The Narrow Gate Is Not About "Doing Good" But About "Jesus!"

“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

"Most Christians hear sermons on this text that define 'entering by the wide gate' as following the ways of the 'world' -- that is, going to worldly movies, reading dirty magazines and frequenting bars. Conversely, 'entering by the narrow gate' means going to church, reading the Bible, memorizing Scripture, getting perfect Sunday school attendance pins, visiting people in nursing homes, and giving money. The narrow and wide gates are reduced to lists of things we are supposed to do or not do. However, the context reveals a different meaning. Jesus was talking about false prophets--those who looked like they represented God but spoke falsely. Like the true prophets, those prophets stood in front of a wide gate marked, 'Find Life Here,' but this was the gate of religious performance and self-effort, and there was no life on the other side, just toil and weariness.

True prophets stand in front of a narrow gate--the one that says 'Come to Me, all who labor...' You can only fit through this gate if you drop all of your 'works' baggage and come through alone. On the other side you will find heavenly rest. If you try to go through with your perfect attendance pins, and Bible quiz trophies, or any of your own righteousness, you simply won't fit. Jesus is the narrow gate."

Excerpt From: The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse: Recognizing & Escaping Spiritual Manipulation and False Spiritual Authority Within The Church by David Johnson and Jeff Van Vonderen.