Can I use 24 gauge speaker cable?

I’ve been trying to google this but I only get vague answers.
I want to know if I can use 24 gauge cable as speaker cable. And if not: why not?
Usual answers are “no, you should use xx gauge”, but I’m looking for why is that? Will the speakers of the amp go off in flames if the resistance is too high? I don’t even get that because the resistance isn’t even that much of a difference between speaker cable sizes, compared to the speakers resistance.

I’m talking about ca 16ft / 5m distance between amp and speaker. By the way should that measure 16 ft or double (32ft because one cable is plus and the other minus)?
@jsd52756 This is exactly my thinking. I'm a contractor and I know if you are going to run any kind of power equipment over any distance from the power source you want to have a heavier gauge extension cord. If you don't you'll not only not have enough power you will burn out your saw or whatever it is in a short period of time. A lighter cord will get much warmer as well. I can only imagine the possible damage to both speaker and amp over several years.
If you're using 24AWG ethernet cable there are 8 wires, using 4 wires each connection you have an effective AWG of 18. Should be OK with 3 watt amp. I made cables from ethernet wire but I used two and twisted all 8 for each connection then put them through a fabric sleeve for looks. 
When I saw this discussion come up on my email, I thought great, let's see how thoroughly confusing some of these responses are going to be.  Well, I haven't been disappointed.  Assuming your question is a serious, although many of these guys are correct in most ways, you best most useful is probably from caykol, above.  Just follow his advice and any others of a similar nature and you will do just fine.  As an example, a number of years ago, I moved into a new place and found that my old bedroom set up would not work in the new bedroom, so I went to my local HD store and bought 100 ft of 14 ga stranded cable, cut one the required 10 feet and the other had to be run out to about 20 ft.  At first I was worried that the difference in cable length would create an unbalance in the sound of my two speakers, but guess what,  I had a balance control, so after a couple of adjustments it worked just fine.  My main system, on the other hand, that only has one chair, is another matter.  Hope this helps
@dadork -
@williewonka Excellent response and explanation. I’ve bought cheap wire before and have upgraded to something much better but have never really understood most of the aspects you describe.
Many thanks for the kind words :-)

I actually make my own cables from the ground up because I am frugal and like you, do not have the thousands of dollars to spend on, as some would put it, "high price jewelery"

My speaker cables currently cost around $400 for a 10 ft pair to build and are preferred to top of the line cables from companies like Nordost and InAkustik i.e. by others that have owned those cables.

If you are interested to read more on them - take a look of this thread

It goes into a lot more detail on these cables and how to build them.

BTW - with DIY - you can elect to use whatever grade wire you like
- my early prototypes used household Romex and telephone wire to prove the concept
- the latest use more advanced/quality wires to achieve superb sound reproduction

I have spent the last 6 years delving into the science of cables and developing the Helix geometry for Speaker, interconnect and power cables.

The improvements due to wire type and insulation used is the latest development and was assisted by others from several countries that have tried the Helix geometry with many different wires.

Regards - Steve
@orgillian - WRT
Better yet, if you can borrow several different manufacturer’s speaker cables instead of raw wire, compare those as well. That way, instead of relying on someone’s opinion of what you can or cannot hear, you’ll know...
Perhaps the best advice on this thread to date !

It is EXACTLY how I started my cable journey - I trusted MY EARS !

Then my inquisitive nature got the best of me and the rest is history :-)

Regards - Steve