Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. – Matthew 11:11 (AMP)
Do you know that the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ tells us that we as born-again believers are in the kingdom of heaven? (Ephesians 2:6) Yes! We’ve received Jesus as our Lord and Saviour which means that we have entered through the door (Jesus) and are now with Him in heaven (John 10:9). You now live in the new Kingdom of light. Colossians 1:13 says, “[The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.” Jesus made it possible for us to enter the Kingdom by dying for us on the cross. Before Jesus died on the cross, the people of old had prophesies about the kingdom, they looked forward to it but they were not in the kingdom.
Now in the light of all of this, I don’t know if you are familiar with those posters we used to get where it shows this narrow door, followed by a narrow way that leads to heaven and then next to it this wide door with its broad way, which leads to hell? I was taught that if you are a Christian you should keep on walking, very carefully, on this narrow road because broad is the way that leads to destruction. It looked so difficult to walk on this small road and they even taught us that you must just watch your every step otherwise you are walking on this broad evil highway, and you’ll miss heaven. Those who were not walking on this narrow road, in the illustrations, were being portrayed as living in all kinds of sin and they made it look as if it was so easy to walk on this highway to hell. This is the teaching that I grew up with and it brought so much condemnation and fear. You need to see Matthew 7 in the light of what Jesus has done on the cross.
If you look at the context of Matthew 7, Jesus was speaking about the law and the prophets (Matthew 7:12), you’ll realise that there is a certain road that leads to a door and not the other way around. In other words, before the cross, the road was narrow in order to get to the door and enter. They had to obey the law perfectly. Few entered, actually only ONE. Because of the fallen nature of mankind, no one was able to make it in their own effort by trying to obey the law, and therefore could never reach the door to enter through it into the kingdom of heaven. So, Jesus came and fulfilled the law on our behalf and therefore annulled the law as a means to get into the Kingdom. You can throw those posters away. It was impossible for people to enter the kingdom in their own strength and effort. There was therefore only one who could walk on the narrow way and get to the gate, and it was Jesus. He also became the gate/door, that now leads to another type of Highway. Isaiah 35:8, “And a highway shall be there, and a way; and it shall be called the Holy Way. The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for the redeemed; the wayfaring men, yes, the simple ones and fools, shall not err in it and lose their way.”
After the cross anyone today can enter the kingdom by simple faith in Jesus Christ.