In this post, we are going to discuss the 7 characteristics of the narrow way which makes it so narrow and why so few people will find it as our Lord Jesus Chris tells us in Matthews 7:13,14.
Jesus Christ brought about the subject of the narrow way and the broad way when He said to His disciples in Luke 13:24 that they must strive to enter into the straight and narrow gate that leads to life.
He further said in the above bible verse in the New Testament that only a few will find this narrow gate and enter it as many are in the broad way that leads to destruction as they love darkness rather than light (John 3:19).
Now, you need to understand that the reason why few are on the narrow way that leads to eternal life is varied. Many are not on the narrow gate because of the love of sin in their hearts.
You need to understand that you can’t be on the narrow path if sin is present in your life as it’s too narrow to accommodate the baggage of sin you have. It’s why you need to forsake your sinful lifestyle if you want to be on this path and make heaven in the end.
With that said, let’s look at the 7 major characteristics of the narrow way that makes it so narrow in the first place and why so few will inevitably find it in the end.
7 Characteristics Of The Narrow Path.
Below are the 7 characteristics of the narrow path of righteousness that leads to life which makes it different from the broad way that leads to eternal destruction and ruin.
- Full Of Self-Denial.
- Full Of Hardships.
- Comes With Suffering.
- Full Of Righteousness.
- Characterized By Divine Love.
- Separation From The World.
- Leads To Eternal Life.
1. Full Of Self-Denial.
One of the characteristics of the narrow way that clearly differentiates it from the broad and wide gate that leads to destruction is it’s full of self-denial. If you are unwilling to deny self, then you can’t be on this narrow path that leads to eternal life.
Jesus Christ tells us in Luke 9:23 that if we desire to come after Him we must deny ourselves to take our crosses daily and follow Him. Failure to do that means we can’t be His disciples. Sadly, many so-called Christians are unwilling to do this.
You need to understand if you are a true believer; self-denial is just part of your Christian life or Christian living. Implying that you just can’t do what you want to do or what your flesh pleases if you are to make heaven in the end.
Failure to deny self by many people including many so-called believers is the reason why many are on the broad way that leads to destruction as they think they can just do what they feel like doing which isn’t what the narrow gate is all about.
Many people professing the Christian faith are not living a life of self-denial as the love of self in them is too much to let them do that. However, you need to understand that you can’t serve self and Christ simultaneously. It’s either one or the other.
2. Full Of Hardships.
Another trait that differentiates the narrow gate from the wide gate that is broad is the former comes with hardships that need to be endured (Acts 14:22). While the latter is full of ease and without hardships that come with being a Christian.
Jesus Christ clearly tells us in John 16:33 that in this world, we will have tribulations and all manner of hardships that comes with choosing to be His follower and disciple.
These hardships can range from persecutions, trials of faith, suffering, etc. that come with you identifying yourself with Christ Jesus. The unwillingness to endure hardships for Christ’s sake is the reason why many can’t be on this narrow path that leads to life.
If you are a true Christian, just know that you won’t have it easy in this present evil world you live in. Hardships are just part of the narrow way you must endure as a soldier of Christ to enter heaven.
I can promise you if you endure the hardships that are found on the narrow road that leads to life, you will be glad you endured them for Christ’s sake when the glory that awaits you in heaven will be finally revealed to you beyond the grave when you finish your race.
3. Comes With Suffering.
The third characteristic of the narrow way that makes it so narrow and why so few people are on it is that it comes with suffering and inconveniences that our sinful flesh hates. Christianity isn’t a life of ease as most think that everything will be easy.
If you profess to be a true Christian who’s heaven-bound, just know that you must suffer for Christ’s sake. Otherwise, if you are unwilling to do that, dear, forget about finally being with Christ Jesus in heaven and sharing His glory.
The apostle Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 2:12 that if we joyfully suffer with Christ for our Christian faith, we will share His glory in heaven when all is said and done. Implying that if you are on the narrow gate, you must be willing to suffer for Christ’s sake.
Moreover, if you are unwilling to suffer for Christ’s sake or your faith, then, the broad road is where you need to be that comes with temporary comforts that please the flesh. But, there is a big price to pay for these temporary comforts it comes with.
