This questions has been asked over the years but no satisfactory answer has been given. As I sat down to write this post I search through various articles and commentaries online to read what they have to say but I found non satisfactory. So I knew this post is timely.
This is the scripture and the only one that people use to conclude that more people will go to hell:
“Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matt. 7:13-14
The way most people understand the above scripture is that the road to heaven is narrow and very difficult to go through. And that the road to hell is wide open and easy to go through. Therefore, more people are in hell and will be in hell at the end of everything.
If the above is true it invariably means that:
• God failed in his plan to redeem man.
• Jesus failed despite all he suffered and died for.
• The Holy Spirit failed in his bid to convict the world of sin.
• You failed in your bid to preach the Gospel and make disciples of all nations.
• The word of God lied (Rev. 7:9).
If you think that Matt. 7:13-14 Means there’ll be more people in hell than in heaven then all the above statements are true. Do you agree? I don’t.
Over the years this scripture has been used to condemn, scare, terrorize and intimidate God’s beloved people. But ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. Let’s carefully consider other scriptures to see what truth Jesus was trying to pass.
Let’s look at another scripture that says something similar to the scripture we are contemplating.
“And Jesus looked round about, and said unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
And his disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again,and saith unto them,Children,how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle,than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
And they were astonished out of measure,saying among themselves,Who then can be saved?
And Jesus looking upon them saith,With men it is impossible,but with not with God: for with God all things are possible.” Mark 10:23-27
The above verses tells of a man who came to Jesus and asking what it takes to go to heaven and Jesus asked him to keep the law. He claimed he has been consistent in keeping the law. So Jesus wanted to show him that he was lying.
So Jesus asked him to sell all that he had and give to the poor and come follow him. He declined doing it. And by so doing he broke the very first law that says: “Thou shall have no other God before me” (Ex. 20:3). This man loved his money more than God. So Jesus proved to him that you claim to keep the law but you don’t.
Jesus then said, for rich men to enter heaven it’ll be like a Carmel entering the eye of a needle. We all know its impossible for a Carmel to enter the eye of a needle. So literally no rich man will go to heaven. What was Jesus really saying?
Was he saying rich people can’t go to heaven? Was he saying we should not all be rich so that we can easily access heaven? Of course NO! This was not the point he was only building an argument.
When the people heard this they were extremely amazed and asked
“Then who shall be saved?”
Or who shall be good enough to make heaven. Jesus’ reply is the key here:
“With men (that is with our own ability) it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible”.
So going to heaven by my power is difficult but with God’s power its easy.
The message Jesus was passing accross to them is that no one can go to heaven by keeping the law or its extremely difficult to be qualified for heaven by keeping the law. Under the law its was difficult to ‘make’ heaven but not now.
Did you notice that all the Old Covenant saints despite all their good works that Hebrews 11 chronicled they all could not go to heaven until Jesus shed his blood?
They kept the law the best they could, but the best of them was not good enough for heaven until Jesus’ blood was shed. So what qualifies us for heaven is Jesus and his blood not goodworks.
Good works is good but depending on it to enter heaven is delusion. Have you done good works to the point of keeping 613 laws daily (like the Jews did daily), entering into fiery furnace, lion dens? They did all this but the best they got was Abrahams’ bosom.
So back to our text. Jesus in that text was only quoting the obvious. Going to heaven by the law is difficult so only a handful (if any) can make it. None did not even Moses.
Under the law it was more easy to go to hell than heaven but today because of what Jesus has done. Heaven is the easiest place to go and hell is the hardest and most difficult place to go.
Today, the way to heaven is Jesus Christ not a narrow and rugged path. Remember what Jesus said:
“I am THE WAY,the truth and the life”.
If you believe in Jesus you have entered the way. On the cross he died with open hand spread out on both sides of the cross. Saying, come anyone my hands are open to welcome you any day. He said anyone that comes to him he will in no wise cast away.
Beloved, heaven is a gift not a reward for our good works. None of us can merit heaven with our good works. Jesus came to make things better and easier. That’s why he call all who labour and are heavily laden with religion to come to him and receive peace and rest. His yoke is easy and burden light(Matt. 11:28-30).
There will be more people in heaven anytime any day. Grace (Jesus) came to do what the law (Moses) could not do for us (Acts 13:39).
The law made going to heaven impossible like a Carmel going through the eye of a needle. It made the road to heaven narrow, rough and rugged but Jesus came to make it possible. What the law could not do Grace has done!
Heaven was difficult because non could perfectly keep all the laws and get himself qualified but Jesus came and perfectly kept the laws for us and qualified us for heaven.
and giving joyful thanks to the Father,who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. Col 1:12 NIV
Beloved, you’re now qualified by grace not works for heaven.
Kevin Ashwe is a Pastor, teacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is also a man power developer. He has been involved in training the work force of churches and ministries in Nigeria.
He is the husband of Deborah and senior pastor of WORDLife Assembly, Nigeria.
You can reach him through the channels below.