Tuesday, 19 July 2022
“Make every effort to enter through the narrow door.” -Luke 13:24
In today’s reading from Luke 13, a question was addressed to Jesus on if only a few would be saved (Vs 23). This was a subject of an ongoing debate among the Pharisees, but Jesus’ response to the question was very specific. Instead of quantifying the few that would be saved, Jesus draws attention to those who will be left out if we don’t diligently strive to enter! Jesus says, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” (Vs 24). This comment challenges us to assess our own lives as the LORD asks us, “Will you be the saved?”
Salvation is a personal choice –that each of us has to make individually. Jesus says in John 10:9, “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” Jesus is the only Way and it is only by faith in Him – believing in Jesus Christ as the blameless and blemishless Lamb of God who suffered for our sins, who died and rose again the third day, victorious over sin and death, that a person can truly be saved.
The Greek word for ‘strive’ used here is ‘agónizomai’ meaning to agonize, to contend or to endeavor with zeal. It does not imply entering the Kingdom of God by human efforts or works. The fallen man, irrespective of the extent of the good works he does, cannot be justified before a Holy and Righteous God. All our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment (Isaiah 64:6). Only by believing in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary can we be saved. Striving to enter through the narrow door refers to willfully overcoming disbelief and forsaking the weakness of the flesh, the world and temptations posed by the enemy, to repent of sin and respond in faith to Jesus Christ.
In contrasting the narrow gate to eternal life and the broad way to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14) we understand all the more, why it is hard to enter through the narrow door. The wide path to destruction offers many enticing options that a great many so easily fall victim to. The narrow path to God’s kingdom demands a complete surrender to the Lord, rejecting every desire of self will.
The Lord further reminds us that the invitation is for a limited time- once the door is shut, there is no chance for entry. As in the parable of the Ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), when the bridegroom arrived, only the five wise virgins who were ready and waiting entered and the door was shut. At the consummation of Christ’s kingdom, only those who have been saved, spiritually alive and eagerly awaiting the Lord’s return, will enter. As the five foolish virgins cried outside the door, many will seek to enter God’s kingdom when it is too late. No matter what great works you have done in the name of the Lord, if you have not believed on Him, you will be denied entry. Therefore let us be diligent to enter God’s rest, so that no one will fall, through following the example of disobedience (Hebrews 4:11).
Our choice will determine where we spend eternity. The time is drawing nearer when the door will be shut and man no longer can enter. Dear friend, if you have not yet surrendered your life to the Lord Jesus, will you receive His invitation today, believing in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and living a life of obedience to God? For those who have received the Lord Jesus, “Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:12)
So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him… (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)