Matthew 7:13
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
Sermons
The Two PathsAlexander MaclarenMatthew 7:13
How Do They Enter in by This GateMatthew 7:13-14
SalvationJ. Parker, D. D.Matthew 7:13-14
Salvation: its Difficulty Argues its WorthBaxter.Matthew 7:13-14
Salvation: Joy that the Gate is OpenW. Arnot.Matthew 7:13-14
Salvation: the Gate Cannot be ForcedW. Arnot.Matthew 7:13-14
Sermon on the Mount: 7. Enter Ye in At the Strait GateMarcus Dods Matthew 7:13, 14
The Broad and the Narrow WayE. Cooper.Matthew 7:13-14
The Broad WayD. Moore, M. A., Garrard., R. Treffry., Dr. J. Matthews.Matthew 7:13-14
The Difficulty of SalvationCheminais.Matthew 7:13-14
The Entering in by the Strait GateMatthew 7:13-14
The Facility with Which Sinners Go to DestructionW. Mitchell, A. M.Matthew 7:13-14
The Gate of Salvation Too Narrow for the Self-RighteousE. Bersier, D. D.Matthew 7:13-14
The Multitude in the Broad WayT. Boston, D. D.Matthew 7:13-14
The Narrowness of the GospelE. Bersier, D. D.Matthew 7:13-14
The Noblest Provocation to Sanctified ImaginationP.C. Barker Matthew 7:13, 14
The Strait Gate and the WideJ. Gwyther, B. A.Matthew 7:13-14
The Strait Gate not a Shut GateW. Arnot.Matthew 7:13-14
The Supreme Importance of Personal SalvationWilliam Jones.Matthew 7:13-14
The Two WaysW.F. Adeney Matthew 7:13, 14
The Two WaysJ. E. Good.Matthew 7:13-14
The Way of Sin EasyW. Arnot.Matthew 7:13-14
The Way to Life and the Way to Destruction UnfoldedT. Boston, D. D.Matthew 7:13-14
The Wide GateMatthew 7:13-14
The World WayW. Arnot.Matthew 7:13-14
This Way Leads to DestructionMatthew 7:13-14
What Makes the Gate StraitMatthew 7:13-14
What This Entering BearsMatthew 7:13-14
Two WaysJ.A. Macdonald Matthew 7:13-20


The idea of "the two ways" seems to have laid hold of the mind of the early Church very strongly; a treatise known by that name was in use among the primitive Christians, and the first part of the recently discovered Church manual, entitled, 'The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles,' embodies that treatise. It was not thought easy to be a Christian in the heroic days of persecution; it is not really any easier to-day, when the difficulty comes rather from the all-pervading atmosphere of worldliness.

I. THE ENTRANCE. The gate of the one way is narrow, the gate of the other wide. We are directed to think of beginnings. This is a subject to be studied in early life. It comes up at the great moment of decision. We must just think of the gate, for until we have passed through we cannot be in the way at all.

1. The straitness of the first gate. No one can become a Christian without an effort. We do not drift into the kingdom, nor do we grow up in it unconsciously. Even the children of Christian homes need to come to decision and make a deliberate choice. Moreover, there are sins to be repented of, evil habits to be renounced; pride must be humbled, and the simple trust of a little child attained. We become Christians by complete surrender to Christ.

2. The width of the second gate. We do not need to make any choice of evil. Evil is all around us. We have but to let ourselves go, and we shall be swept through the wide gate. This is so very wide that we cannot miss it if we merely permit ourselves to go with the crowd.

II. THE WAY. Life is more than its beginnings. We have to consider its whole course. But that course is likely to resemble its commencement. The strait gate leads to the narrow way, the wide gate to the broad way. The whole life has a character of its own.

1. Why the right way is narrow. This is not because there is a virtue in restraint on its own account.

(1) There is but one right way, while there is an infinite diversity of wrong ways. At every moment there is just one thing needful, one thing that it is our duty to do then and there. If we neglect that, we can make our choice out of any number of things that ought not to be done.

(2) Righteousness involves self-denial. We have to take up the cross to follow Christ.

2. Why the wrong way is broad. The very variety of evil makes it so. Then there is no law in sin. Sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4). Thus the way of evil is one of wild self-will; it is every one turning to his own way (Isaiah 66:3). A track across open country, if much used, tends to become wider and wider as each fresh traveller chooses what seems to him the best bit of ground on which to walk.

