GLEANINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
Choose The Right Gate
By Keith L. Estes
Jesus tells us in the gospel of Matthew “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;”
When I go to the shopping centers or the market place, it never ceases to surprise me the number of choices available on just about any item. Then you have to check the color or the ounces and come up with the best price or offer. Decisions have to be made on just about everything. Henry Ford didn’t give any choices, he said, “You can have any color car that you want just as long as it’s black.”
Jesus used a method of teaching that was common in both Jewish and Roman-Greco thought. He presents two choices to the listener. He presents a strait gate that He would like us to take and then He mentions the wide and broad gate that leads to destruction. The strait gate is the path that leads to eternal life. Choices! Choices! Choices! The gate that leads to life is so narrow that few there be that find it. Jesus Christ, Himself, is both the gate and the way, and God enables men to find that gate.
D.J. Kennedy says in his book Turn it to Gold says, “Ultimately, people choose one of two courses in life. We choose either “the narrow way, which leads to life,” or “the broad way, which leads to destruction.” The narrow way is the path of surrender to God and his purposes. The broad way is the path of egoism, in which we ask, what’s in it for me? What am I going to get out of it? How am I going to prosper?
As Jesus observed, most of us choose the broad way. We take the short-term view of life. We conclude that we only go around once in life, and so we must grab all the gusto we can get.
But what if we are wrong? What if God has created us in such a way that we will go around for ever and ever. If all we have done is to grab for the gusto in this life, we will wake up one day to find ourselves in a world of endless heartache and terror.
A young man, graduating from college, went to say goodbye to his favorite professor. The professor asked about his plans. The young man replied that he had accepted a position as a junior partner in a law firm and hoped one day to become a full partner.
“That’s fine,” said the professor. “Then what?”
The young man replied, “Actually, in the back of my mind, I’ve thought about someday entering public service. Perhaps running for office.” “Splendid,” said the professor. “And then what? ” Well,” the young man said, “then I suppose I’ll retire, move to Florida, and play some golf.”
“I see,” the professor nodded. “And then?.”
“And then…”The young man mused. “Well, I suppose then I’ll die.” “That is absolutely correct,” the professor said. “And then what?” The young man stood silent for several moments. “”I don’t know,” he said at last. “I guess I’ve never thought about that.”
The professor shook his head slowly and said, “Young man, you are intelligent, talented, and educated. But you are a fool. Go home and think your life through again.”
We are to take the long-term view if we are to choose the right path in life.
Jesus reminds us that we can recognize false prophets by their fruit. Again, His story tells of two types of trees-good trees that bring forth good fruit and corrupt trees that bring forth evil (bad) fruit. “Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.” People being led the wrong way are led by the wrong people!
Finally, Jesus tells a story about two foundations. He says, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”
The man whose house collapsed was at fault, not because he failed to labor, but because he did not lay the proper foundation. The shifting sand represents human opinion and the doctrines of men.
Ref. The Gospel of Matthew, Chapter Seven, The Holy Bible.