Enter Through the Strait Gate
By Nathele Graham
Have you ever been traveling in an unfamiliar area and got lost? What did you do? Maybe you stopped somewhere and asked directions, or pulled out a map. In today’s world most people check their GPS. The point is, there’s always a way to find your way. Being lost is a very bad feeling. The same is true of finding our way in life. As we travel through life we will come to many crossroads and get confused as to which is the right way to go. The best thing to do is to seek direction. Pray for guidance; God will never steer you wrong. There was a time when a pastor could be trusted to give Biblical directions, but many are turning from sound Bible doctrine and turning to seeker friendly apostasy. Instead of being Biblically correct they are politically correct. Instead of guiding the confused and lost to a firm foundation built on Christ, many pastors embrace the world. These are false teachers who will lead you away from God’s truth. They don’t teach the Gospel because it might offend someone.
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” – 2 Corinthians 4:3-4.
You may take issue with me using this verse which speaks of the Gospel being hid from non-believers, and equating them with false teachers, but if the preacher doesn’t believe God’s truth enough to teach it in full, then what does he believe? Jesus warns against false prophets.
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” – Matthew 7:15-16.
Many Christians have been following a broad road that leads to destruction.
“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: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” – Matthew 7:13-14.
We know from Scripture that all sin will be forgiven by Christ if you earnestly repent. Too many people leave it at that. They are truly sorry at the moment, but then continue in the sin of which they’ve repented. Only God knows if they are saved, but if there’s no fruit of a changed life, it’s questionable if they’ve truly been saved.
“Be angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” – Ephesians 4:26-28.
That means to use Christ as your example and don’t continue in sin. Jesus loved people. He forgave a prostitute but told her to stop sinning, He forgave her sin, but she needed to change her lifestyle and leave the broad way that leads to destruction. Why don’t we hear pastors speak out against sin? They are following the wrong path, and many of the congregation are following them without question, or sleep through sermons while the pastor babbles on. What happens if you follow the broad road? Jesus says it leads to destruction. It’s the strait and narrow gate that leads to life. Be sure you’re on the right path.
How can you be sure you follow the road that leads to life? You must study Scripture. You will have a hard time discerning truth from lies if you don’t know God’s truth! The Apostle Paul wrote letters of encouragement and instruction to young pastors. These letters give instructions on Christian life, and encouragement about how to lead the flock to find the strait gate that leads to life.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” – 2 Timothy 2:15-16.
It’s not only pastors who need to study, but every Christian. We all need to beware of false teachers If you’re listening to a pastor who avoids teaching Scripture, or has the idea that people are different today than in Biblical times and therefore Scripture must change, leave that congregation. That’s a false teaching.
Scripture says “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” – Hebrews 13:8.
It’s up to us to change to honor Christ instead of changing Christ to honor us. We face a lot of challenges to our faith, but God’s word never changes. When you enter through the strait gate, you will follow in the footsteps of men who surrendered their lives to Christ. They followed His truth no matter what the world proclaimed as truth. Only Christ is the way to life.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” – John 14:6.
Jesus is the strait gate. That’s important for every Christian to understand. Christ is the only way. Allah, Buddha, Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses, and all other cults and false religions will only lead you to destruction and an eternity in Hell. Follow Christ faithfully, and you will find peace.
In a letter written to Titus, another pastor whom Paul encouraged, Paul is clear about how Titus should choose men to guide the congregation.
“Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.” – Titus 1:9-11.
Although this warns against men who were trying to bring Christian teachings in line with Jewish ways, it’s a warning against any wrong teaching that deceived people bring to the congregation; add nothing to the pure word of God. This verse makes me think of the pastors of some megachurches. They put forth false teaching in order to sell books they’ve written and preach a different Gospel than found in Scripture and “…teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.” There are many false teachers on television and if you watch any of them, be wary. Be sure you’ve studied Scripture so you won’t be duped.
“They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work, reprobate.” – Titus 1:16.
Don’t follow these false teachers down the broad road that leads to destruction. Follow God’s truth through the strait gate that leads to life.
It’s easy to be deceived if you don’t follow the correct guidelines. The congregation in Corinth was very “tolerant” of sin and that was a great concern. False teachers were leading the congregation to destruction and teaching a different Gospel than what is God’s truth.
“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him… For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ”. – 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 & 13.
False teachers may appear to be Bible scholars and have degrees from colleges and seminaries, but if they deviate even a little from Scripture, then go to them and rebuke them. If they refuse to listen, then you need to find a new place to worship. The fact of the matter is our foundation must be built on Jesus Christ, holding the Word of God as our standard and the final source of authority for all matters of faith. Scripture is our guide through life.
We shouldn’t be surprised at the apostasy we see from Bible teachers. Scripture tells us that apostasy will abound in the last days. Your pastor probably avoids teaching prophecy so you may not understand that we are living in the final days of earth’s history. There are many signs found in Scripture and these signs are all making news headlines. The war in Ukraine is Russia’s stepping stone to the Middle East and specifically Israel. All nations seem to be turning against Israel, but God will not allow the destruction of His chosen people. Jesus said the end times will be like the days of Noah,
“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought they sold, they planted, they builded; But, the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” – Luke 17:26-30.
The days of Noah and the days of Lot are happening today. In Noah’s day, genetic manipulation of the human genome and all of creation, was Satan’s way of destroying humanity. He almost succeeded. The people weren’t paying attention to the evil caused by the fallen angels and were just blindly living life as if nothing was wrong. That’s very much like today. Only Noah and his family were paying attention and following God’s directions. They entered through the narrow gate (the door into the ark) and were protected from God’s judgment. We also see the lifestyle found Sodom during Lot’s lifetime happening today. Homosexuality was the common practice, and today we see it happening again. God is serious about our sexual choices. As soon as Lot was removed from Sodom, God’s judgment rained down and destroyed Sodom and the surrounding cities. Lot was saved, not because he was a perfect man, but because he chose to believe God. He lived in Sodom but wasn’t part of the lifestyle there. Do pastors teach about these things? Most don’t because it isn’t politically correct and it might upset someone in the congregation. Beware of false teachers who are leading you along the road to destruction “…broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction”.
We are drawing very near to the Rapture, and Scripture discloses that false teachers will abound. Sadly, so-called Christians will not only tolerate, but encourage those voices of deception.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” – 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
The congregation will only listen to what they desire to hear. They aren’t happy if they are taught that sin is sin, and they only want to listen to how their sin is forgiven, but don’t want to turn from their sin to honor Christ. Do you only accept false doctrine? This is a sign of the times.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;” – 1 Timothy 4:1-2.
The lies and hypocrisy will only lead down the broad way to destruction. A time is coming in the very near future when you will understand that your choices in life, and the path you choose to follow will matter. Death is permanent, and the choice you make in this life will determine where you spend eternity. If you choose to listen to false teachers and follow the broad way that leads to destruction, you cannot blame God, false teachers, or anyone but yourself. You must choose to follow Christ today, before death and before the Rapture, in order to spend eternity in Heaven with Him. Everyone will live forever, but it’s your choice to live eternally in the Lake of Fire, or to live eternally in Heaven.
Choose to “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: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” – Matthew 7:13-14.
There is no other way to eternal life than that strait and narrow gate. How do you find that gate? Jesus Christ is the strait gate that leads to life. Make your choice today, reject false teachers, and live for Christ.
God bless you all,
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
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