Narrow is the Gate

My days as a baseball wife were eye opening, to say the least. There are a few special people out there who will stick around after a 14-inning ballgame, one that has had a rain delay (let’s make it a freezing, April-kind of delay). I’m talking about those exceptional fans that will wait after all this and Ice Man’s hour-long session with the trainer for a sloppy autograph. I’m my husband’s greatest fan, but even I told him when I had to catch him later. So those fans are crazy, right? Maybe….God bless ‘em….but what if we learned something from them? What if we were as in awe of God as they were their game?

If we remembered the holiness of God, we would all quit wasting our time on mindless fillers and live completely different lives (Guilty!). We’ve forgotten the holiness of God and watered it down to an easily tolerated fizz… It’s a world where we love a little bit of Jesus, just not the whole life-changing package.

A lot of times, we bundle Jesus neatly as the lamb (gentle, sweet, friend-like); but Jesus is also described as a lion sent to crush Satan and sin. Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but to save it. He came to set us straight, and He was most upset with those who claimed to know God–would that be you or me today? Do we have a higher perception of our value, our goodness, or our righteousness than we ought? “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;” Isaiah 64:6. Still, sometimes we possess an over-inflated sense of virtue, and underestimate the holiness/separation/set-apartness of Christ.

I remember when I was young sitting in the pew of a church, and a passionate preacher said, “one can’t ride the fence when it comes to Jesus.” You’re all in, or you’re out. Rather, narrow is the gate and Jesus is the way (Matthew 7:13-14). Deny me before others and I (Jesus) will deny you in front of my Father in Heaven (Matthew 10:33). Please, Lord, no! I want to be welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven, hearing Jesus proclaim my name and saying, “well done my good and faithful servant!”

We post a few “feel good” scripture verses on our social media accounts, but being a true follower of Christ takes so much more. It’s about being uncomfortable around sin, for standing for Jesus and not worldliness. We don’t have to look past the nightly news or be brain surgeons to realize the devastation that sin has brought into the world. Yet we either keep doing it ourselves, or we keep turning a blind eye to it because “the world’s views are changing.” God isn’t changing, friends (Malachi 3:6). As that preacher said, we aren’t just people that sometimes sin; rather, since the beginning of time, we are sinners!

But there’s hope! Christ came for our redemption and we may be released from the slavery of sin and born again…..but then you can’t ride the fence. When you know better, you must do better.  Narrow is the gate. Jesus is the ONLY way.

Referenced Verses:

  • All of us have become like one who is unclean,and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags … Isaiah 64:6 NIV
  • Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14 NIV
  • But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. Matthew 10:33 NIV
  • “I, the Lord, do not change. …” Malachi 3:6 NIV

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