Heaven. Eternal life. The Promised Land. The Kingdom of God. Whatever you call it, it is the promised destination that every Christian has latched onto since accepting Christ as their Savior. It’s what drives us onward when everything within us wants to drop out of the race and call it quits. It’s the prize awaiting every born-again believer who crosses the finish line.

Some say it’s awfully hard to get there. Too many rules to follow. Too much ‘religion’ they say. All those laws and commandments to try and live by. Some say it’s incredibly easy to get there. Just be the best “you” you can be. Treat people right, give to the poor, be a doer of good works they say.

Since eternity is forever, and forever is a very long time, and it’s for certain none of us can afford to get this wrong, maybe it’s best to go the official ‘guide’ on what it takes to make Heaven our eternal home.

13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is constricted that leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7:13-14 NASB

Have you ever given thought to just how ‘narrow’ the gate is? How ‘constricted’ is this way that leads to eternal life anyway? And did Jesus really just say that there would be “few” who would find it?

These are important questions, especially given the ‘come as you are, stay as you are’ mentality so prevalent in our churches today. The miracle of transformation after regeneration seems to be lost on this present-day church. That said, the plain truth is that God’s word has been established for all time. It cannot be altered to ‘fit the times’. He will not make it more palatable for people today by removing the tough parts, but instead He still insists that man submit to His word as it is written.

Which brings me back to the thought of the straight and narrow way that Jesus spoke about. To get a clearer insight into how straight and narrow this way is, the apostle Paul had this to say about it:

19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: sexual immorality, impurity, indecent behavior, 20 idolatry, witchcraft, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21 NASB emphasis mine

Quite a list, don’t you think? Paul said that if you practice these things, you will NOT inherit the kingdom of God. In other words, even though we may somehow manage to justify them in our own minds, at the end of this life we will NOT inherit the kingdom of God.

For the gate is narrow and the way is constricted that leads to life, and there are few who find it“. Personally, I find that very sobering. I also find it enlightening because it is crystal clear. It leaves no doubt, no room for error or confusion. Practice the things that Paul mentioned, and you will not inherit the kingdom of God. End of story.

Now, for the million-dollar question: how do I avoid those things that will keep me from inheriting the kingdom of God? I’m glad you asked! In this same chapter of Galatians, Paul explains how to avoid these things.16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. Desire the things of God more than the pleasures of sin. Be a lover of God, not of this world. Seek to bring honor to God in all that you do.

The way is indeed straight and narrow. It has to be, because the price that was paid for your entrance to Heaven was too great for you to pay. So great in fact, that Jesus had to pay it for you. You will never get there on your own, or by doing enough good deeds. His righteousness is your ticket. His blood opened the door for you to be able to inherit the kingdom of God.

I’m thankful for that straight and narrow way. How about you?