“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)
In our first devotion in this series, ” One of the Few,” we asked the question: If there be few that be saved, would you be one of the few?
We talked about the belief by some that all roads lead to heaven; which is not a true statement. We also learned that our good works will not get us into heaven either. When the question was asked “Lord, are there few that be saved?” Jesus’ response to all about Him was, “Strive” (“Strive” – to struggle; literally, to compete for a prize; figuratively, to contend with an adversary; or generally, to endeavor to accomplish something; fight, labor fervently, strive) to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.”
We are going to address two important questions in this devotion:
- Where or what is the strait gate?
- Why will there be many who seek to enter in and will not be able?
Question number one: Where or what is the strait gate?
John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (See Isaiah 53.)
It is because of the finished Work of Christ on the Cross at Mount Calvary that a man is able to enter in at the strait gate, or be born again.
John 3:3: “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see (to perceive, understand) the kingdom of God.”
Jesus is talking to Nicodemus about the Kingdom of God and being born-again as a means of entering into the Kingdom of God (John 3:1-21).
Just as all roads do not lead to Rome; all roads do not lead to heaven. There is only one way. John 14:6: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Jesus is the only Way unto the Father. There is no other way.
Do you want to be one of the few that be saved? Well, here is your ticket: Romans 10:9, 10, 13:
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation… (13) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
It’s just that simple. You cannot sign some church roll book, or do good deeds to be saved. You have to confess Jesus.
Now, let’s deal with our second question: Why will there be many who seek to enter in and will not be able?
There are some who feel that their good deeds here on earth will get them into heaven. There are some who believe that God is so loving that He will not send anyone to hell. And there are those who have a religion, but no relationship with God.
Matthew 7:21-23: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (22) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? (23) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (religion and no relationship = I never knew you).”
Here is another reason why many will not enter through the strait gate:
Matthew 15:8: “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.”
We can go to church, speak the church language, and even shake the Pastor’s hand. But if our heart is not right, we still have missed the boat. We cannot come to God on our own term, or what we feel God would accept. We have to come to God on His terms, or not at all. (See Genesis 4:3-5).
One other reason why many will not enter into the Kingdom of God is because of a decline of invitation, making all kinds of excuses. In Luke 14:15-24, a “certain man” invited those that were bidden to his great supper. Those who had special invitation declined for their own personal reasons. One of the invited guests declined because he had bought a piece of ground (the love of material things). The second guest declined because he had bought five yoke of oxen (jobs, occupation, business). And the other said, I have married a wife (family ties, social relationships). These all made excuses as to why they could not come to the great supper.
Now in this parable it is speaking of the Nation of Israel. But now that Grace has been extended to all men, Jew and Gentile alike fit into this Parable. The “certain man” is God, the servant is Jesus Christ, and in this Parable, the invitation is extended to all. In conclusion, what is your excuse, or for what reason will you not be able to enter in the Strait Gate?