Always remember the words of Jesus about this narrow gate. They are words the church does not want to hear in this modern age of political correctness (PC). But we really need to consider the implications.
You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. [Matthew 7:13–14 NLT]
We must start with the narrowness. Many people are made nervous by this. It is obvious that most pastors and priests are. How can you build a church by telling the people things like this? It is not good to talk about exclusiveness. This is certainly part of the narrowness of the gate. In modern America this is where we get into trouble very quickly from the PC media police.
Jesus could not have made it more clear. This aspect of the narrowness is made clear by many things he said. If you are into the words of Jesus typeset in red ink—these are in red. He lays it out boldly—in a way that cannot be ignored.
Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. [John 10:9 NLT]
However, it is obvious to us all that today many local church pastors have trouble saying that Jesus is the gate, the door to the life abundant. It is commonly not preached because the whole approach sounds a bit narrow-minded.
Most modern teachings simply avoid the issue by focusing on the go freely and find good pastures portion of this paragraph. In fact, I imagine that you have heard many sermons on the next verse:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. [John 10:10 NRSV]
The abundant life is a popular theme, and it is certainly the truth. However, it is a fine motivator but does not begin to cover the issues raised in Matthew 7:14 about the narrowness of the gate. Preaching verse ten while ignoring verse nine is not a good thing.
The post-modern church in America ignores the narrow gate
The church in my town has degenerated into a powerless religion which is assumed but inconsequential. No wonder the kids under forty ignore it. There is nothing there. Where is the power? Where is the love?
Where do you go to church and why?