“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.” (Luke 13:23-24)
Although this question may have been put forth to tempt Jesus, or to ensnare Him, I think that it would be safe to say that this is a good question; not for the sake of tempting or ensnaring the Son of the Living God, but as a question of personal interest. If there be few that be saved, would you be one of the few?
There are a lot of people in this world who truly believes that all roads lead to heaven; and this is not true. We cannot get to heaven on our good deeds. It does not matter how much money you donate to charity, or how much money you tithe at church – it will not get you into heaven – this will not save you!
Isaiah 64:6a, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…” Take notice to the word “righteousnesses”; notice the “es” at the end. This means that all the right things that one can do on a day-to-day basis are still “as filthy rags.”
So how does the individual become one of the few that be saved?
Jesus answers this question in the next verse:
“Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” (Luke 13:24)
The word “strive” means to struggle; literally, to compete for a prize; figuratively, to contend with an adversary; or generally, to endeavor to accomplish something. Synonyms are fight, labor fervently, strive.
Those who enter in at the strait gate must strive, fight, labor fervently, to enter in. But what is it that we have to fight against? There are three: the flesh, the world, and Satan:
The Flesh: I Corinthians 9:24-27:
“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain (to endeavor to accomplish something, labor fervently). (25) And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. (26) I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: (27) But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
The World: James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17:
“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4)
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1 John 2:15-17)
Satan: 1 Peter 5:8-9:
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (9) Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)
As we view these Scriptures, we see that there are three for-sure things that we have to strive against, compete for, contend with, and endeavor to accomplish, in order to be one of the few.
But yet, the question remains, where or what is this strait gate, and how do I enter in? And why will there be many who seek to enter in and will not be able? We will address these very important questions in our next devotion.