We’ve all heard that we should “walk the straight and narrow” way to get to heaven but, what does that actually mean? Does that mean just being a “good person” or do you have to practice religion? Whose idea was this anyway?
These are the words of Jesus, spoken to His disciples over 2,000 years ago. In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus said, speaking of salvation: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads unto life, and there are few who find it.”
Today, many who profess to be followers of Christ consider themselves to be on the “narrow way” by attending church regularly, doing some good deeds; volunteering or some other outward expression of their self-defined “good works”. They might say, I’m attending church; I try to be a “good person” and try to be kind. Therefore, these are all evidence that I am a Christian. However, none of these things in and of themselves indicate that a person is on the straight and narrow way; any non-believer can do these things also. It’s possible to follow a set of prescribed religious traditions, attend church meetings regularly, give large sums of money to the less fortunate and yet, never have entered the ‘strait gate’ Jesus spoke of. According to the words of Jesus [Matthew 7:14], there are only a few that find the narrow way so, it is of critical importance to be sure that you are to be found among the few. And lest we forget; Jesus was speaking to His disciples about this danger for which he states that there are “many who go” the way of destruction. It is a sobering thought for self-professing Christians to be on the broad road leading to destruction while deluding themselves into thinking they are on the narrow way. Later, Jesus warns of the “leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducee’s” [Matthew 16:6]. The Pharisees and Sadducee’s were the religious leaders who disciple others to follow their outward religious traditions but, who themselves had not found the narrow way. So, it is also possible to be aided in ones self-delusion by those who should know better.
The stakes could not be higher… It is one’s eternal soul and what a costly and terrible loss it would be to lose one’s own soul [Matthew 16:26] while deluding themselves with culturally popular, religious “leaven” that deceives a person into believing that they are on the straight and narrow way, when they are not. In a world of deception and false teaching, how can we know for sure if we have entered at the strait gate and are on the narrow way?
A link is included below for a FREE booklet entitled: The Narrow Way which, was written by theologian and Bible teacher Arthur Pink, from Nottingham, England who lived from 1886-1952. Pink was respected as a studious writer and devoted student of the Bible and puritan literature. Throughout his life, he served as a pastor in several churches and ultimately followed his later calling, devoting his final years to theological writing. Pink expounded upon scriptures by writing prolifically which earned him an authoritative position as a leading theologian of his time, though he is perhaps more posthumously well-known.
May you be guided to the strait gate and along the narrow way by this notable work of the late Arthur Pink.
To God Alone be the Glory.