Study Lesson 5
The Many And The Few Dilemma
Depart From Me – I Never Knew You
Something To Consider:
Our few final words of the previous study focused on the lawlessness that Jesus predicted would ultimately abound as we draw nearer to the end of this age of human rule upon planet earth. Our focus in this study lesson 5 will be on the vast difference between the narrow and broad eternal gates or eternal entrance points that are readily available to the human race, according to Jesus in Matthew chapter 7. According to His many and few discourse every individual who has ever lived and ever will live is destined to live eternally in one or the other of two vastly different eternal destinations.
We will attempt to better understand Jesus’ position on those who have been deceived into thinking they may be among the few who have been granted eternal life when in reality, they may very well be among the many who may hear Jesus declare, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” In our study today please note that it is lawlessness or the practicing of iniquity that separates or divides the many from the few in the end, according to Jesus and other New Testament writers.
Something Else To Consider:
Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 7, evidently with end time events, eternal judgments, and eternal destinations upon His mind, began teaching on the two eternal destinations that must be decided upon by every man, woman, and young person before it is too late.
Beginning in verse 13, Jesus instructed His listeners, by stating, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.” He continued by emphatically declaring in verse 14, “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” There are two access points that lead to two very different eternal destinations which eventually separates for all eternity, the many from the few. And there lies the dilemma!
Immediately following Jesus’ statements concerning the many and the few and the two very different destinations to be decided upon, Jesus warned of the most deceptive deterrents to the many making the right decision. Beginning in verse 15 of Matthew chapter 7, Jesus declared, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a corrupt tree bears evil fruit. A good tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a corrupt tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”
It is imperative throughout these studies to be reminded of Jesus’ first words of warning found in Matthew chapter 24, in verses 4-5; “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” According to Jesus, it is the many who are deceived and the few who are not!
Also according to Jesus in His follow up to His lesson concerning the narrow and wide gates, and good and bad fruit, Jesus explained in verses 21-22 of Matthew 7, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he [or she] who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied [preached] in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’”
According to Jesus in the above verses, many in the Day of Judgment will realize they have been deceived into thinking they were a part of God’s kingdom, because they were involved in many religious appearing activities, and even after learning all the correct Christian appearing language, such as calling Jesus Lord. But pay close attention to the root cause of their deception and their eternal downfall.
According to Jesus’ shocking words of Matthew chapter 7 verse 23, it will be the many who will hear, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness [iniquity].” According to the writer of Hebrews 12.14, without holiness, no one shall see God! According to Jesus, practicing lawlessness or iniquity has nothing to do with holiness and or righteousness or righteous living! Therefore, where do we stand?
Something More To Consider:
As it pertains to the many and the few dilemma, the bible contains several such examples of both the devastating outcome of being among the many, and the eternal rewards available to those being among the few. We want to invest some time in the next couple of studies looking closer at a few of these Old Testament examples Paul declared were written for our learning and for our spiritual benefit.
The first biblical example of the many and the few is found early in the biblical record of Genesis chapter 6. In verse 5 we read, “And the LORD saw that the wickedness [lawlessness or iniquity] of man was great in the earth.” Many were living lives of wickedness according to God and therefore were counted as among the many wicked!
Can we relate to the findings of God’s Genesis report in our 21st century backslidden condition of humankind throughout the earth? Because every intent of the thoughts of man’s heart was only evil continually, God declared in verse 7 of Genesis chapter 6, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth.” But, in the midst of such destruction, a sliver of light like hope shined forth, as if through the vast darkness that had enveloped the eternal destination of so many. According to God and verse 8 of Genesis chapter 6, “But Noah [one among many] found grace in the eyes of the LORD.”
A Few Final Words:
But why did Noah, one man among so many find grace in the eyes of the LORD? According to God and verse 9, “Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.” And yet, on the other hand, according to God and verses 11-12, “The earth [the many] also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.” This estimation of God on the condition of the earth’s occupants sounds a lot like our evening news! And yet, the Word of God continued its condemnation in verse 12, by stating for the record, “So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh [many] had corrupted their way on the earth.”
What is it that God sees when He looks upon the earth today? Make no mistake about it; God sees the corruption of society, politics, governments, and even the religious corruption within the so-called church. The church has sadly opened wide its doors of acceptance and approval to the evil birds of deception and financial prey of false prophets who are able to abide comfortably and compromisingly within the branches of the unbiblical so-called church.
But the day of judgment is fast approaching when the prosperity they have long enjoyed will not protect them from the wrath of an Almighty God who desired the truth of His Word to be widely proclaimed instead of the lies and deception of all is well when all is not well within the church or within this Christ rejecting world.
And yet, the many and the few dilemma continues while bringing us all to our final destination whether among the many or among the few. And while God’s final judgment is fast approaching an evil and very corrupt world system, the few are to be found contently following Jesus’ example while abiding upon the straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life. That path also according to Jesus may lead many of us living in these end times squarely into the face of persecution, betrayal, and physical death.
For all those who have chosen to live among the many who are destined to eternal destruction and having chosen to exist and have their being on the fast-paced widened highway to hell paved with all the pleasures of a moment the flesh of all humanity could afford, their eternal destination awaits them.
For them, their decision to reject Jesus over and over again during their lifetime, has granted them the hearing of the words that will usher in an end to the pleasure, fame, fortune, and misguided fleshly appetites that they craved and could not get enough of. According to Jesus, if you are among the many, you will hear Him declare loud and clear, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.”
Which will it be? Will we be found by Jesus among the many lost for all eternity and faced with the suffering of eternal punishment as their reward for rebellion? Or will we be found by Jesus faithfully enduring to the end while following Christ and desiring to live lives of holiness in Him? The final decision rests solely with us!