Chapter 5, Part 1
The majority of commentators and expositors view Matthew 7:13 and 14 as truths of the gospel message. Years ago. there was a poster entitled "Broad and Narrow Ways" published by Shanghai Guangxuehui. It shows a narrow way that leads upwards to a beautiful golden city and a broad way that leads downwards to a horrible lake of fire. This poster was widely used by missionaries in China. This kind of interpretation of the bible is mostly due to the carelessness of the reader. There is a principle in Bible study which is often ignored. When one reads the Bible, one must regard the verses as brand new or as if one has never seen them before. One must ignore all traditional interpretations or any previous mind-set which tends to influence one's thinking. Then it will be easy to receive new enlightenment from the Lord and see the reality of God's word. In reading these two verses, most people pay attention only to the contrast between the "wide gate" and "narrow gate" and ignore the opening word "ye". Consequently, they all missed their meaning! What then does ''ye" refer to? By reading Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7 carefully, it is quite easy to discover that they are the Constitution of the Kingdom of Heaven. They are proclamations to the citizens of the Kingdom. This ''ye" refers to people who are addressed in the verse "for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven". They are also the "salt of the earth" and "light of the world". God is their "Father, who art in Heaven". In addition, they are to be perfect as their heavenly Father is perfect. They need to know how to first pray, how to fast and know why they are to seek His Kingdom and His righteousness. The Lord has also promised them as long as they ask, (continuously in the original language), it will be given to them. And if they seek (continuously), they shall find! In particular, at the beginning of the Constitution, it is clearly stated: "His disciples came to Him and opening His mouth, He began to teach them." So, "ye" refers to all those who follow the Master, i.e., those who desire to be disciples and train themselves to be members of the Kingdom personnel.
In addition, at the end of the Constitution, it is further stated that these people can prophesy, cast out demons and perform many miracles! But because they practice lawlessness (the original meaning of "wicked"), they were not acknowledged by the Lord and are not qualified to be Kingdom personnel. Consequently, they have no part in the Kingdom of Inheritance!
Some may ask if they are not qualified to be Kingdom personnel and were not acknowledged by the Lord, why were they able to prophesy, cast out demons and perform many miracles? This certainly is a problem! The immoral lives of some preachers in their later years may have something to do with the ignorance of this truth. For a normal preacher, they should be called by God, sent by God and also have heavenly abilities (gifts). In other words, he should have the position granted by the Lord. Since God is faithful, His gifts and calling are irrevocable (Rom. 11:29). He will not take back the position He granted to a person because he has a flawed character. He respects what He has granted and even though the preacher has a poor spiritual life, for the sake of His name or the church, He will make his work bear fruit. Unfortunately, some preachers think that despite their sinning (greedy for money, lust and fame), their work is blessed, so God must be generous and it is okay to commit some sins. If not, how would God be with his work? Once this happens, Satan will enter into their heart as in Judas' case. Some have so much lust that they pride themselves in captivating weak women. Some are so greedy for money that they rob people's money under the guise of various church projects. Some are after fame and would do anything to achieve it. Some are after degrees and would try to acquire them in the expense of integrity of character! They come in all sorts of colors and shapes! They do not know that the work and the character of the worker are independent entities. Neither do they know the Lord is Lord because He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. It is frightening to see them play with fire! May God have mercy on them! ln summary, it does not matter how blessed is one's ministry, if the person is lawless, when Christ returns, all that he will receive is "Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness"! May God be gracious to us! If we are in this boat, let us repent now before it is too late. But if we are not, let these words be an encouragement.