Luke 13:22-23 And He 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, 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.”
“Are there few who are saved?”
I’ve sometimes wondered if, at the rapture of the Church (which is surely soon coming), it is many who will be snatched up to meet the Lord in the air or if it will be few. My own opinion on that is that it will be many, but in the long run, the only person who’s salvation I can really know is my own. I can receive Jesus myself, but I cannot receive Jesus on behalf of someone else. But at the question, “Are there few who are saved” Jesus points the question back at those asking the question … “Are you yourself saved?”
God has seen fit that the way is narrow, meaning we can’t carry anything into Heaven … No pride, no self righteousness, no hate, no lusts, no worry …the only thing our hands can cling to is the cross. When Jesus says that we are to strive He is not saying that we are to do works to achieve salvation. That is not a gate that leads to salvation, though many try to enter through that gate called works. Jesus is the gate … The door, the way in and that only comes by believing on Him. And that door will not be open forever, but there will be a day when the Master of the House shuts that door. And all those who said, “I can wait … There is no urgency in this” will find that they have missed their opportunity.
It took Noah many years to build the ark when God told Him the earth would be judged of sin with a great flood that would kill everyone who was not on the boat. Yet, when the ark was completed and God shut the door, people-wise, it was only Noah and family who were aboard that ark. I’m sure there were many who, once the deluge began, banged on that door begging for entry, yet the door was closed and could not be opened again. The same is true of salvation … When the door is open, it is open to any who will call on Jesus for Salvation, but when the door shuts, it will be shut for good. And so, there is a divine urgency to get the word out, to be doing the things that God commands us to do now, rather than waiting for a more opportune time.
The gospel is:
- An urgent message: It’s the difference between an eternity in Heaven or an eternity in Hell.
- An invitation: God does not force salvation on anyone but gives people the option of receiving Jesus or rejecting Jesus.
- A Biblical mandate: The mandate is two fold … first, there is no other way to be saved and so the gospel is mandatory for salvation and second, we have a mandate from Jesus to be preachers of the gospel.
Mark 16:15 (NKJV) And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
Preaching is simply communicating truth and it doesn’t have to be from a stage in a church. It only makes sense that someone who truly believes the gospel has an urgent desire to tell others.
Romans 10:14 (NKJV) How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
I don’t know how long I have, much less how long anyone else has and once someone dies, there is no longer the opportunity to repent and receive Jesus. So, will there be many or few who are saved? God doesn’t give us an absolute answer … The saved will be from the North, South, West and East, and they will not all be whom we may have expected … So that we cannot find any good excuse not to tell others about Jesus.