Jesus said that there is a choice of one of two roads in life. Here is what He said. Matthew 7:13-14 “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. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” God does not automatically set you on one road or the other from birth. Instead, later in life you make the choice between the roads as to which one you will follow. Which road of life will you choose?
The first road has a wide gate to enter in. The way is broad and it leads to destruction. Many choose this road. The second road has a narrow gate to enter in. The way is difficult and it leads to everlasting life. Only a few find this road. Jesus didn’t go into a long discussion to describe these two roads, but I think we can give a fairly accurate description of each.
Let us first address the destinations. The narrow gate and difficult way leads to life – eternal life with God the Father and Jesus Christ and access to the tree of life. Revelation 22:14 “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.” The wide gate and broad way leads to destruction – the lake of fire “which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8) Since there are only two destinations, I hope you already know which one you will choose.
Not only are there two roads, but each road has a gate. The wide gate and broad way have no entrance criteria. Anything goes. You can do whatever you desire. The broad way is for those who seek after the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). You can seek after money and make money your God. You can seek for pleasure and whatever feels good. You can believe whatever you want to believe. You can believe in false doctrines or false religions or you can believe in no god at all and believe that you came to existence through evolution. You can go after what you think is best for you. Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” About this way, Jesus said “there are many who go in by it,” meaning that most people go in through the wide gate and follow the broad way. But this way leads to destruction.
The narrow gate does have entrance criteria. The first criterion is faith. Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” The apostle Paul taught repentance. Acts 26:20b “That they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.” He also taught confession that Jesus is Lord. Roman 10:9-10 “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” The next criteria are given in John 3:5-7 “Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’’” Faith in God, repentance in a turning from the actions of the broad way, confession of Jesus as Lord, and being born of water and the Spirit are entrance criteria for the narrow gate.
After one has entered through the narrow gate, Jesus also said that the way to life is difficult. It requires self-denial and taking up your cross. Luke 9:23-24 “Then He said to them all, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.’” It is the way of righteousness. The way may be difficult, but the result is eternal life.
The two roads of life are very different. Perhaps someone would want to mix the two but that doesn’t work. Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” It doesn’t work to be unequally yoked with someone going down the broad way. 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?” Although those going down the narrow way and those going down the broad way are both living in the world, the two ways are separate and very different.
For each one of us, there is a choice of one of two roads in life. My encouragement to you is to choose the road with the narrow gate. Even though the way is difficult, it leads to life.