“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life,
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’"
Many people today say they "know God" but the verses above imply God will say He never knew them. This is rather a scary verse for a new Christian. For any Christian, really, who might be struggling with their faith. So over my next three posts, I'd like to look at them in context.
These verses were part of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 7 also includes the verses on judging others, asking, seeking and knocking, and the wise man who built his house upon the rock. They all tie in very nicely with the ones above, for the entire chapter is about how we should live our lives before others (not judging them), how to approach God with our concerns (ask, seek and knock), how we should walk with God, who we should not listen to, and how to build our faith on a firm foundation. But we are going to concentrate on the verses above. We will start with the narrow gate.
What does it mean to "enter by the narrow gate"?
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