“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
(Matthew 7:13-14 ESV)
If you had 100 apples and you were going to give me a “few” of them, how many would you give me? Think about that before reading on.
Today we come to one of the passages in the Bible that I quote a lot on this blog. It is a real eye-opener and contradicts the understanding many people have of eternity.
In this passage Jesus refers to two metaphorical gates. Both lead to eternity.
One gate is wide. It is easy to find. The path on the other side is easy to walk on. It seems like the better choice because it’s easier. And people tend to take the easier way in life. However, this gate leads to destruction (aka hell). Sadly, many will enter by it.
The other gate is narrow. It is not easy to find. The path on the other side is hard. But it leads to life (aka heaven). Only a few people will find it.
Now, what was your answer to my question? Far and away, the most popular answer I receive when I ask this question to people is “7”. In other words, people define “few” as 7%.
So according to this definition only 7% of all human beings who ever live will end up in heaven. Now, I don’t claim to know exactly what percentage of people end up there. It’s not for me to know or decide. But we can all certainly agree that “few” does not mean 90%. Or 50%. Or even 30% and probably not 20%.
The point being – a very small percentage of people will go to heaven because a very small percentage of people believe in Jesus – and only Jesus – for the forgiveness of their sins. Considering the vast majority of people on this planet are following Buddha, or Mohammed, or are relying on their own alleged goodness to get them into heaven, it’s likely that 7% is not far off.
The sad part is that Jesus proved Himself to be God. And He had told all of us exactly how to get to heaven. But man wants to invent our own standards. We don’t want to humble ourselves and repent (i.e. change our minds). Our pride gets in the way. But pride leads to destruction [Proverbs 16:18].
God wants everyone to be in heaven [1 Timothy 3:4; 2 Peter 3:9]. That is why He created each of us. But He allows us to choose which “gate” we’ll go through. Notice that in this passage Jesus is clearly telling us that our eternal destiny is under our own control. We get to choose. Also notice that we can likewise conclude that everyone on earth is not following the same God just in different ways, as some will claim. Otherwise, more than a “few” would find the right gate.
We can choose the way of the world – the wide gate. While that might seem like a good idea, it isn’t. Or we can choose the narrow gate and enter through Jesus Christ. He is the way. No one enters God’s presence (heaven) through any other means [John 14:6].
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.