The Gate Is Not The Door.

Matthew 7:13-14

The Narrow Way

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

How many of you have heard a sermon or two on this passage? Probably more than a few.  Sadly, there are well-meaning Christians out there who actually think that not many will go to heaven. They were likely taught it by some equally well-meaning preacher who cited the above scripture.

These same preachers will then remind you in serious, pontifical tones that “…wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it…..(AND, conversely)……narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it,” meaning many are going to hell and few are going to heaven. 🤨

If you were taught this, I’m very sorry. What you were told was taken out of context. 😕

Out Of Context.

Unfortunately, these verses have been misunderstood and unwittingly misused down through the years, robbing the Church of full assurance of ETERNAL salvation.  Do preachers who teach such things really have that low an opinion of our AWESOME, loving Abba?  Why would He send His Beloved Son to die the most horrific death in history so that only a few could make it to heaven?  I don’t think they know our Daddy very well. 😳

It’s clear that these preachers are not rightly dividing the word of God.  If you don’t know what that means or you also do not know how to rightly divide God’s word, you may follow the link below to a study series on the subject. You will learn some things on how to interpret the Bible in it’s proper context and not be taken in by anyone who does not possess this skill.  Believe me: It’s one of the most critical skills with which you can arm yourself.  I have, sad to say, actually heard theologians with PhD’s who are confused on how to rightly divide. Not cool:

Fear Tactic.

Even worse, more than a few have used this passage to make you think you can lose your salvation. 😡  They use this fear tactic in order to try and get their people live holy lives.  It not only doesn’t work, it backfires.💥

Remember, the strength of sin is the law.

This tactic has caused sincere Christians to wonder needlessly if they are saved or, maybe, they committed the unpardonable sin. 😲 Yes, there is such a thing, but it cannot apply to believers.  If you are interested in more information on the “Unpardonble Sin,” which is impossible for a Christian to commit by the way, you may follow the link below:

Again…the passage on this topic has been taken OUT OF CONTEXT.😕

Don’t Call God A Liar.

Think about it:  How is it even be possible to lose your salvation when John 3:16 so plainly says that “God SO LOVED the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him SHALL NOT PERISH but have EVERLASTING LIFE?”
Correct me if I’m wrong but, if you can lose it, then it isn’t EVERLASTING or ETERNAL and they’re saying that God lied.😮 Well, of course He didn’t lie.  But, if you say you believe what the Bible says AND you still think there is something you can do that is so bad you can lose your salvation, which is pretty much an oxymoron, you are, in effect, calling God a liar.😡
News flash:  GOD CANNOT LIE! It isn’t that God can lie and chooses not to,HECANNOT.  Period.  Full stop.
Away with this miserable doctrine that you can lose your salvation.  It is a lie from the pit of hell! 🤮
A Multitude No One Could Number.
Listen Church; God is willing that “NONE SHOULD PERISH” but that all should come to repentance.  Read what John wrote in Revelation 7:
“After these things I looked, and behold,A GREAT MULTITUDE WHICH NO ONE COULD NUMBER, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes……”

Does that sound like only a few will find the narrow way to heaven?  NO!  So the question is, what did Jesus mean when He said that “Narrow is the way and few there be that find it?” Let’s go look at the Greek.  That always clears things up!
greek bible
Find What?
The word for destruction in this passage is “Apóleian,” from the root word “Apṓleia (“perdition”).  This word does NOT imply “annihilation,” meaning going to hell,(see the meaning of the root-verb, 622 /apóllymi, “cut off”) but instead “loss of well-being” rather than “being.” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary).  It is talking about being on the road to physical/emotional/relational destruction NOT spiritual.  It means you’re NOT going to hell. This passage is talking about your life here and now on earth.
This may come as a shock to you but there are actually many Christians on this broad way to destruction.  Their marriages, finances, emotional, and physical conditions are not healthy.  Many more find the broad way than the narrow way of God’s rest that leads to the blessings and long life He has promised.  These are the folks who are dying before their time.  This should not be! So why is it happening?
Since the Bible is its own best commentary, let’s allow it to interpret itself. 😊
The Gate.
There are only 2 places documented in scripture where Jesus says the words, “STRIVE to enter by the narrow ‘GATE.’ ”  One is in Luke, one in Matthew.
Now Jesus, we know, is THE ONLY WAY INTO HEAVEN, right?  But this passage mentions two gates: One broad and one narrow. One leads to life; one leads to death. So, if this “Gate” is really Jesus, then “Few there be that find it.”  But the other says, “Broad is the way…..and many there be that find it.” Well that’s confusing. Jesus cannot lead to destruction. What is this gate?

Let’s check out some more passages and find some definitive answers.

Jewish Perspective.

