Distinct And Separate Ways
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:13, 14
These roads are distinct, separate, extending in opposite directions. One leads to eternal death, the other to eternal life. One is broad and smooth, the other narrow and rugged. So the parties that travel them are opposite in character, in life, in dress, and in conversation. Those who travel in the narrow way are talking of the happiness they will have at the end of the journey… They do not dress like the company in the broad road, nor talk like them, nor act like them. A pattern has been given them. A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief opened the road for them and traveled it Himself. His followers see His footprints and are comforted and cheered. He went through safely; so can they, if they follow in His steps.
In the broad road all are occupied with their persons, their dress, and the pleasures in the way. They indulge freely in mirth and revelry, and think not of their journey’s end, of the certain ruin at the termination of the path. Every day they approach nearer their destruction, yet they madly rush on faster and faster… When it is too late they see that they have gained nothing substantial. They have grasped at shadows and lost eternal life…
A form of godliness will not save any. All must have a deep and living experience. This alone will save them in the time of trouble before us. Then their work will be tried, of what sort it is. If it is gold, silver, and precious stones, they will be hid as in the secret of the Lord’s pavilion. But if their work is wood, hay, stubble, nothing can shield them from the fierceness of Jehovah’s wrath…
Those who are willing to make any and every sacrifice for eternal life will have it, and it will be worth suffering for, worth crucifying self for, and sacrificing every idol for. The far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory outweighs every earthly treasure and eclipses every earthly attraction.
E. G. White, That I May Know Him, p. 303
“Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” Luke 13:24
A strait gate means a gate difficult to enter. By this illustration Christ showed how hard it is for men and women to leave the world and the attractions it holds, and heartily and lovingly obey the commandments of God. The wide gate is easy to enter. Entrance through it does not call for the restrictions which are painful to the human heart. Self-denial and self-sacrifice are not seen in the broad way. There depraved appetite and natural inclinations find abundant room. There may be seen self-indulgence, pride, envy, evil surmisings, love of money, self-exaltation.
Said Christ, “Strive”–agonize—” to enter in…” We must feel our continual dependence upon God and the great weakness of our own wisdom and our own judgment and strength, and then depend wholly upon Him who has conquered the foe in our behalf, because He pitied our weakness and knew we should be overcome and perish if He did not come to our help… Think not that by any easy or common effort you can win the eternal reward. You have a wily foe upon your track. “To Him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Revelation 3:21 Here is the battle to overcome as Christ has overcome. His life of temptation, of trial, of toil and conflict, is before us for us to imitate. We may make efforts in our own strength, but not succeed. But when we fall all helpless and suffering and needy upon the Rock of Christ, feeling in our inmost soul that our victory depends upon His merits, that all our efforts of themselves without the special help of the great Conqueror will be without avail, then Christ would send every angel out of glory to rescue us from the power of the enemy rather than that we should fall.
We need to see that the way is narrow, and the gate strait. But as we pass through the strait gate, the wideness is without limit.
E. G. White. That I May Know Him, p. 304