The Narrow Way

Studying Matthew chapter seven, I had to come to the conclusion that I really did not know what Jesus meant when he said the following verses. "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 there at: 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)

Under  the  impression that  there  are  two roads and all we do is choose  one  or  the
other.  If we pick the narrow road, which we  believe  represents accepting Jesus Christ as our savior, we go to church on  Sunday, say  our  prayers and try to live a moral life and  live  happily ever after. Wasn't that what we were taught?

Not that simple is it. Jesus taught us to fulfill the  great commission which is sharing the Gospel with others and when  that becomes  our primary goal, we attract opposition. The Antichrist spirit  begins  to  fly in our face to wear us  down  over  time. Keeping  that in mind, let us look at the word "strait" #4728  in the Greek Dictionary and the Lexical Aid is `stenos' which is derived from the word `Histemi' #2476: the road becomes narrow from obstacles  standing close by.

Here is why God wants us to try  to walk  the line as much as possible. We reap the whirlwind  (Antichrist  spirit) when we step out of line, he puts us in  a  spin, demoralizes  us  with  our own behavior when we  are  caught  off guard. Jesus stated in another Scripture Matthew 5:25 "Agree with thine  adversary  quickly, whiles thou art in the way with  him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison."

It takes a lot of self discipline to keep from being a target  of the devil. That is the reason Jesus said that we must die to  our own  desires (die to ourselves). Every time we  pursue  something that we want to do, Satan is going to be sitting there making  it hard  on  us, because we have made a commitment to  take  on  the cross and we have become his archenemy.

Speaking to the Roman Christians, the apostle Paul stated in 14:7-9  "For  none of us liveth to himself, and no man  dieth  to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and  whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or  die, we  are the Lord's. For to this end Christ both died,  and  rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and  living." Paul  goes  on in 1 Corinthians 15:30,31: "And why  stand  we  in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing which I have  in Christ  Jesus our Lord, I die daily." The German  Bible  explains this  last passage as "because of the special position I have  in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily."

Romans  8:35,36  "Who  shall separate us from  the  love  of Christ?  [shall]  tribulation, or distress,  or  persecution,  or famine,  or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written,  For thy  sake  we are killed all the day long; we  are  accounted  as sheep for the slaughter." "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good  manners. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge  of  God:  I speak [this] to your  shame."  (1  Corinthians 15:33,34) In other words: some teachers speak heresy, which will hurt us.

"Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm  yourselves  likewise with the same mind: for  he  that  hath suffered  in  the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he  no longer should  live the rest of [his] time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of [our] life  may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles {heathens  in Scriptural  terms},  when  we walked  in  lasciviousness,  lusts, excess  of wine, revellings, banquetings, and  abominable  idolatries {we were all on the broad road at one time and now}:

"Where in they think it strange that ye run not with [them] to the  same excess of riot, speaking evil of [you]: Who shall give account to him  that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. For for  this cause  was the gospel preached also to them that are  dead,  that they  might  be judged according to men in the  flesh,  but live according  to God in the spirit. But the end of all things is  at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things  have fervent charity {don't forget where you  came  from} among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins." (1 Peter 4:1-8)

Back  to the strait gate. Because life is as it is, we  have to  attend school, earn a living, mature, we begin on  the  broad road.  Over time we begin to sort out our goals and if the  final goal  is eternal life in heaven, the priorities begin  to  narrow down  to Jesus Christ and what must happen to gain  the  promise. There  is then a tendency to make decisions with Christ's  teachings in mind. We ask ourselves, how would He feel about this  and so forth and gradually we grow into Him and into the narrow road.

With  growth comes responsibilities, trials and opposition  which only increases our strength in Him. God begins to trim us down, a snip  here and a snip there which doesn't feel too good,  but  we learn  to realize that it needs to happen. The more we grow  into
Jesus the narrower the road becomes until finally it is just  Him and  me  (or you).

This is were the Greek  word  `histemi'  #2476 comes  in, from which `strait' (4728) is derived: to set,  place, to stand, to remain, abide, continue, to establish, confirm or to be established, to stand firm, to be confirmed in the Word is the bottom-line to the word `strait' gate. To get through the  obstacles  that are placed before us by the enemy, we need to  concentrate  on the meaning of `strait' and put it to work.  The  Antichrist spirit is so prevalent that the Bible confirms to us  that the whole world will be deceived by the time the Antichrist makes his appearance. (see Revelation 12:9)

Not  only  is the world being set up for this  deception  of accepting the number of the beast, but it will thereby be  bowing the  knee to the Antichrist, reaping eternal hell. The true  believers  who took the Bible serious and focused on  Jesus  Christ and His teachings at all cost have been removed when this occurs.

The  rapture  has taken place before the seven  year  tribulation begins. (see 1. Thess. 5:9) In summary to be established in the Word and following instructions are without a doubt essential to our victory in Christ.