 Luke 13:22-27:
“22 And He {Jesus} went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem….”
Jesus was about to die for the whole world but, at this point, has not yet shed His blood.  No one in their wildest imagination suspected what was about to happen to Him. He would not only die, but be beaten. bruised, and tried as a criminal though He was completely innocent!
There was someone else had a similar question in verse 23 of Luke 13: …23 “Then one {unidentified person} said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?”
Spy Of The Pharisees.
The Holy Spirit does not tell us specifically who this person was; probably some spy of the Pharisees sent to try and trap Jesus……again. 🤨
The word, “saved” in this verse cannot mean “Saved,” as in “Washed by the blood of Jesus,” or saved the way we understand it because He had not yet shed His blood.
At this point in time, their idea of “saved” could only be, “Saved from pharisaism, saved from a sinful life, from destruction, or refer to someone who has become a disciple of Jesus.
This speaker is pointing out in a condescending way that there are only a few who follow Jesus, only a few who are “saved.”  The word, “saved” is also in the present passive participle in Greek because it is not referring to a future event but a current one.  The man was challenging Jesus in a mocking way. 😳
Uh oh.  Whenever Jesus sensed this legalistic kind of attitude He always threw the law right back at them.  👉🏻 That’s why He said in verse 24, “STRIVE (agónizomai/work) to enter through the narrow gate, for many I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.”
The Gate Vs. The Door.
Law is works-based.  The word “strive” is derived from the same Greek word from which we get the word agonize:  “agónizomai.”  So many will “agónizomai: strive” to enter here and “few” (actually NONE 👈🏻) will be able.”
…….25 “When once the master of the house has risen up and shut THE DOOR, and YOU begin to stand OUTSIDE and knock at THE DOOR, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open up for us.’”
So you see there is “The GATE” and then there is “The DOOR.”
Gates and doors, obviously, are two different things.  Even in Greek, they are two different words. You come through the “Gate” to meet “THE DOOR.”
The Door Will Be Shut.

One day, THE DOOR, which is Christ Himself, will be shut.  At present, it is still wide open; but there will come a time when the “Day of salvation” will be over.  Whoever is left standing outside THE DOOR will say to Jesus “Lord, Lord.”

Clearly, the Lord is behind THE DOOR…

…..26 “then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ {obviously Jewish people} 27 But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from.  Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity.’ “
In Matthew 7 in the sermon on the mount is the scripture we opened with which says this:
13″Enter by the NARROW GATE; for wide is THE GATE and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is THE GATE and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
What Is The Gate?
So what is this “GATE” is all about?  The Bible is it’s own best commentary so let’s allow it to interpret itself.
In Deuteronomy 16:18 we read, “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your GATES, which the LORD your God gives you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with just judgment.”
The “GATE” is the place of judgment.  Judges and officers sat there to execute judicial decisions so it’s a place of the LAW.  People are punished at “the gate.”
(For more on the topic of gates, please follow the link below:
What Is The Door?
And what is THE DOOR?  John 10:1-2 says, “Most assuredly (amen, amen) I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold BY THE DOOR, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters BY THE DOOR is the shepherd of the sheep.”
Jesus Deals With The Prideful.
Further on in John 10:7-10 we read:  7 “Most assuredly, I {Jesus} say to you, I am the door of the sheep.  8 All who ever came before me {the pharisees} are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I AM THE DOOR,  if anyone enters {not agonize to enter} by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. {Provision, supply} 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.”
Hmmm…..Steal, kill and destroy.  Who does that sound like?  Yep; that’s the devil right there.  Clearly Jesus is not the Gate; HE IS THE DOOR.  So why did He say, “Agonize to go through the gate?”
As I said, when Jesus was confronted by prideful people, full of self-righteousness, He tells them “Go; sweat, strain and agonize to go through the narrow gate of the law if you think you can.   You’ll find out soon enough that it isn’t possible to obey the Law perfectly.”  Jesus knew that, of course.  The trouble is, the hard-headed, self-righteous, prideful, religious set, who seem to need to find that out the hard way, did not.  Jesus said to them “Few there be that find it (the gate),” but He did so facetiously, knowing full well that no flesh can be justified by the law.  NONE.  We need a Savior.  We need Jesus!
Come As You Are.
HE IS THE DOOR.  There is no “striving to enter” here.  Come just as you are.  “I will cleanse you of all your sin and guilt just for the asking and you can go in and out and find safe pasture,” He says.
Every time something has been stolen from you, like health, or when something is killed, like relationships in your life, it is the work of the devil, NOT GOD.  He even works through Pharisees, yes, even modern day ones.  Jesus came against them then and He comes against them now.
If He had to deal with them, we will, too.  The legalistic are still among us, Church.  They are the ones who believe you must perform to be pleasing and be acceptable to God.  Unfortunately for those who buy into that flawed system, they most assuredly will be robbed of their health and things killed in their lives as a result of wrong beliefs which allow the devil to come in and destroy.
Jesus came to bring us LIFE, AND LIFE MORE ABUNDANT.  So, what do you want?  Life?  Or destruction?  Just remember:
The GATE is not THE DOOR.

3 thoughts on “The Gate Is Not The Door.

  1. Thanks for posting. I looked at the passage again in the Greek and it is all present tense. In the context of he Sermon on the Mount (given exclusively to Jews) Jesus is saying many of you Jews find the law and its destruction but not many find the door – faith in God’s Grace. Abraham did though right! I think though like much of what Jesus said it also applies on type to the modern day. Those Christians still under Law will suffer the destruction you refer to. Like many falling sick in 1 Cor 11.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s