Few Are Those That Find It
“Few Are Those That Find It”
By Curtis Pope
“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)
In this familiar passage from the third chapter of Matthew’s account of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount we learn three important lessons.
There are only two ways – the broad way and the narrow way. Everyone in the world, no matter how diverse their paths of occupation, culture, or spiritual development, is traveling on only one of two roads. This may come as a surprise for people who recognize the diversity of modern life and the infinite possibilities of the choices in every human’s existence. However, as far as people’s spiritual condition is concerned, this passage clearly teaches that instead of an infinite number of pathways, in the only way that really matters, there are only two.
There are only two destinations – destruction and life.In spite of the fact that through the ages the religions of the world have concocted many possibilities for people’s eternal destination, this passage clearly teaches that the number is limited to two. Even the irreligious in their speculations about the afterlife or the suicide who seeks oblivion will be disappointed at the teaching of this passage. All are headed on only one of two roads to only two destinations.
Most will be lost. Probably the most surprising lesson this passage teaches is the small minority that are traveling on the right road to the right destination to achieve eternal spiritual life. Regular surveys show that twice as many people in America believe in heaven as believe in hell. In fact, of those that believe in hell, most would designate it as the eternal home for only monsters like Adolf Hitler, Ted Bundy, and so forth. This near universalism (the belief that all will eventually make it to heaven) has been based on a concentration on the love of God through Christ while ignoring the justice of God that righteousness demands. While I do not want to deemphasize the love of God in Christ, the scriptures clearly teach that God is both “just and justifier” (Romans 3:26). Most would be surprised to know that no other biblical character mentions hell more often than Jesus (Mark 9:42-48).
With these three facts in evidence and the eternal destruction in hell of most who have ever lived, it should make us all give serious thought to our spiritual condition.
Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:11-13)