Our life on earth is just temporary because of sins, and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Further, Jesus said salvation is not easy for it is like entering a narrow door (Luke 13:22-30).
Luke 13:24 New International Version
24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.
The narrow door means – that one must enter salvation on God’s terms. Those who seek to enter but are unable are those who seek entrance on their own terms.
Meaning, when we enter the narrow door, Jesus Christ, should be our top priority. We have to faithfully keep His commandments through the power of the Holy Spirit.
There are two groups of people who are unable to enter the narrow door for they want to enter at their own terms:
1 – People don’t study the Bible because they don’t want to change their lifestyles of loving the things and pleasures of the world more than God.
2 – People who were baptized (born again) and yet they still love the things and pleasures of the world more than God.
Many will miss the blessings of God because they think they can achieve salvation on their own merit or on the basis of their own righteousness, rather than God’s righteousness through Jesus Christ by having genuine faith in Him.
Luke 13:25 New International Version
25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’
Once a person’s life has ended (died) or at Jesus second coming (if a person is still alive), “the door” of opportunity to respond to Jesus is closed and access to God’s presence is gone.
Meaning, to faithfully accept Jesus, as Lord and Savior, it should be before we die or before Jesus’ second coming. Since we do not know when we die nor Jesus’ second coming, to accept Him (genuine faith) is now – for we can die anytime and also, Jesus second coming is at anytime.
To be saved, our genuine faith in Jesus should be consistent (not on and off) until we die or at Jesus second coming. That is – like a branch attached to the vine. (John 15:18).
The statement, “I do not know you” refers to those who rejected Jesus and those who accepted Jesus and turned their back on Him. Therefore, they are not saved, their salvation to eternal life is gone forever.
Luke 13:26 -27 New International Version
26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’
27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’
It is clear that the Lord at the door is Jesus Christ, since reference is made to Jesus’ ministry on earth. Those who seek entry after the door is closed will be rejected, because they did not come to God on His terms through Jesus Christ.
“We ate and drank… you taught”: the appeal here is by those people who experience Jesus presence when Jesus was on earth. They heard Jesus preaching but they did not practice them in their lives. They requested entry to God’s kingdom base simply on they were able to witness Jesus preaching and teachings.
God’s requirement for salvation is genuine faith in Jesus Christ up to the end of our lives or at the second coming of Jesus whichever comes first (John 3:16).
Further, the kingdom of God will not be necessarily populated with people we expect to find there. Some perfectly responsible Christians and religious leaders claiming genuine faith in Jesus could not be in God’s kingdom, because they secretly were living in sin.
People were eager to know who would be in God’s kingdom. Jesus explained that although many people know something about God, only few acknowledged their sins, repented, and asked for forgiveness.
Most of them just ignored God’s truth and continue living in sin. It is just like today, many know God’s truth but they just ignored the truth because they love the things and pleasures of the world more than God.
Just listening to Jesus words and admitting His miracles is not enough – we must turn away from sin and trust in God by keeping His commandments.
Luke 13:29 New International Version
29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.
East … west… north… south… mean –
God’s kingdom will include from every part of the world. Israel’s rejection of Jesus the Messiah would not stop God’s plan. True Israel includes all people who believe in God (through Jesus Christ), the creator of heaven and earth.
Luke 13:30 New International Version
30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”
There will be many surprises in God’s kingdom. Faithful believers, who are despised now and virtually ignored by the rest of the world, will be greatly honored by that time.
While, some influential people (like: celebrities, presidents, generals, millionaires and billionaires) now will be left behind the gates because they do not have faith in Jesus Christ.
What matters to God is not person’s earthly popularity, status, wealth, heritage, or power, but his or her commitment to Christ (genuine faith). How do your values match what the Bible tells you to value?
Put God in first place, and you will join people from all over the world who will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of heaven.
Look at related passage below:
The Narrow and Wide Gates
Matthew 7:13-14 New International Version
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
The gate that leads to eternal life is called “narrow”. This does not mean it is difficult to become a Christian, but it is narrow because there is only one way to live eternally with God – through Jesus Christ.
Further, despite knowing that salvation is only through Jesus Christ, only a few choose to enter that narrow gate for most of us do not put God first place in our lives.
Actually, Statistics confirm what the Bible says, for it show, that for those who claim Christians only about 25% of them who are committed Christians. Those who are living godly lives, come to church regularly and active in church activities.
Look at what Jesus said in the following passage:
Matthew 16:26 New King James Version
26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
When we do not have genuine faith in Jesus Christ, we make choices as though this life were all we have. In reality, this life is just the introduction to eternity. How we live this short life on earth, determines our eternal destiny – either eternal life or eternal death.
We have to remember that what we accumulate on earth has no value in purchasing eternal life. Even the highest social or civic honors cannot earn us entrance into heaven.
Seriously evaluate all what happens in your life from eternal perspective, and you will find your values and decisions changing.
Having genuine faith in Jesus is the only way to heaven, because He alone died for our sins and made us right in the eyes of God. Living Jesus’ way may not be popular but it is true and right in God’s eyes. Thank God there is one way.
The Narrow Door, means we have to enter salvation on God’s terms not according to our term – that is, we have to put Jesus Christ first place in our lives, by faithfully keeping God’s commandments with the power of the Holy Spirit – the Fruit of our genuine faith in Jesus Christ.
Adam Aspilla is an Executive Director of Word Became Flesh Ministries (WBFM) a non-denominational Christian church. He has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) from University of the East, Manila Philippines, studied law in the same university, and has a Master of Divinity (MDiv.) from Tyndale University & Seminary, in Toronto, Canada. He also operates the Debt Clinic of Canada Inc., and author of the books: “You Can Negotiate All Your Debts” and “51 Frequently Asked Bible Questions.” He also writes a column on “Personal Finance” in this paper. WBFM is at 1180 Unit 1 Mid-Way Blvd. Mississauga ON. Website: www. wbfmfamily.com and Telephone:905-565-8934.