Lessons Of A Lifetime

SUNDAY NOV. 21, 2021

Scripture To Consider:
“And Jesus went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Then one said to Him, ‘Lord, are there few who are saved?’”

“And He said to them, ‘Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many I say to you will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door and you begin to stand outside and knock, at the door, saying, “Lord, open for us,” and He will answer and say to you, “I do not know you, where you are from,” then you will begin to say, “We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.” But He will say, “I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.”’

“There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last.”                       Luke 13.22-30

Something To Consider:
Today’s discourse spoken by Jesus was due to a question asked of Him while He journeyed towards Jerusalem. “Lord, are there few who are saved?” His answer was similar in nature to that which He spoke earlier in the Sermon of the Mount in Matthew chapter 7. There Matthew records Jesus as saying, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction.”

Luke’s version adds intensity to Jesus’ warning against waiting too long before choosing to enter through the narrow gate. Luke recorded Jesus as saying, “Strive [or be diligent] to enter through the narrow gate, for many [not some and not few but many], I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” The only reason anyone would not be able to enter into eternal life is because they waited too long.

And yet, the majority of humankind in every generation does wait too long before making a decision concerning Christ and their sin. Though eternity appears so far away to us mortals, it begins for everyone less than a second after taking our last breath. And how many of us know when that moment will occur? And according to Jesus, “Except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.” Why then do we wait? Why do so many postpone making that decision until after it is humanly impossible to make.

And according to Acts 3.19; “Repent therefore, and be converted [born-again spiritually], that your sins [and iniquities] may be blotted out [by the blood of Jesus shed for every individual in every generation].” Why in the world do we wait?

Something Else To Consider:
Let us keep in mind that Jesus said to strive to enter through the narrow gate. The word strive means to labor fervently or earnestly. Many have difficulty with this biblical concept of striving to enter the kingdom of God, because eternal life is a free gift, and not something to be earned. And that is indeed true. We can never earn our salvation, for Jesus has paid the ultimate price in full for our everlasting life and entrance into life eternal.

But nonetheless, this is a warning against waiting for a better time to enter the kingdom of God. Could Jesus be saying that people strive and labor fervently for all kinds of things in life, therefore make sure you labor earnestly to enter into eternal life above all else? For sure He is warning us against waiting!

According to Luke writing in Acts chapter 17, concerning the sins of our past, we are told in verse 30; “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men [all women and all young people] everywhere to repent, because He [God] has appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man [Jesus] who He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him [Jesus] from the dead.”

Something More To Consider:
Jesus also warned there is a day coming when the Master will shut the door or narrow gate into the kingdom. And outside the kingdom, just as outside Noah’s ark after the Lord shut the door, the lost will terribly regret their having waited too long to choose Jesus and to have their sins forgiven. They will regret having not heeded the warnings of Jesus and all those who warn others by their lives and testimony.

Then with all the climax of a final curtain call they will hear Jesus say, “Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.” For it will be too late! But what is it that brings about those words spoken by Jesus; “Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.” It will be the refusal to heed the written and preserved warnings of God and their rejecting the promptings of the Holy Spirit to make the right decision!

How many warnings do we get? Why do we hesitate and not immediately heed at once the warnings of God? Why do we prolong our decision concerning the repentance of our sin and iniquity? According to the Word of God, it is because many have been deceived due to their not receiving the love of the truth of the Word of God, that they might be saved, according to 2 Thessalonians 2.10.

A Few Final Words:
And, if an individual waits too long before making a decision concerning the requirement for their repentance, also according to God’s Word; “And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they may all be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Therefore, the bottom line reason why so many wait until it is too late to decide to repent, is that they rather have pleasure in unrighteousness.

As human beings, if we refuse to submit to Christ, if we refuse to deny ourselves, and refuse to take up our cross that is a symbol of suffering, we cannot help but be destroyed by our having pleasure in unrighteousness!

The life of a spiritual leader in training should emphasize the warnings spoken by Jesus against waiting; for one day the door will be shut forever! For according to Jesus, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.”

Our Father in heaven, prepare our hearts that we heed the warnings of Your Word. And may our lives be witnesses against others or ourselves waiting too long in order to repent of our sins. In Him Always, Amen!

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