III. THE END. The two ways keep apart from beginning to end; neither issues in the other. The broad way is not a short cut to the narrow way. Each has a separate destination. We do not all come to the same end. But the character of the end is determined by the character of the way. This makes the way of great importance. It is not a city in which we dwell, nor even a temporary camping-ground on which we rest for a night. We are always moving along it. The great question is - Whither does it tend? Christ sets the alternative before us very clearly - eternal life or destruction. Here is reason for rousing ourselves and listening to the urgent entreaty of the Saviour, "Enter ye in," etc. - W.F.A.









Enter ye in at the strait gate.
I. THE FAITHFULNESS OF A HOLY GOD. God has told us the way is difficult. It is against nature.

II. THE TENDERNESS OF A MERCIFUL FATHER.

1. There is a gate.

2. The gate leadeth unto life. If the pleasures of sin must be left behind, the pleasures of holiness await.

3. Those who enter neither make nor open the gate; they only find it. Men cannot make ways of peace for themselves; they cannot force, but find the way.

4. He who made the way, and keeps it open now, is glad when many "go in thereat."

(W. Arnot.)

If some of the Queen's soldiers were taken prisoner by the enemy, and confined in a fortress far in the interior of a foreign land; and if an intimation were conveyed to the captives by a friendly hand that, at a certain part of their prison walls there is an opening to liberty and home, but that the opening is narrow and the path beyond it rough, their hearts would forthwith till with joy. They would feel already free. Strait gate! what do they care for its straitness? — enough for them that there is a gate. Ere that setting sun get round to gild the east again, many long miles will be between them and the house of bondage. Surer and safer is their outgate, if slaves to sin were as willing to be free.

(W. Arnot.)

Outside the frowning barrier swarm the multitudes of all kindreds and tongues, who strive to be their own saviours. One will give ten thousand rivers of oil. Another, more alarmed, and more in earnest, will give the fruit of his body for the sin of his soul. Another will waste or wound his own flesh at the bidding of a priest who will assure him of an entrance. Another, without the intervention of any human mediator, will, under the spur of an alarmed but unenlightened conscience, abandon this life to blank, slavish fear, not daring to enjoy any comfort or any hour, in order that he may more surely propitiate the judge, and finally make his way into heaven. It is all labour lost. There is no gate on that side, and you cannot make one.

(W. Arnot.)

I. THE FACILITY OF ATTAINING DESTRUCTION. Will appear from the following considerations: —

1. Temptation to evil.

2. Man's susceptibility to temptation.

3. The large numbers who tread this way.

4. The needlessness of effort to tread this way.

II. The DIFFICULTY OF ATTAINING SALVATION. The attainment of salvation demands

(1)The resistance of temptation;

(2)The exercise of self-denial;

(3)The overcoming of difficulties.

III. THE DUTY OF STRIVING TO ATTAIN SALVATION.

1. Strive to trust in God.

2. Strive to watch and work.

(William Jones.)

We wish not to discourage, but awaken Christians from their languor.

1. The figures Christ has employed set forth the difficulty of salvation. A warfare in which we must engage; a building we must erect.

2. Perhaps the places where Christ speaks without figures will be less severe. "The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence." "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven."

3. The exalted perfection of the law of Jesus Christ joined to the extreme weakness of man in the state of corrupt nature.

4. What shall I say of outward obstacles?

5. Those who have been influenced by sincere desire to work out their salvation have perfectly understood its difficulty.

6. Wily has God made the way to heaven so difficult?(1) It does not belong to us to cult God to account.(2) The difficulty comes from man, to whom God has given all necessary strength to do well.(3) All good men have had other sentiments on this alleged difficulty, wonder that God for so few things should save His people.(4) When a thing is not absolutely necessary difficulty may dishearten; but when of indispensable necessity, there is nothing that we ought not to surmount.(5) Above all, we must have recourse to God with this prayer, "Lord, save us, or we perish."

(Cheminais.)

d: —

1. They all produce destruction of peace.

2. Some of its paths lead to destruction of character.

3. Some of its paths lead to destruction of health.

4. Some of these paths lead to the destruction of life.

5. They all lead to the destruction of the soul.

(J. Gwyther, B. A.)

