By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Speaking of Gates

We often speak of gates, the narrow gate to salvation, the wide gate to hell. But we should be very clear that God himself does not create narrow gates to salvation. As far as the God of love and mercy is concerned, the gate who is Jesus is very, very broad, for the will of God is the salvation of all, the all for whom Jesus died.

But, in the reality and experience of this world, there is indeed a narrow gate to salvation and a broader, easily entered gate to hell. What accounts for the dimensions of these two gates in our experience?

We do. The dimensions of the gate to salvation are in inverse proportion to the egotism in our hearts. The more egotism, the narrower the gate to salvation. The less egotism, and the gate to salvation widens.

The dimensions of the gate to hell are in direct proportion to the egotism in our hearts. The more egotism, the broader the gate to hell. The less egotism, the gate to hell is not so wide.

Given our endemic egotism, the gate to hell is indeed broad. Given our endemic egotism, the gate to salvation is indeed narrow.

We have to be careful about how we speak about the narrow gate to salvation and the broad gate to hell so that we avoid making God out to be a grudging, adversarial taskmaster (a role many of us have no problem playing). As far as God is concerned, the doors are wide open.

We are the ones who unnecessarily narrow the gate to salvation. The rich man is like the camel facing the eye of the needle because the rich man is the type of the arrogant and the selfish enamored with himself. The humble are not so encumbered.


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