In the seventh chapter of the book of Matthew, we are shown yet another engaging truth. In this parable, the Lord is referring to the “good and the bad fruits” as well as the many who will attempt to enter into His presence by way of the “wide gate”. All who seek the wide gate will find themselves having been led straight into destruction.
“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 there at: 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Mat 7:13-14)
Many will claim this verse is simply referring to believers and non-believers. That is to say, “Christians” and “non-Christians”. The Christian enters heaven by the straight gate and the narrow way (which is Christ), where the un-believing world tries to enter heaven by the wide gate and the broad way (spiritual gurus, religions and worldly philosophies that deny Christ, anti-Christs, etc.) But this is not the case.
We can know this passage in Matthew 7 is referring to the true followers of Christ, and those who falsely proclaim Christ for one reason of the other and who’s hearts are far removed from His true gospel message. We know this, because in the very next verse, it says:
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Mat 7:15-20)
If this wide gate whose participants produce bad fruit is referring only to those outside of the Christian faith, then why does the Lord tell us the false prophets will come to us in sheep’s clothing?
We find many references throughout the bible where sheep are not mentioned as animals nor as un-believers, but as those sheep who belong to God. It was the psalmist who said “the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” (Psa 23:1), which would mean the psalmist was referring to himself as a sheep whose Shephard is the Lord Himself.
In John 10:14 the Lord says, “I am the good shepherd, and I know my sheep”. Later in the same chapter of John the Lord reiterates this concept with even more clarity when he says, “I already told you,” Jesus replied, “but you did not believe. The works I do in My Father’s name testify on My behalf. 26But because you are not My sheep, you refuse to believe. 27My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me”. (Jhn 10:25-27)
Again, regarding His sheep, Jesus instructs Peter “If you love me, then feed my sheep” (Jhn 21:17).
These are not isolated passages. This theme of true believers being “His sheep” is continuous throughout the Lords teachings. So, knowing the context of the sheep in scripture, we can see Matthew 7:15 is showing us that among His sheep, we will see false prophets rise. The very people Jesus is telling us to beware of, are the false prophets masquerading as His people – His sheep.
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Let us also never forget that a “man of peace” will come in the end of days proclaiming world peace. But “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” (1 Ths 5:3)
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This obedience to the prosperity gospel is nothing more than a desire to gain wealth, in the name of Christ, without contributing good fruits of their own. This prosperity gospel is one of the grandest of heresies in the entire Christian world and is yet another one of the many bad fruits of the so-called Christian churches. (see chapter Who Forgot the Second Zero?)
We should know to avoid such teachings because it was an entole (commandment) of Jesus Christ: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal”. (Mat 6:19) These “Christian” pastors have laid up and abundance of such treasures for themselves and have received their reward in full.
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The Lord tells us there is a “narrow way” and there are “very few that find it”. I have to ask… if there are very few that find it, then why are there now greater than 2 billion professing Christians living in the world today? Even more, if Christianity is so “straight” as mentioned in Matthew 7:14, then why are there so many divisions among the people professing to be Christian?
Wikipedia claims there were 2.19 billion Christians [[i]] in the world as of the year 2010. A Pew Research Poll tells us there were 2.3 billion Christians [[ii]] or 32% of the earth’s population as of the year 2015. According to the Pew Research Center, Christians maintain the largest religious base on the planet. But how can that be? Either Jesus Christ was not revealing the truth when he gave this parable, or maybe, perhaps, if we can fathom such a concept with our worldly understanding, a great majority of these Christians are attempting to enter in through the wide gate… Which do you believe is correct? Brothers and sisters, far too many believers are attempting to enter in through the wide gate and the broadest of ways. That is to say, they are seeking to know and follow Christ by partaking in these many false doctrines that encompass modern Christianity.
You will not find Christ in a false Christianity – you will find a false Christ.
The false Christian doctrines of our day are very wide and very broad, leading to teachers offering earthly rewards, peace and prosperity.
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The way to life is one that at times will indeed cause earthly suffering, affliction and martyrdom as a consequence of speaking the truth in His Name. It has been this way since the days of the early Christian church, all the way up through the centuries, and even to this very day.
There are countless souls who have suffered throughout the ages, including the Jews and Israel. But their suffering was caused by a dis-obedience to the covenant God offered to them. They broke that covenant, turned away from God, and the covenant was withdrawn (Jer 31). They now seek an earthly messiah – an earthly king. Their sufferings are contrary to the trials Christians face. Christian suffering will be caused by obeying the teachings of Christ, and seeking His truth. And with that suffering for the truth, is the reward of eternal life. Paradise in a Kingdom that is not of this world.
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And much, much more… see the chapters page for more details.
To read the full chapter, please consider purchasing the book (click here) or request a free copy by emailing Philip directly at firstname.lastname@example.org