Most of us have gone on a journey to another place. In a country where the road network is good, one can go to another place using one or more alternative roads.
In the spiritual sense, however, we can choose one of the only two ways for our life’s journey. Jesus said, “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.” Matthew 7:13, 14. “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” Luke 13:24.
The two ways which Jesus mentioned are distinct, separate and in opposite directions.
“At the Conference at Battle Creek, May 27, 1856, I was shown in vision some things that concern the church generally. The glory and majesty of God were made to pass before me. Said the angel, ‘He is terrible in his majesty, yet ye realize it not; terrible in his anger, yet ye offend him daily. Strive to enter in at the straight gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; because straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ These roads I saw were distinct, separate, in opposite directions. One leads to eternal life; the other to death, eternal death. I saw the distinction in these roads, also the distinction between the companies traveling these roads. The roads are opposite; one is broad and smooth, the other is narrow and rugged. So the parties that travel these roads are opposite in character, in life, in dress, and conversation.” – Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4B, page 13.
Firstly, let us take a look at the broad way.
1. The Broad Way
The broad way is the way that leads to eternal death.
“In order to go in the path of destruction, there is no necessity for searching for the way; the gate is wide, and the way is broad, and the feet naturally turn in the path that leads to death. Those who go in this way are intoxicated with the spirit of the world, and how sad it is to see those that profess to be children of God walking in the road that leads to perdition.” – Ellen G. White, in The Signs of the Times, “The Necessity of Receiving the Holy Spirit”, July 25, 1892.
2. The Narrow Way
The narrow way is the way that leads to eternal life.
“Jesus says, ‘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.’ It is not enough to talk about the strait gate, to point to the strait gate, to preach sermons about the strait gate; the only safe thing for every soul to do is to enter in at the strait gate. The only safe thing for the sinner to do is to respond to the drawing of Christ's love, to repent, and come to Jesus, asking him with a penitent heart for the gift of his righteousness, whereby he may obtain wisdom and grace to abandon sin. It is not safe to wait for a flight of feeling, to wait to make yourselves better before entering the strait gate; the only safe thing to do is to obey the invitation, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’” – Ellen G. White, in The Signs of the Times, “By their Fruits Ye shall Know them”, July 11, 1892.
“What is our path to heaven? Is it a road with every inviting convenience? No, it is a path that is narrow and apparently inconvenient; it is a path of conflict, of trial, of tribulation and suffering. Our Captain, Jesus Christ, has hid nothing from us in regard to the battles we are to fight. He opens the map before us and shows us the way. ‘Strive,’ He says, ‘to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able’ (Luke 13:24). ‘Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat’ (Matt. 7:13). ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation’ (John 16:33). The apostle echoes the words of Christ, ‘We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom’ (Acts 14:22). Well, is it the discouraging aspect we are to keep before the mind’s eye? . . .” – Ellen G. White, Selected Messages Book 2, page 243-244.
3. God Counsels His Church to Go Through the Narrow Way
“I have tried in the fear of God to set before His people their danger and their sins, and have endeavored, to the best of my feeble powers, to arouse them. I have stated startling things, which, if they had believed, would have caused them distress and terror, and led them to zeal in repenting of their sins and iniquities. I have stated before them that, from what was shown me, but a small number of those now professing to believe the truth would eventually be saved--not because they could not be saved, but because they would not be saved in God's own appointed way. The way marked out by our divine Lord is too narrow and the gate too strait to admit them while grasping the world or while cherishing selfishness or sin of any kind. There is no room for these things; and yet there are but few who will consent to part with them, that they may pass the narrow way and enter the strait gate.” – Ellen G. White, Testimonies, vol. 2, page 445.
“Men and women who profess to be disciples of Christ and to keep all the commandments of God will have to feel in their daily lives the true spirit of agonizing to enter in at the strait gate. The agonizing ones are the only ones who will urge their passage through the strait gate and narrow way that lead to life eternal, to fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore. Those who merely seek to enter in will never be able. The entire Christian life of many will be spent in no greater effort than that of seeking, and their only reward will be to find it an utter impossibility for them to enter in at that strait gate.” – Ellen G. White, Testimonies, vol. 2, page 479-480.
