Sobering Thoughts 4

Luke 13:24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.

Mat 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 “The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell– and great was its fall.”

The verses above present to us a very, very sobering reality. There is a coming judgment and there is no escape from it. Even very religious people will miss out on life and they will perish forever in hell. We should take great pains and strive to enter thought that narrow door, for many will seek to enter and will not be able. It is true that in the modern day Christians are mocked and the truth of God in Christ is held up for ridicule. It is true that the idea that having Christ is the only way to the presence of God is thought to be absurd. But the text is not even talking about people like that. The text is not talking about those who ridicule Christianity and ridicule the very idea and notion of hell.

May it be that the whole world would read that text of Scripture and be instantly sobered. The text is speaking to those who believe that there is a heaven and a hell and they are making some efforts at entering through the narrow door. These are people who know that heaven is not obtained easily and with not much thought. The text tells us that many will seek to enter in and they will not be able to do so. Knowing that there is a narrow door and seeking to enter in through that door is not enough. A person must not have died to a little of self to have Christ, a person must die to self in order to have Christ. Oh how the person who enters must strive (hard labor, strenuous) to enter and not be put off by the cries of the flesh and the cries of self. A little seeking and perhaps a lot of seeking will not do what needs to be done.

The passage in Matthew 7:13-14 is speaking the same truth, yet in a different way. It tells us that we must enter through the narrow gate. Why must we enter through the narrow gate? Because it is the only gate that leads to life. But again, note that there is a wide gate and a broad road as well. It is not that people on the broad road think that they are going to destruction, but they think that they are on the road to life. Note this very, very carefully. Of the people who think that they are on the road to life the majority (perhaps the vast majority) are on the broad road to eternal destruction. There are many who enter through that wide gate and travel on the broad road.

The only way to life has a narrow gate and a narrow way or narrow road. There are only a few who find it. Surely these are sobering words! Surely this should awaken any person who picks up a Bible and reads those words! There are so many careless professors in our day who are only concerned enough to do a little here and there and seem so assured that they are on the way to heaven and eternal life. But again, the vast majority of those who think that they are on the way to heaven are actually on the way that ends in destruction. This is not at all to say that a person can work his or her way into heaven, but it is to say that the denial of self and the dying to self that is needed in order to be united to Christ is very, very hard. Indeed this must happen by grace alone, yes, but it is hard for people to be convinced that it must happen. It is easier to just say a prayer and live a moral life than it is to seek the Lord asking Him to bring death to self. Yet we are told that we must deny self and take up the cross in order to follow Christ.

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