Let Us Strive to Enter at the Strait Gate (Luke 13:22-30)
1. In Luke 19:10 Jesus revealed His primary purpose for coming to earth -- He came "to seek and to save that which was lost." 2. As Jesus fulfilled this mission during His ministry, He took advantage of opportunities to teach people about salvation. 3. We read about one of these opportunities in the verses we are studying. 4. As we examine these passages, we are emphasizing the importance of "striving to enter at the strait gate." 5. Let us first look at . . .
I. THE SETTING (vs.22-23)
A. We learn from vs.22 that Jesus was traveling toward Jerusalem. 1. Jesus knew what would happen to Him in Jerusalem (Luke 18:31-33). 2. Even though He knew what would happen, Jesus took advantage of opportunities to teach God's Word as He went through cities and villages. B. In vs.23 someone asked Jesus a question: "Lord, are there few that be saved?"
II. JESUS DID NOT ANSWER THIS QUESTION DIRECTLY ON THIS OCCASION
A. Jesus answered it earlier in His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:13-14). 1. Jesus said very clearly that "few" will be able to find eternal life. a. To find eternal life, a person must enter in at "the strait gate" and travel down "the narrow way." b. Unfortunately, only a few will be willing to do this. 2. Jesus also said that "many" will go to eternal destruction. a. To go to eternal destruction, a person can go through "the wide gate" and travel down "the broad way." b. Unfortunately, many will choose to do this. B. To illustrate how many "the few" are: 1. in Noah's day, only 8 souls were saved from the flood (1 Peter 3:20-21) 2. out of the 603,550 fighting men of Israel over the age of 20 who left Egypt, only Joshua and Caleb were allowed to enter Canaan (Numbers 1:45-46; 14:28-30). C. To answer the question asked in Luke 13:23, relatively speaking, only a few will be saved (Matthew 7:13-14). 1. We need to be grateful that anyone can be among the few if he so desires and is willing to comply with the Lord's will. 2. In Luke 13, rather than answer the question directly, . . .
III. JESUS TOLD THOSE PRESENT WHAT TO DO TO BE SAVED
A. Jesus said, "Strive to enter in at the strait gate." B. Strive: to agonize, to contend, or to struggle. C. Illustrations: 1. To be successful, an athlete must "strive" (1 Corinthians 9:24-25). 2. (Luke 22:39-44) Jesus provided the greatest example of striving or agonizing. D. To be among the few who will find eternal life, we must strive and agonize to enter in at the strait gate. 1. Perhaps this will help us to more fully appreciate the instructions found in: a. Luke 12:31 (Matthew 6:33) b. Luke 9:23; 14:27 c. Philippians 2:12. 2. Jesus went on to say that . . .
IV. MANY WILL SEEK TO ENTER, BUT THEY WILL NOT BE ABLE
A. They will not be able to enter because they were not willing to "strive." B. These people will not like their reward at the judgment (Luke 13:27-28). C. The few will hear the special words found in Matthew 25:21.
1. Jesus also contrasted the 2 possible eternal destinies in Matthew 7:21-23. 2. Let us do the Father's will and strive to enter at the strait gate.