“gate.” The Greek word translated “gate” is pulē, (#4439 πύλη; pronounced 'poo-lay), and it means “gate,” and is used just as we use the English word “gate,” usually referring to entering a city, yard, courtyard, or some other type of wide area like a park. In contrast, the Greek word thura (#2374 θύρα) is “door,” and usually referred to the door of a more enclosed or defined area, such as a house or a room. Thus, Jesus called himself the “door” of the sheepfold (see commentary on John 10:1, “door”). The fact that Matthew 7:13 says that it is a gate that leads to death and a gate that leads to life helps make the point that life and death are wide areas that can accommodate many people. Every person who has ever lived will enter either the wide gate to their death or the narrow gate to everlasting life.
In this teaching, the “road” and the “gate” are the figure of speech hypocatastasis (see commentary on Rev. 20:2). They illustrate in a way that is easy to understand that not many people would make the effort to live the lifestyle that results in everlasting life, while lots of people will live an undisciplined life which results in everlasting death. Thankfully, now, in the Administration of Grace, salvation is by faith alone based on Jesus’ accomplished work, and now, once a person is saved, that salvation is permanent.
[For more information on the permanence of salvation that was made available due to the work of Christ, see Appendix 1, “The Permanence of Christian Salvation.”]