By Rev. Dalton Lilly
I love gates. They are fascinating to me. In the world around us gates are everywhere. Some are wide, some narrow, some tall and some short. They come in every style and shape. Some are rickety and made of wood and some stronger and made of steel. Some are beautiful and some are not so attractive.
Gates do two things. They allow people or things entrance to spaces, but they also keep people or things out of protected spaces. In our yard we have a fenced garden with a small gate that leads into it. That simple little picket gate covered with flowers and vines allows me special access to tend my garden. That same small gate is enough to keep out deer and other critters that would also love to have access to our precious plants. Our garden gate is small but very useful.
Did you know that God is also very interested in gates? He has created a few gates of His own. In Revelation 21:10-12, the Bible tells us that the Apostle John saw a mighty city coming down from heaven with foundations made of precious stone, high walls and twelve beautiful gates, and twelve beautiful angels, one at each gate. As I think about that word picture, I am really looking forward to seeing God’s gates with my own eyes and walking through them one day soon.
But there is also another interesting mention of a spiritual gate in Matthew 7:14. Jesus said to His disciples, “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, and there are few who find it.”
When I consider these words of Jesus it stirs my heart to think that He cared and loved us enough to warn us about these two contrasting gates. He makes it clear that there are two roads in life which lead to two separate distinctive and real places with real gates. One road will lead us to eternal life and the gates of heaven. The other road which is compared to a superhighway will lead us to death and destruction with only separation and torment at its end.
The spiritual road that leads us to eternal life begins with repentance. We have to turn from our sin in life and admit we are on the road that leads to destruction. Romans 3:23 “We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” In Romans 6:23 we see, “The wage of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.” What a wonderful proclamation, to know the truth about ourselves as humans and even to understand what God has done to fix us and our sin dilemma.
The good news is that no matter who we are today in this lost and confusing world, we have hope! Hope because there is a place that has been prepared for those who desire God and choose His goodness and mercy. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever would believe upon Him would not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
I am thankful today that heaven is for real. I am thankful for the gates to heaven and the Lord Jesus who is the only one who can save us and lead us there. I hope and pray that you will turn to God today and follow the narrow road set by Jesus. He is the only way to eternal life. Choose the narrow gate today. Jesus, King of Kings is coming back soon. Will you be ready to meet Him when He comes?
Rev. Dalton Lilly, Narrow Road Ministries, Fredericksburg, VA.
~~Photo credits: Deborah Lilly