Enter ye in at the strait gate.
All truly valuable things cost much. Such a glorious privilege as the Christian’s, therefore, cannot be gotten without effort. To open the way, and to purchase for us the privilege of becoming children of God, the Son of God had to come from heaven in condescending love and give His own life. Jesus said, too, that any who would reach the glory of His kingdom must go by the same way of the cross by which He went. He said that he who “will save his life” that is, keep it from self-denial and sacrifice shall loose it;” and that only he who “will lose his life for my sake,” gives it out in devotion to God and to duty, “shall save it.”
In one of His parables Jesus speaks of salvation as a treasure hid in a field, and a man who learns of the treasure and its hiding-place sells all that he has and goes and buys the field. In another parable our Lord presents the same truth under the figure of a merchant seeking goodly pearls, who, finding one pearl of great price, sells all he has and buys it. We must, in a very deep sense, give up all we have to get Christ and the blessings that come with Him.
Here the truth is put in another way. There are two roads through this world, and two gates into the future world. One of these ways is broad and easy, with descending grade, leading to a wide gate. It is not hard to go on this way. The other road is strait, and leads to a narrow gate. To go this way one has to leave the crowd and go almost alone, and leave the broad, easy way, and go on a hard, rugged path, and enter by a gate too small to admit any bundles of worldliness, or self-righteousness, or any of the fashionable trappings of the old life. If we would get to heaven, we must make up our minds it can be only by this narrow way of self-denial. all the world is not flowing into heaven; the crowds are going somewhere else.