I. THE PLACE THEY ENTER — "wide gate."

1. Wide enough to admit spiritual ignorance.

2. Wide enough for inconsistency and sloth.

II. THE ROAD THEY TRAVEL.

III. THE NUMBERS WHICH BEAR THE UNGODLY COMPANY.

IV. THE END TO WHICH THEY COME.

(D. Moore, M. A.)

I. A CONTRAST WITH RESPECT TO THE ENTRANCES — "strait," "wide."

II. TWO WAYS CONTRASTED — "broad," "narrow."

III. A CONTRAST AS TO THE NUMBER THAT JOURNEY IN THESE WAYS.

IV. A CONTRAST AS TO THE ENDS TO WHICH THESE WAYS LEAD.

(Garrard.)

I. THE IDEA WHICH OUR LORD GIVES OF FUTURE MISERY — "destruction." Although the powers of the soul will be preserved in all their might, yet the sources of sensual gratification will be destroyed. It is a positive penalty inflicted by the justice of God. The ruin is complete, often sudden, certain, eternal.

II. A CONFIRMATION OF THE STATEMENT MADE CONCERNING IT. The gate is "wide," etc. The way of sin is broad, considering the ease with which it is found. Broad by its enticements. So broad as to admit persons of all descriptions, etc. What entering in at the strait gate implies. Inducements to comply with this admonition.

(R. Treffry.)

I. THE SINNER'S IMMINENT DANGER. Great, certain, near, hastening.

II. THE SINNER'S IMMEDIATE DUTY. To search the Scriptures, self-examination, prayer, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. The destruction of sinners will be charged to themselves. If you are in the narrow way be thankful.

(Dr. J. Matthews.)

I. An EXHORTATION AND WARNING, how to direct our course for the other world, which this life is but the avenue to.

1. The safe course.

2. The unsafe course.

3. Our duty and interest with respect to these gates.

II. A REASON FOR THIS EXHORTATION AND WARNING. That though the other gate is easy and much frequented, yet it is most dangerous. The nature of the gate opposite to that we are called to enter in by, and of the way of joining it.

1. It is wide.

2. It is broad. They are not hampered by conscience, Bible. etc.

3. The use made of it. There are many dispositions of carnal men.

4. The end of it.The safe way: —

1. The gate is strait.

2. The way is narrow. It is like a strait shoe that presses the foot. It is not easy walking in it. Afflictions and temptations beset it.

3. The ungrequentedness of it.

4. The happy tendency and end of it.

(T. Boston, D. D.)

1. The mighty contrariety of our nature to it.

2. The various lusts hanging about the soul.

3. The keen opposition made by Satan to the soul's entry.

4. The enmity of the world against religion.

5. The nature of the thing makes it a strait gate.

What they enter into by it:

1. A new road (2 Corinthians 5:17).

2. A safe road (Proverbs 1:33).

3. Into a house all ease and comfort (Revelation 21:7).

1. Coming out of themselves.

2. Coming to Christ in the free promise of the gospel faith.

3. Coming unto God by Christ.

1. A discerning of the gate.

2. A finding of an absolute necessity of entering by it.

3. Resoluteness for a happy arrival.

4. A contentment to forego our present ease.

5. Nobody walking carelessly will get a safe arrival.

6. They must begin well who would end well.

1. It is a deceitful way.

2. It is an unprofitable way.

3. It is a trifling way.

4. It is a restless way.

5. It is a disappointing way.

6. It is easy to fall on it.

7. It is easy walking in it.

8. It is not easy to get off it.

1. This is the constant voice of the word. of God.

2. The rectorial justice of God demands it.

3. The nature of things manifests it.

4. The voice of the natural conscience confirms it.

1. Seen in the universal corruption of human nature.

2. The constant call to the multitude to repent.

3. The judgments God has sent on the world.

4. From our own observation.

5. It is the most agreeable way to the corrupt nature.

6. The blindness of the human mind.

7. Prejudices against the way.

8. The broad way is easiest.

9. Satan influences thereto it.

10. Example contributes to it.

11. Also want of consideration.

(T. Boston, D. D.)

This will appear —

I. From the fact that it is agreeable to the nature of man to pursue a sinful course.

II. From the spiritual sloth of the transgressor.

III. The blindness of the carnal mind.

IV. The strength of unbelief, the allurements of the world, and the devices of Satan.

V. The effect of things present, compared with the influence of things distant.

VI. The imperfections and sins of professing Christians. VII. The example of the multitude. These obstacles must be overcome, or we inevitably perish.

