Not So Random Thoughts 24

Matthew 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. 15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 “So then, you will know them by their fruits. 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

The narrow gate and the narrow road can also be understood from different perspectives. This is not to say that the absolute truth is relative, but that people can think that they are on the narrow road but simply not have a biblical perspective of what the narrow road is. They may have built their own narrow road rather than following the narrow road of the Bible. It is not that one must go through just any narrow gate and it is not that one may follow just any narrow road, but one must go through the narrow gate and be on the narrow road that has been built by God. In other words, it is not just any narrow gate and road that will do. Many have entered through a narrow gate of their own making and are on a narrow road of their own devices and wisdom. Those are truly narrow in one sense, but a narrow road of man’s own making is still part of the wide gate and broad road that leads to destruction.

The Pharisees certainly were following a narrow road, but it was one that they had made by making their own laws. Anyone who sets out a way to life that is possible to obtain by the strength of men (even if they say it takes grace to do it) is setting out a false way and is building their own road. Anyone who says that Christ has paid for his or her sin and yet that person adds something to it by faith or by works for sanctification, that person is on the broad road of human effort. Jesus Christ saves sinners from beginning to end and He becomes their life or He does not save at all. The broad road is any road that is not Christ alone by His grace alone.

The broad road is not just filled with people who are absolute heretics or those who deny the faith, but it would appear from the context that it is filled with people who think that they are on the narrow road to life. We are warned sternly and clearly that we are to enter through the narrow gate because there are many who have entered through the wide gate and are on the broad road to destruction and there are many who do that. We are not to understand that all these people are careless and that all these people are just hopping and skipping along with no practice of religion at all. No, we must not think that. The broad road is full of people who are quite religious and perhaps quite orthodox. The broad road has people on it who practice many good works.

There is plenty of room on the broad road for those who are proud of their knowledge, though indeed they may think that they are humble. There is plenty of room on the broad road for those who practice good deeds in their own strength. What the text is reminding us is that the people who have entered through the wide gate are those who know that there is a gate to enter and they think that they are on the gate to life. The text is reminding us that the people who are on the broad road think that that they are on the road to life and yet they are on the way to destruction. Those that the text speak of who are on the broad road are not the openly profane and open mockers, these are people who are serious about their religion and desire to enter life.

Could it be that the broad road is full of people who are faithful church members and hold their creeds and confessions as true? Could it be that the broad road is full of people who are zealous for their religion and their good works? Could it be that the broad road is full of people who study the Bible diligently and say their prayers on a regular basis? Could it be that the broad road is full of people who evangelize and give to mission or go out as missionaries? Could it be that there are many on that broad road that leads to destruction are pastors? What if these things are true? Could it possibly be that it has been 500 years after the Reformation and we are desperately in need of a new Reformation? Could it be that there are many Reformed who the Reformers would not recognize as Reformed? Could it be that there are those who trust in being Reformed rather than Christ alone? Could it be that the broad road includes many more than we think? If there are few who find the way of life and there are many who are on the road to destruction, we must seek the face of God to find out the truth of our own road.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: