"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13-14 NASB)
This passage begins the closing statements of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus beginning in this passage makes sure that His hearers and us are not left believing that this is some amazing teaching that we should simply marvel at, and apply to our lives wherever possible. Jesus makes it clear that this is ‘life and death’ teaching. He takes it beyond the simple ‘you will have a great life’ or ‘you can go on without worry’ or ‘you need to be more loving’ type teaching and He instead puts a razor sharp edge on the whole sermon saying ‘broad is the way that leads to destruction’ and ‘many will enter through it.’
In preaching today the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount are taught, precepts for a Godly life are given, and people are encouraged to go out and live it. However, the failure of most preaching comes when we fail to mandate action and response as Christ has begun to do in this text. ‘Enter through the narrow gate’, traditional Christianity, and the whole of scripture make it clear that Jesus is the narrow gate, and the name by which all men must be saved. In fundamental Christianity this is established and well excepted, however this idea of the ‘narrow way’ is often neglected. Upon entering the narrow gate you find yourself on a narrow path... how do you recognize the narrow path? Well read the Matthew 5-7 and you will see the description of the narrow path laid out clearly. Now, the narrow gate is the start point of the narrow path, if indeed you are on the broad path, one that runs entirely counter to Matthew 5-7 know assuredly you are on the wrong path because you have yet to enter through the right gate. The path we walk is determined by the gate we entered. The desire and growing ability to live out the Sermon on the Mount are the evidences of an actual entrance through the narrow gate.
It is so important to see the words of Christ here, He has said these teachings are life and death teachings. Wide... destruction, narrow... life. Now following this text we will find a number of warnings, and also some words of protection for the believers, as far as discerning false prophets and not being deceived. While we go through these it is important to recall Matthew 7:1-2 in order that we do not take the follow texts as a license to judge, at the same time, we cannot neglect that few find narrow gate and way.