Saved Sinners Only
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14
We can’t enter heaven just as we are. And I don’t mean we have to die first. To walk through heaven’s gates, we also have to meet the requirements God presented in the Bible. You may think you’re a good person and that’s enough. You may even be able to check off a list like the Ten Commandments or similar “Thou shalt or shalt not” commands.
But Jesus said, “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20). How can we be more righteous than the most religious, pious people we know?
The fact is, no one is good enough. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” “All” except one person, that is. God the Father sent his Son, Jesus, to earth. In human flesh, Jesus became Immanuel, “God with us.” He lived a sinless life, then died in our place, taking our sins on himself. He rose from the dead.
When someone asked Jesus, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” he said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us’” But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from’” (Luke 13:23-25). The people he was speaking to had been eating and drinking with him, listening to his teaching, but he told them, “I never knew you.”
The wide gate is very inviting. The broad road seems much easier to travel. Many people follow that path, partying as they go.
You may think that many people you know will not be saved—but the “few” in Matthew 7:13-14 (quoted above) means only a few at a time. After thousands of years, the people of God will be “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands” (Revelation 7:9).
God provided only one entrance to heaven: Jesus. We who believe “are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23).
Which gate will you choose?
Nancy J. Baker
Read John 3:16-36. Why are some condemned?
Some say they prefer going to hell where they’ll party with their friends. But who is the host of this party? Where will the party be held and what will the participants be doing according to Revelation 20:10?
Read Revelation 20:11-15. Where will your name be found on Judgment Day?
See also I Am the Way, the Truth, the Life.
This devotion is part of our series on Heaven.