Have you ever had a Bible verse or passage scare you? I mean really frighten you down to the bone. The kind of fear that makes you move, that makes you act upon it. I have, but I am not going to discuss my number one in this blog. I do not have the space. I will tell you my number two. “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.” This is found in Matthew 7:13-14. Is this not scary? If not for yourself, what about for others? Just so we are all on the same page here, He is talking about people going to heaven or hell. The number of people going to hell compared to the number going to heaven is not good. You can call this prophecy. Jesus is not guessing. I wish He would have given a percentage because I am a numbers guy. What is it Jesus, (60 – 40), (70 – 30), (80 – 20), please don’t let it be (90 -10). Maybe I couldn’t handle a percentage. Whatever the ratio, the message is clear. Hell needs a very big entry gate because that is what seems to be attracting the most people. Heaven, on the other hand, only needs a small gate because not many people are choosing what it takes to enter the narrow gate.
As frightening and sad as this passage is, sadder still is that entry into heaven is offered to everyone. The Bible tells us that God’s desire is for everyone to experience a sinless eternity, and that is found only in heaven. He wants us all there. Then why is the ratio so lopsided? It is because of that one medium size word in verse 14, difficult. Just hearing that word makes some people cringe. “If it is difficult, count me out”, we have all seen, heard or experienced that attitude, whether from ourselves or others. We get it. Difficult means hard and we like easy. Sure, we have all experienced difficult, but who wants to choose it? That would be crazy, right? Not if a little difficult brings immeasurable goodness, even a little amount of goodness should be worth a measure of difficult. Give the difficult a chance. It could be that the difficult it just the protective shell surrounding an eternity of greatness.
And a side note, a good part of the time the only thing difficult for getting onto the narrow path is the decision to say yes to God’s invitation. Side note #2, my #1 is Matt 13:18-23, because we are all in there and at the time I didn’t know which one I was.