Luke 13:23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.
30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.
We need to continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. We need to pray for the born again Christians in Israel. They need comfort and boldness to be willing to help others to see the seriousness of life. Apparently there were a couple of hundred people killed at a wild party being held right near the Gaza border. The Jews were taunting God and He responded in a way that shocked many. God is a God of love, but He is also a righteous God. We know He brought the Assyrians to invade the northern tribes in the Bible. He also brought Babylon to invade the south. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah, Ezekiel and a few others were true believers in God. They ended up in captivity, but their captors were not as brutal as Hamas is. There were many Jews that were slaughtered in those wars as well, but the captives we read of were taken as a treasure to be used to enhance their captor’s kingdom.
The Israeli government is still trusting in their weapons to win this latest conflict. They are finding that their enemies have much more sophisticated weapons now than they expected them to have. Israel may win this latest round, but it will not settle the hatred that the Arabs and others have for the Jews. That will continue until the Lord Jesus Christ brings peace to the hearts of people.
In our text, we read of another time when Jesus was reminding the people of the importance of true faith in God.
In verse 23 we read that one person came to Jesus and asked if there are few that will be saved? There are some people who wish that a certain person would be sent to Hell at death. However, most people want others to end up safe and at rest.
Recently, another relative of ours died. He was living in sin with another woman and did not have any interest in the truth. Apparently, he suffered much during the last year of his life. After his death, the comment was made that at least he is not suffering any more. That is only true if he was saved, but from what we heard, there was nothing in his life to indicate that he was saved. I sent a comment to his funeral announcement page, but it has not been accepted. I put some Bible verses in there to help those left behind to consider the need to know the Lord. Whoever is in charge of posting the comments seems to have decided that those verses and comments were not “suitable”. It is a shame that people are just not interested in knowing the truth and dealing with the facts.
In verse 24 Jesus gave those with Him the truth. He reminded them and us that we all choose our path in life. Every person is born a lost sinner. All are headed for hell. The hope of man is to listen to the truth and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation. Jesus stated that each person must “strive” to enter in at the strait gate. The Greek word translated as “strive” means to “endeavour to accomplish something.”
We have noted before that the Holy Spirit is working in every person’s heart to show them their need to be saved. It is up to each individual to listen to the work of God in their heart. Jesus was speaking to the people in our text. The disciples/apostles, were given the ministry of speaking the Word of God to the people later on. Some of them were chosen to write the final books of the New Testament. Since the death of the apostles, and even prior to that, other saved people also taught the Word of God. Today, those who are saved need to be involved in talking to others and seeking to encourage them to know the true God.
The person that listens to the work of the Holy Spirit in their hearts, will be drawn to the faithful preaching of the Word of God. They will be endeavouring to accomplish the satisfying of the hunger in their soul.
Jesus told the people to listen to the need of their soul. He warned them that many would seek to enter, but would not be able to. The reason for that is that they would not seek to enter the proper way.
Jesus gave the illustration of the master of the house. The master is in charge of the house. He locks the door and he opens the door. Thieves might try to break in and steal, but in relation to our text, no thief will steal their way into heaven. God wants all to be saved, but there is only one way of salvation.
It is important to understand that nobody is going to tell God what the conditions of salvation should be. God has declared the way of salvation and He has repeated that over and over again in the Bible. He has made it abundantly clear that He is God. He has also declared that His way of salvation is loving and right. He is the Creator God and no one can argue with Him. Since man is born a lost sinner, his natural way of thinking is distorted. He does not think in a right way. His heart needs to be changed before he can think correctly.
God works in the heart of each lost person to help the person to see the need to have their heart changed.
In verse 25 and following Jesus warned of the danger of not taking His Word seriously. He warned of those who would be close to the master but not with the master. They would hear the Word and see the good work of God in the hearts and lives of others, but they would shrug it off for themselves.
In verse 27 we read that the master of the house would send these people away. He would describe them as “workers of iniquity”. There are thousands of workers of iniquity today.
I was asked about a site on the internet yesterday. It is one of many sites that claims to be promoting peace with Israel. The site is supposed to be a “Christian” site. The speaker was addressing the attacks that just took place. He never once mentioned the need of people being saved. He never warned about the evils of the partying that was taking place and the vulnerability of the people there because they were godless and involved in debauchery. Everything the man said suggested he was a “do gooder” but that is all.
Those who are saved need to be in prayer for the Jews in Israel and elsewhere. We have seen demonstrations in our own country in favour of Hamas. This is definitely hatred, but the police have not arrested anyone. The P.M. has not spoken out against this evil. There is darkness in our country as we have never seen before.
Jesus warned that there will be many who will assume they are good people and they will even assume they were advancing the cause of Christ, but Jesus stated that the master would reject them. They would be cast out. In verse 28 Jesus warned of the dire consequences of this rebellious, careless lifestyle. Rather than finding a place of rest at death, these “do gooders” would find themselves in hell and in torment.
Jesus was not responding as Hamas or their many supporters. He was not cheering on the murder of people. He was not relishing in the torment that people will face. He was stating the facts and warning the listeners not to be careless about the facts.
We have mentioned many times that the Word of God is truth. We have also made it clear that the King James Bible is the Word of God for the English speaking world. A person can argue that all they want. The facts are the facts. Rather than listen to those who want to promote a lie, “strive to enter at the strait gate”. Don’t try to twist the facts to justify disobedience. Submit to the truth and know God’s peace and blessing.
Jesus gave these words to help those present with Him, and those who would come afterwards of the importance of the facts. The natural man wants religion. He wants to feel good about himself. Many seek some form of religion and they want some type of rituals in their life. They might even claim they are satisfied with that.
As I have observed in my life time, there are many that are caught up in religion. The religion they followed years ago is no longer there today. It has been changed. The music standards have changed. The standards of modesty have changed. Even the version of the Bible has changed. What existed as religion years ago cannot be identified in most churches of today. What they had then was deficient, but it is much worse today.
The illustration of the frog in the water if very true. The devil knows how to make changes in a very subtle manner. He can bring many people along with his method of doing things. If we look at the Bible, we see a God Who never changes. Thus true religion today should still be the same as it was in Bible times. The central factor in true religion should be the Word of God. The Lord Jesus Christ is the central Person in the Bible. His salvation still changes His followers from the inside out. The change is wonderful and it is all encompassing. It is a clear work of God.
Each person is given the opportunity to know the truth and to follow the truth. What are you following today?