(W. Mitchell, A. M.)

I. THE WAY OF DESTRUCTION.

1. The gate into it is wide.

2. The way itself is broad.

3. It is the way along which the great bulk of mankind are travelling.

II. THE WAY OF LIFE.

1. The gate into it is strait.

2. The way itself is narrow.

3. It is a way little travelled.

III. LET US JUDGE AS TO WHICH WAY WE ARE WALKING IN.

(E. Cooper.)

I. THE WAY OF SIN WHICH WE ARE DIRECTED TO AVOID.

1. The gate is wide. It requires no difficulty.

2. It is broad. It is lawless.

3. It is crowded.

4. Its termination.

II. THE PATH OF CHRISTIAN HOLINESS WHICH WE ARE TO PURSUE.

1. Its entrance.

2. Its dimensions.

3. Its paucity of passengers.

4. Its blissful end.

III. RELECTIONS.

1. There is an inseparable connection between the present and the future.

2. There is no middle path in religion.

3. Never suffer the world to be your authority in matters of religion.

4. Strive to enter in at the strait gate.

(J. E. Good.)

I know nothing broader than Christianity; not one of the ideas of which it has taken hold that it has not enlarged in infinite proportions. Take the ideas of God, humanity, and destiny of man. Yet it is accused of narrowness. The cause not in any weakness, but in the gospel itself. It is narrow —

I. Because it is the way of TRUTH. It can tolerate no other way. Truth alone is good. In science men prefer it: why not in religion? Because morally inconvenient.

II. Because it is the way of HOLINESS. Each would like to retain his favourite inclination. It will not let our vices pass.

III. Because it is the way of HUMILITY. It is closed even to virtuous pride, to fancied merits.

IV. Because it is the way of LOVE. The Divine love is narrow in that it rejects all that is contrary to it. Your love is narrow, and seeks the welfare of its object. But none can reject the privations of this narrow way.

(E. Bersier, D. D.)

See in the middle of the night a house on which fire has caught. Everywhere the flame breaks out with the rapidity of lightning. Cries of alarm are raised, for there is an unfortunate sleeper above this furnace which is going to consume him. He awakes, he turns his scared looks everywhere. Before him a single passage remains open, narrow, but sufficient to save his life. What does he do? With a grasping and feverish hand he gathers all that he can save of his goods, and laden with his treasures, bending under his burden, he arrives at this door which refuses to give him passage. "For me," he cries then, "for me! the door is too narrow." Ah! poor idiot! leave there thy treasures which will cost thee thy life, strip thyself of that which prevents thy progress, consent to sacrifice all; thy salvation is only at that price. You have understood me, brethren. This house which is falling in is our life; this devouring flame is the judgment of the holy God; this open door is pardon; and these treasures which will ruin you, are those qualities, those virtues, those merits, which you wish to preserve at all cost. Yes, the door of heaven is too narrow for the selfrighteous, and because of this the Gospel raises so much repugnance and irritation amongst them.

(E. Bersier, D. D.)

The difficulty of obtaining shows the excellency; and, surely, if you consider but what it cost Christ to purchase it; what it costs God's Spirit to bring men's hearts to it; what it costs ministers to persuade to it; what it costs Christians, after all this, to obtain it; and what it costs many a half-Christian that, after all, goes without it; you will say that here is difficulty, and therefore excellency. Trifles may be had at a trivial rate, and men may have damnation- far more easily. Conclude, then, it is surely somewhat worth that must cost all this.

(Baxter.)

Into what kingdom is it that you are anxious now to enter? Above all things you wish to enter into the kingdom of music. Very well. This is the New Testament doctrine concerning the kingdom of music. "Strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto excellence in music, and few there be that find it." You have to study night and day, you have no time for yourself, you are at it, always at it, or getting ready for it, criticizing or being criticized, repeating, rehearsing, going over it again and again, still higher and higher. If that is the law of your little kingdom of music, why should it not be the law of the larger kingdom of life. which includes all beauty and learning. and music, and power?

(J. Parker, D. D.)

All the world is a way. It is so broad that the whole generation for the time travel abreast upon it.

(W. Arnot.)

You have nothing more to do than lie like a Withered leaf upon the stream, and without a thought or an effort you are carried quickly down. Sinners do not find it difficult to sin.

(W. Arnot.)

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