with God’s principles. Bible study and action are key to understanding this path toward true salvation over the temporary pleasures of this world.

The Sermon on the Mount’s Role in Finding Salvation

Jesus told us that narrow is the gate in His famous Sermon on the Mount. We are told exactly what to follow if we are ever to see the kingdom of heaven. You can read the full sermon here.

Key Teachings from Jesus Christ

In Matthew 5, 6, and 7, we find a blueprint for living that directly influences our journey toward salvation. These chapters collectively known as the Sermon on the Mount lay out behaviors and attitudes essential for those seeking to enter through what Jesus calls the narrow gate. At its core, this sermon challenges us to live righteously—not just in actions but in the heart.

One pivotal message is about love and forgiveness. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44). This isn’t natural or easy; it requires strength from the Holy Spirit which comes upon you after truly choosing and trusting in Christ (John 14:26).

But why does it matter? Because it aligns us with God’s values and leads us to be more like Jesus Christ. Most importantly it is what He commanded us to do.

Another pivotal lesson centers on the importance of placing our faith and dependence squarely in God’s hands. “Do not worry about tomorrow” (Matthew 6:34), Jesus tells us because fretting over material needs distracts us from spiritual growth. Relying on the Lord to provide for us shifts our attention more intensely towards Him and serving Him.



Narrow Is The Gate So The Path Is Less Traveled

The narrow path is less traveled because it demands sacrifice and self-denial—words many shy away from today. The sacrifice of pride, ego, selfish desires, and essentially serving others before ourselves reflects Jesus’ own life and teachings throughout these chapters of Matthew and it is how He told us to be as well.

This road also inevitably involves persecution for the sake of righteousness (Matthew 5:10). Yet the promise of our reward in heaven far outweighs the earthly trials that we will face by choosing this route. That is where having true saving faith keeps you going and why so many reject this path.

For deeper exploration or contemplation of these vital Christian beliefs that lead to salvation through the narrow path Christ highlighted in His Sermon on the Mount, consider resources like the book “One Perfect Life“. It is the complete story of Jesus Christ from Genesis to Revelation and a great resource for understanding who Jesus is and may help bolster your faith. 

Key Takeaway: 

Dive deep into the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 for a blueprint to salvation. It’s about more than actions; it’s about heart, showing love and forgiveness, trusting God over material worries, and embracing sacrifice. Choosing this path aligns us with God’s kingdom values but isn’t easy—it demands putting others first and will lead to persecution in some form or another.

False Prophets and Their Influence

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”  Matthew 23:27-28

When Jesus flat out publicly confronts the Pharisees about their false spiritual leadership in Matthew 23 we can see what criteria describes a false teacher that we should apply today so we can have discernment on who we should/should not listen to.

narrow is the gate

Identifying False Prophets

In today’s world, where information is abundant, distinguishing the voice of truth from the cacophony of false teachers can be challenging, especially if you are not well-versed in biblical truth. Recognizing false teachings that deviate from biblical truths requires a keen understanding and a discerning heart. 

Navigating through the maze of modern prophecy, you will encounter charlatans who either twist the Bible to their own ends or downright reject it and spread other false “religions” to seduce followers into alluring falsehoods that diverge from scriptural truth.

To spot these deceptions, we must immerse ourselves in God’s word by reading and/or listening to the Bible daily. Bible Gateway recommends and offers access to various translations including the King James Version and New International Version for comprehensive study. 

I personally use the English Standard Version (ESV) and the New American Standard Bible (NASB).  Pick a version you can easily interpret and just start reading because understanding Scripture deeply helps believers recognize when teachings stray from biblical principles.

Just be sure to steer clear of inaccurate versions like the Passion Translation so you don’t make your path to salvation narrower and you are receiving the accurate-to-the-original written Word of God.

Biblical literacy acts as armor against misleading doctrines. By studying key passages warning about false prophets and recognizing false teachings, such as those found in Matthew 7:15-20 or 2 Peter 2:1-3, we can safeguard our faith against subtleties designed to lead us astray.



The One True Religion That Leads to Heaven

The fact of the matter is that following Christ through true faith is the only way to Heaven (Ephesians 2:8–9) and doing His commands with a changed heart is a result of your salvation and an indicator that you are indeed truly saved (Ephesians 2:10, James 2:14, 17, 20, 26). 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only true message of salvation (Acts 4:12). Any other religion or belief system are lies and deception fabricated by the enemy to drag souls away from true salvation down the broad road (Galatians 1:8-9, 1 Timothy 4:1).

narrow is the gate

Christianity Versus Other Religions

Amid the myriad of religions in the world, all of which are false, biblical Christianity is the only real beacon guiding souls toward eternal salvation. This bold assertion is deeply rooted in biblical evidence and the teachings of Jesus Christ himself. Unlike other religions that may offer different paths or interpretations of salvation, biblical Christianity presents a clear and narrow pathway to true salvation through faith in Jesus Christ in bible verses like Matthew 7:13-14.

Comparing Christianity with other religions highlights significant differences in foundational beliefs about salvation, God’s nature, and mankind’s relationship with the divine. For instance, while some philosophies lean towards enlightenment or self-realization as a means to an end, Christianity emphasizes self-denial and a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. 