“Confirmed impenitence is the result of refusing light and of walking in the sparks of our own kindling. Those who follow this course follow a path that leads to perdition. They are called upon to come out of the world, and be separate. But the strait and narrow path does not look attractive; it is hard to enter the strait gate, and their eyes turn with longing desire to the wide gate and the broad way. ‘Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.’” – Ellen G. White, Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, “Words of Warning”, December 7,1897.
“Let no one talk of an easy religion. Let no one imagine that the path to Heaven is smooth and pleasant, that there is nothing to do but to believe. We are to be workers together with God; and through diligent and painstaking effort alone, can the conditions of the promises be met. The words of inspiration declare that ‘faith without works is dead, being alone.’ We are exhorted to ‘fight the good fight of faith.’ We are to wrestle with unseen foes, to labor, to watch, to strive to enter in at the strait gate; for many will be content with simple seeking, and will fail of an entrance. ‘Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat;’ but ‘strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’” – Ellen G. White, The Signs of the Times, “The Need of Earnestness”, July 20,1888.
4. The Right Spirit for God’s People to Have
“He who has an obedient heart, that is ready to do the will of God, will not only gladly receive truth, but will earnestly seek for truth as for hidden treasure. He will come to the Scriptures with a humble and teachable spirit, seeking to understand how he may walk in the light, and saying, ‘Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?’ He is ready to sacrifice anything and everything, if required, in order that he may be in harmony with the will of God. It is not always an easy matter to render obedience to the will of God. It demands firmness of purpose to enter in at the strait gate and to travel in the narrow path that leads to eternal life, for on every hand are voices inviting the soul into bye and forbidden paths. Those who love wealth and honor and high position, will not enter in at the strait gate unless they part with their idols. There is not room to enter in at the strait gate and carry the things of this world along. He who would enter in at the strait gate must make an entire consecration of his all to God. Jesus says, ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.’” – Ellen G. White, Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, “Entering the Strait Gate”, March 28, 1912.
5. Christ’s Example
“Christ assumed human nature, to demonstrate to the fallen world, to Satan and his synagogue, to the universe of heaven, and to the worlds unfallen, that human nature, united to his divine nature, could become entirely obedient to the law of God, that his followers by their love and unity would give evidence that the power of redemption is sufficient to enable man to overcome. And he rejoices to think that his prayer that his followers might be sanctified through the truth, will be answered; they will be molded by the transforming influence of his grace into a character after the divine similitude. All who would possess a perfect Christian character must wear the yoke of Christ. If they would sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, they must learn of him while on this earth. Christ says to all such: ‘Strive to enter in at the strait gate; for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.’ ‘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.’” – Ellen G. White, The Signs of the Times, “Be Ye Therefore Perfect”, November 5, 1896.
6. Do Not Depend On Majority
“In every age, God has called his servants to lift up their voices against the prevailing errors and sins of the multitude. Noah was called to stand alone to warn the antediluvian world. Moses and Aaron were alone against king and princes, magicians and wise men, and the multitudes of Egypt. Elijah was alone when he testified against an apostate king and a backsliding people. Daniel and his fellows stood alone against the decrees of mighty monarchs. The majority are usually to be found on the side of error and falsehood. The fact that doctors of divinity have the world on their side does not prove them to be on the side of truth and of God. The wide gate and the broad road attract the multitudes, while the strait gate and the narrow way are sought only by the few.” – Ellen G. White, The Spirit of Prophecy, Volume Four, page 214.
“To man is allotted a part in this great struggle for everlasting life--he must respond to the working of the Holy Spirit. It will require a struggle to break through the powers of darkness, and the Spirit works in him to accomplish this. But man is no passive being, to be saved in indolence. He is called upon to strain every muscle and exercise every faculty in the struggle for immortality, yet it is God that supplies the efficiency. No human being can be saved in indolence. The Lord bids us, ‘Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.’ Luke 13:24. ‘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 the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ Matthew 7:13, 14.” – Ellen G. White, Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, page 366.
Let’s hope and pray that as many of God’s people as possible are or will be striving to enter in through the narrow way. Time may be running out soon.
Prayer: “Our Father in heaven, thank You so much for showing us the narrow way to eternal life. Please help us to depend on Your grace and also to do our best to strive to enter in through the narrow gate to eternal life. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
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Questions for Thought:
1. How many spiritual ways are there to choose from?
2. Which way will we choose?