But when we have understood how each of the sins through which there is a way to Hades 5634 is a gate of Hades, we shall apprehend that the soul, which has “spot or wrinkle or any such thing,” 5635 and because of wickedness is neither holy nor blameless, is neither a rock upon which Christ builds, nor a church, nor part of a church which Christ builds upon the rock. But if any one wishes to put us 5636 to shame in regard to these things because of the great majority of those of the church who are thought to believe, it must be said to him not only “Many are called, but few chosen;” 5637 but also that which was said by the Saviour to those who come to Him, as it is recorded in Luke in these words, “Strive to enter in by the narrow door, for many, I say unto you, shall seek to enter in through the narrow door and shall not be able;” 5638 and also that which is written in the Gospel of Matthew thus, “For narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth unto life, and few be they that find it.” 5639 Now, if you attend to the saying, “Many, I say unto you, shall seek to enter in and shall not be able,” 5640 you will understand that this refers to those who boast that they are of the church, but live weakly and contrary to the word. Of those, then, who seek to enter in, those who are not able to enter will not be able to do so, because the gates of Hades prevail against them; but in the case of those against whom the gates of Hades will not prevail, those seeking to enter in will be strong, being able to do all things, in Christ Jesus, who strengtheneth them. 5641 And in like manner each one of those who are the authors of any evil opinion has become the architect of a certain gate of Hades; but those who co-operate with the teaching of the architect of such things are servants and stewards, who are the bond-servants of the evil doctrine which goes to build up impiety. And though the gates of Hades are many and almost innumerable, no gate of Hades will prevail against the rock or against the church which Christ builds upon it. Notwithstanding, these gates have a certain power by which they gain the mastery over some who do not resist and strive against them; but they are overcome by others who, because they do not turn aside from Him who said, “I am the door,” 5642 have rased from their soul all the gates of Hades. And this also we must know that as the gates of cities have each their own names, in the same way the gates of Hades might be named after the species of sins; so that one gate of Hades is called “fornication,” through which fornicators go, and another “denial,” through which the deniers of God go down into Hades. And likewise already each of the heterodox and of those who have begotten any “knowledge which is falsely so called,” 5643 has built a gate of Hades—Marcion one gate, and Basilides another, and Valentinus another.
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