Christianity’s unique stance on being the sole route to eternal salvation sparks curiosity, criticism, or skepticism among seekers of spiritual wisdom. It is important to note that it’s not about disrespecting those who follow other religions. I only seek to share the Truth because I genuinely care.

Yet this distinction comes from Jesus’ own words in John 14:6 saying “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to Father except through me”. Thus affirming its position not just as another religious option but as the definitive route for anyone seeking reconciliation with God and entrance into His kingdom.

I love this particular verse so much that I made a special shirt design for it which you can check out here.



The Importance of Being With Jesus Because Narrow Is The Gate

In Luke 6:46, Christ says “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?”

There is no middle ground in your spiritual allegiance to Christ for your salvation. 

Walking with Jesus isn’t a halfway commitment. It’s an all-in or nothing deal, as clear as day and night. This truth resonates deeply when we reflect on the words “with Jesus” and “against Him”. There’s no neutral territory here; it’s a decisive choice that shapes our entire existence.

In my journey, I’ve seen how easy it is to drift into complacency, thinking you can toe the line without fully committing. In fact, it has become the norm in modern Christianity and sadly far worse in society as a whole these days.

But this stance is dangerous because it blinds us to the reality that neutrality towards Christ equates to opposition against Him.

narrow is the gate

This principle finds its foundation in Scripture, specifically highlighted by phrases like “no one” can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24) and emphasizing our need to choose whom we will serve (Joshua 24:15). This is further underscored by references such as “my father” which denotes allegiance to God through Christ (John 14:6). The decision for or against Jesus defines not only our earthly lives but more importantly our eternal destination.

Making sure your spiritual allegiance aligns with Christ demands more than mere acknowledgment; it requires action and dedication reflective of true faith. From personal experience, aligning every aspect of life under His lordship wasn’t simple at first—but acknowledging Him as King has brought profound peace and purpose beyond measure.

To deepen your understanding of this critical decision point in your faith, exploring books like “Why One Way” and “The Truth War” offer incredible perspectives on how to learn and understand this further. It is also worth mentioning that I have personally done my due diligence and have found the writer and publisher Thomas Nelson to be true to the Word of God.

As I’ve mentioned, I like Bible Gateway and it offers access to nearly all translations including the New International Version (NIV), English Standard Version (ESV), and New King James Version (NKJV), of scripture.



The Role of Scripture in Navigating Toward Salvation

For those journeying towards salvation, the Bible is both your map and compass. Navigating life’s intricate paths, the Bible illuminates your way toward the narrow gate promising everlasting life. But understanding it isn’t always straightforward. That’s where tools like study Bibles, devotionals, and even prayer guides come into play.

This Holy Bible app offers access to various translations of the Bible, including popular versions such as the King James Version and the New International Version. For anyone seeking deeper insights or clarity on passages related to finding salvation’s narrow path, it’s an invaluable resource.

I’ve already mentioned Bible Gateway but it goes beyond mere text comparison, this site recommends related content—commentaries, cross-references—that can really help your studying. I like reading passages and then being able to easily click to get historical interpretations or other scripture passages addressing similar concepts.

In our quest for spiritual peace, we often face challenges in identifying the Truth among numerous “authoritative” statements and ideologies. This becomes particularly difficult when false prophets try to mislead believers away from God’s teachings (Matthew 7:15).

Identifying these falsehoods demands not just knowledge but also a solid understanding of Scripture. Leveraging platforms that provide extensive bible study resources can significantly improve one’s ability to discern truth and navigate challenges on their spiritual path more effectively.



Narrow is the Gate FAQs

What does it mean that the gate is narrow?

The “narrow gate” from Matthew 7:13-14 symbolizes a challenging path to salvation, one that demands faith, dedication, and self-denial among many more.

Where in the Bible does it say narrow is the gate to heaven?

In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus tells us about the narrow gate leading to life, hinting at its rarity and value.

Where in the Bible does it say strait is the gate and narrow is the way?

This phrase pops up in Matthew 7:13-14 of the King James Version, emphasizing a rigorous journey towards eternal life.

What did Jesus mean by strive to enter through the narrow gate?

Jesus was urging us to work hard for salvation. It’s not an easy path; think of effort and persistence.

Narrow Is The Gate Final Thoughts

narrow is the gate

Matthew 7:13-14 tells us Jesus said narrow is the gate that leads to salvation, so choosing the narrow gate is tough, but it’s worth every step. Embarking on this path requires a dedicated spirit and the readiness to embrace the lessons Jesus imparts.

Navigating life with wisdom means spotting false prophets and steering clear of their deception. Adopting the Christian faith is essentially choosing the only route to redemption.

The Sermon on the Mount isn’t just ancient text; it’s your roadmap for this trek. Bible Gateway and other resources can be your compass, guiding you through scriptures that light up the way.

Remember, walking with Jesus is an all-in decision. The road might seem less traveled because it is. 

But at its end? Eternal life awaits those who dare to choose the right path. Learn how to be saved in this follow-up guide and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

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