When someone asked Jesus if there would be many who are saved He did not answer the question directly, but said: “Strive to enter through the narrow gate.” Luke 13:24. From this we understand that those who are saved are the ones who have entered through the narrow gate. What then is this narrow gate? We can read this in Luke 14:26-33. Simply put, it is to give up everything of this world and to hate my own life in this world (see also John 12:25).
False prophets and the wide gate
Jesus also speaks about this narrow gate in Matthew 7:13-14. There He speaks of two gates and two ways: The narrow gate and the difficult way that leads to life, and the wide gate and broad way that leads to destruction. Many believe the broad way to be the world and those who walk upon it to be unbelievers. But it is clear that Jesus is addressing people who are seeking to enter the kingdom of Heaven: “Enter by the narrow gate,” He says. And in Matthew 7:15 He warns us to beware of false prophets.
The false prophets invite people to enter by the wide gate, where it is not necessary to give up everything in order to be saved. They would have you believe that it is possible to serve both God and mammon, but Jesus makes it very clear that this is not possible (Matthew 6:24), and so the end is destruction.
We need to take Jesus’ warning about false prophets seriously to heart, for the fact is that there have always been many false prophets, and few true. When Jehoshaphat wanted to inquire of the Lord whether they should go to battle or not, there were 400 false prophets and only one true prophet (2 Chronicles 18). And Paul testified “We are not, as so many, peddling the word of God.” 2 Corinthians 2:17. These peddlers are seeking their own gain, so it is important for them to make the gate wide and the way broad so they can get as many people as possible into their assemblies.
Be saved by entering the narrow gate
I must strive to enter the narrow gate, because according to my nature I would like to preserve my life in this world and still be a Christian. I must strive to keep Jesus’ commandments, because that will bring me to a true acknowledgement of how corrupt my life is, so I begin to hate it.
When I have gone through the narrow gate, there is only one thing I desire, that it is do God’s will and to please Him. I hate my own life in this world and I am finished with this world. It has nothing to offer me anymore and I want nothing of it. Then I can press forward on the narrow way, and say together with Paul: “One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14. When I have this attitude of mind then I can be sure that I am saved.