You need to understand that as the apostle Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 3:12, we will suffer persecution if we choose to live godly in Christ Jesus just as the early Christians did. Jesus Christ suffered for you, so why must you not suffer for him, too?
4. Full Of Righteousness.
Another thing that differentiates the narrow path from the broad road, which is wide and leads to destruction, is the former is characterized by holiness and righteousness. While the latter is filled with sin and all manner of unrighteousness you can think of.
You need to understand that without Christ’s imputed righteousness and holiness in your life, you can’t be on this narrow road and most importantly enter heaven.
God’s word tells us in Leviticus 20:26 in the Old Testament that we must be holy just as He’s holy. In short, if you are on the narrow way, you are going to live a life characterized by holiness and righteousness unspotted by sin.
However, if you are on the broad way, you will live a life of sin void of Christ’s imputed righteousness in you that one obtains at salvation after experiencing the new birth experience.
Holiness is what will enable you to enter heaven. Without it, you won’t see the Lord and be with Him in heaven for all eternity as Hebrews 12:14 tells us. Instead, you will have to spend eternity in hell if you are not righteous as sin can’t enter heaven.
5. Characterized By Divine Love.
The narrow road that leads to life is also characterized by divine love that is selfless, sacrificial, patient, and longsuffering 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 talks about.
Implying that if you are on the narrow path, you will be filled with the selfless love of Christ for others. As a result of this selfless love, it is why you will be able to sacrificially serve or lay down your life for others without any selfish motives.
When you truly love others the way Jesus Christ expects you to as we are told in John 13:34, you will also find it easy to forgive others who have done you wrong. This means that you won’t hold any grudges against those who have hurt you.
If you hold grudges and hate those who have offended you, it means you are a murderer as 1 John 3:15 tells us and that you have no eternal life in you. People who are on the narrow way never hold grudges against others, no matter the offense.
This divine love found on the narrow path also extends to loving God with all our hearts as we are commanded in Mark 12:30. Implying that if you love God, you will keep His commandments and won’t live a life of sin as it hurts Him.
6. Separation From The World.
If you are on the narrow road, you will also be totally separated from the world and its systems. Implying that you won’t look like the people of the world be it in the way you dress or how you conduct yourself.
You need to understand that worldliness has no place in your life if you are on the straight and narrow gate. Only if you are on the broad and wide road will you embrace worldliness in your life.
Sadly, many people who claim to be Christians are worldly as the love of the world is still in their hearts explaining what they desire to dress or look like the people of the world.
God’s word in 1 John 2:15-17 tells us not to love the world nor the things that are therein. If you do so, the love of the Father isn’t in you yet and you are still on the broad way where worldliness is permitted.
However, if you claim to be a true believer who’s not on the broad path leading many to destruction, you will have nothing to do with this evil world, its dressing, fashions, makeup, and lifestyle as you are not of this world (John 17:16).
7. Leads To Eternal Life.
Last but not least, eternal life is perhaps the most important characteristic of the narrow way that differentiates it from the wide road leading many to eternal death and destruction.
As we saw earlier in Matthews 7:14, the narrow gate is straight and leads to eternal life. Implying that if you are on this path, you will be genuinely saved and have eternal life in you after accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and savior.
Jesus Christ tells us in John 6:47 that anyone who believes in Him for their salvation and what He did on the cross will have eternal life. Those who don’t believe in Him have no life in them but God’s wrath abides in them.
It, therefore, follows if you are on this narrow road, you will be truly saved with a definite salvation experience which results in the new birth and new nature making you a new creation in Christ Jesus as 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us who longer desires to sin.
Moreover, if you are on the broad way characterized by sin, you won’t have eternal life and will end up in hell where you will spend eternity with the devil, his angels, and all unsaved souls who have ever lived on this earth since the beginning of time.
I hope the above 7 characteristics of the narrow way have finally helped understand what the narrow way is all about and what is required of you to be in it. In closing, if this post has been beneficial to you, let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to share before you leave. Stay blessed and drift not from the narrow path.
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