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Monday, August 8, 2016

Day 128: Luke 13:22-35 & Psalm 124 - Why Did Jesus Say that Few Would Be Saved?

Today's Reading: Luke 13:22-35 & Psalm 124

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Why Did Jesus Say that Few Would Be Saved?

And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. - Luke 12:23-24, ESV

Does it bother you that the door of salvation is narrow? Do you wonder why it is that "many . . . will seek to enter and will not be able"? Why didn't Jesus say, "Hey, salvation is free and anyone is welcome to come in!"?  Of course, He could have. Salvation is free. The door of mercy is open and, though the door is narrow, all are welcome to enter. And yet few do, even though many seek to enter. Why?

We are naturally disposed to not understand or really respond to the Gospel of the Kingdom. Jesus' further explanation of this truth in verses 25-30 tell us some sobering truths: Many people will know about Jesus and many people will be religious and yet not be in the kingdom when Jesus returns. They will be shut out and will hear Jesus say, "I do not know where you come from." Why?

Jesus doesn't fully or clearly explain why here, but we can see some evidence of why this is the case in what is said and what happens in this passage. Jesus says that many will come from far away and recline at table in the kingdom of God and that "some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last."

What do we have here? To put it in a single word: presumption. The problem many people will face when Jesus comes is that they will suddenly realize a sobering truth: They presumed that they were in the kingdom because they knew about Jesus and were "religious," but they didn't know Jesus at all. This is sadly the case for so many professing Christians and church-goers. They don't truly know who Jesus is, they don't truly know Him personally, they have not been changes by His grace. They are not in the kingdom, even though they are close.

Never presume that you are a child of God just because you think you know the truth about Jesus and you go to church. So many people think that attending church, doing good things, being a nice person and calling themselves a Christian are the same thing as being a child of God, being in the kingdom of God. They're not. Only saving faith in Jesus Christ matters, only knowing Him as Lord and Savior is salvation, only being His forever brings you into His kingdom.

So, do you know Him? Do you trust Him? Is He yours and are you His?

Prayer Based on Psalm 124:

Lord, if You had not been on our side—
    let Your people truly know it and confess it —
if You, O Lord, had not been on our side
    when Satan came against us,
then he would have swallowed us up alive,
    when his anger was kindled against us;
then the flood would have swept us away,
    the torrent would have gone over us;
then over us would have gone
    the raging waters.

Blessed be You, O Lord,
    for You have not given us
    as prey to his teeth!
We have escaped like a bird
    from the snare of the fowler;
the snare is broken,
    and we have escaped!

Our help is in Your name, O Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.  

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