Lord, Are There Few That Be Saved? (Luke 13:22-30)
1. In our lesson we are concentrating on the question found in Luke 13:23: "Lord, are there few that be saved?" 2. Thankfully, the Lord answers this question in His Word. a. We must listen to the Lord's answer because He is our Savior -- He is "the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him" (Hebrews 5:9). b. We must also listen to the Lord because He will be our judge -- the Father has "committed all judgment unto the Son" (John 5:22). 3. As we search the Scriptures for the Lord's answer, let us first examine . . .
I. THE SETTING IN WHICH THIS QUESTION WAS ASKED (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 as He went through various cities and villages. B. According to vs.23, someone asked Jesus a question. 1. We do not know who asked the question, and we do not know where or why it was asked. 2. However, someone, somewhere, and for some reason asked Jesus, "Lord, are there few that be saved?"
II. ON THIS OCCASION, JESUS DID NOT ANSWER THIS QUESTION DIRECTLY
A. Jesus did, however, answer it directly on another occasion (Matthew 7:13-14). 1. Jesus said very clearly that "few" will 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. only Joshua and Caleb were allowed to enter Canaan (Numbers 14:30). 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 [agonize, struggle] to enter in at the strait gate" (vs.24). B. Illustrations: 1. To be successful, an athlete must "strive" (1 Corinthians 9:24-25). 2. Jesus provided a great example of striving or agonizing (Luke 22:39-44). C. To be among the few who will find eternal life, we must strive and agonize to enter in at the strait gate and travel the narrow way. 1. Perhaps this will help us to more fully appreciate the instructions found in Luke 12:31 [Matthew 6:33]; Luke 9:23; 14:27; and 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 13:25-28a). C. The few will hear the special words found in Matthew 25:21.
1. The few and the many are also contrasted in Matthew 7:21-23. 2. If you are among the many, take advantage of this opportunity to become one of the few (2 Corinthians 6:2).