Matthew 7:13 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:
So, says Christ, is the path to heaven. It is narrow. It is not “the great highway” that people tread. Few go there. Here and there one may be seen – traveling in solitude and singularity.
The way to death, on the other hand, is broad. Multitudes are in it. It is the great highway in which people go. They fall into it easily and without effort, and go without thought. If they wish to leave that and go by a narrow gate to the city, it would require effort and thought. So, says Christ, “diligence” is needed to enter life. See Luke 13:24. None go of course. All must strive, to obtain it; and so narrow, unfrequented, and solitary is it, that few find it. This sentiment has been beautifully versified by Watts:
“Broad is the road that leads to death,
And thousands walk together there;
But wisdom shows a narrower path,
With here and there a traveler.”
The gate being so strait and the way so narrow, it is not strange that there are but few that find it, and choose it.
Many pass it by, through carelessness; they will not be at the pains to find it; they are well as they are, and see no need to change their way.
Others look upon it, but shun it; they like not to be so limited and restrained.
Those that are going to heaven are but few, compared to those that are going to hell; a remnant, a little flock, like the grape-gleanings of the vintage; as the eight that were saved in the ark, 1 Pt. 3:20.
The great concern and duty of every one of us, in consideration of all this; Enter ye in at the strait gate. The matter is fairly stated; life and death, good and evil, are set before us; both the ways, and both the ends: now let the matter be taken entire, and considered impartially, and then choose you this day which you will walk in; …
No man, in his wits, would choose to go to the gallows, because it is a smooth, pleasant way to it, nor refuse the offer of a palace and a throne, because it is a rough, dirty way to it; yet such absurdities as these are men guilty of, in the concerns of their souls.
Delay not, therefore; deliberate not any longer, but enter ye in at the strait gate;