The Narrow Gate: Why does God need, not want, a Narrow Gate?
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:13-14
“And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’ In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out. And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God.” Luke 13:23-29
Gates are important. In the time of the Israelites, gates were a part of the wall that kept bandits, thieves, and general miscreants out of the city. They keep those who have shown, they are not interested in keeping the laws of Jerusalem, or any city with a wall around it, and they are not allowed in. This also comes into play with us. In Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend’s book, Boundaries, they talk about a metaphysical gate that we watch over. We are careful to let people in that are safe, people that we can trust, and keep out those that are harmful and hurtful.
In the same way, God has a narrow gate, because he has to.
“You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48
God is perfect. He has to be; if he weren’t, he would cease to be God. He would be lesser, he would be constantly using his power to fix mistakes he made and wouldn’t be someone you could trust because he was flawed. Perfection is an important thing, because God is perfect, he has to live in a perfect place- Heaven. But he can’t let anyone in, save himself, three in one, and anything else perfect, his angels. When Satan decided to leave, any angels that sided with him had to leave too, because of God’s perfection.
In giving us free will, God also had to make a gate. He called one guy and his family, Abraham, had them build out a community, and then eventually, he gave them codes and laws and established a covenant with that community of people. When that community as individuals would sin, unlike the surrounding communities that would kill children by burning them alive or chopping them up, God said, you have to sacrifice the things your labor produces. For the big mistakes, bigger animals were needed. The idea being that there was, “propitiation” and “restitution” through sacrifice and contrition of the heart.
However, as we start to see in Job, there began to be a problem: