...there are few who find it
Toward the end of Matthew’s record of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says
“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. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
This brief statement from our Lord about life and eternity teaches three basic truths which should challenge the thinking of each one of us.
First of all, it teaches that there are only two ways (or roads) that everyone who lives on earth is traveling; the broad or the narrow way. With all the variables in life, experience, and opportunity, most would imagine that the roads traveled by all humanity would be innumerable. But Jesus clearly narrows the possibilities to just two.
The second lesson taught by these verses is that there are merely two destinations; destruction or life. The further American thought has distanced itself from the scriptures, the more choices societal speculation has developed for itself. In our culture, atheists teach, and many suicides presume, that their end will be simple oblivion. Eastern religions have injected reincarnation into the thinking of many, especially among the young, who hope for the chance for a spiritual mulligan. Most Americans, however, embrace some sort of vague universalism that assumes all but the Hitler’s and bin Ladin’s of this world will go to a “better place” shaped by their imagination rather than any theological rationale. Again Jesus limits the many eternal outcomes fueled by modern speculation to simply two.
The third and most sobering truth, however, taught by this passage is that “there are few who find it”. This clearly states that most are on the wrong way leading to eternal spiritual destruction. In other words, most are, and ultimately will be, lost forever in a devil’s hell.
This difficult realization should compel us to do two things. First of all, we should do as Paul demands in 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!”. Surely the eternal consequences of an ill-spent life and the permanent destiny in store for the vast majority of mankind, should motivate all of us to “make sure about His calling and choosing you” (2 Peter 1:10) through a thorough comparison of our lives with God’s word. Secondly, it should motivate us all to be more dedicated soul-winners. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:11, “therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men”. What greater encouragement should we need than to realize that most everyone we know and come in contact with each day are on the wrong road, headed to the wrong place for eternity. Life is short, death is sure, judgment is certain, and hell is unimaginably awful for us to be derelict in our responsibility to warn our fellowman of the judgment to come and the numerical odds against them. Let the fact that “there are few who find it” give us all a sense of urgency in examining our own spiritual walk and in becoming obstacles in the path of our friends’, relatives’, and neighbors’ walk toward certain destruction.