Daily Reflection – 10/30/19
Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!’ And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out. And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”( Luke 13:22-30)
This Gospel could be named The Sober Truth. Because it speaks to us as it is.
As he often did, Jesus compared God’s kingdom to a big banquet hall .It is entered through a door. That door to salvation was once locked, double-bolted and barred to sinners. But Jesus threw it wide open by his life and death in place of sinners. He invites all to enter heaven—through faith in him. Jesus is the door, the only door. That exclusive claim came from his own lips: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Admittance to heaven is granted one person at a time, through personal faith in Jesus. Unbelievers can’t coast in on the coattails of their believing relatives. And no one can fit through the door with any luggage, like a bag of unconfessed and unforgiven sins. Some people try to justify their sin with comments like, “Jesus loves me just the way I am. The good and loving God won’t hold it against me that I had some fun in life.” If that’s true, Jesus wouldn’t have had to die. But he did die, and paid for every sin of every sinner. Now he urges everyone to repent. Leave the guilt of sin at his cross. Leave behind the life of sin. Only the penitent person will enter salvation.
Religious surveys routinely show that about 80-90% of people surveyed expect to be in heaven. The Bible’s truth is that far less will be saved. But the real question is “Will you be saved?” “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door,” not by what you do but by what you believe. If you don’t trust in Jesus for life and salvation, don’t delay anymore. Stop resisting his call and power to repent and believe the good news. Honestly confess your sin and accept his forgiveness, full and free.
To every believer , Jesus warns, “Don’t get complacent.” Are you getting lazy in daily deploring your sins and turning to Christ? Are you willing to let God’s law sweep out the rooms of your heart where you don’t often dwell, but unwilling to let it touch the rooms where you really live, in sins like selfishness, greed, gossip, worry, anger, and revenge? Or are you drinking the worldly Kool-Aid that says, “I’m spiritual but not religious,” meaning Bible study, worship, baptism and the Lord’s Supper aren’t high on your list of priorities? Repent now. Daily confess with the tax collector in the temple, Trust that the blood of God’s Son purifies us from all sin. Begin again to live as the saint God has declared you to be.
Prayer of The Day
Lord, help me to always trust in your saving grace, especially when I am tempted and put to the test. Help me to be faithful to you and give me the courage and strength to resist temptation, especially temptation to compromise or to be indifferent to your word
Through the cross Jesus opens the way for us to enter into his kingdom. But we must follow Jesus in the way of the cross. The word strive can also be translated agony. To enter the kingdom of God one must struggle against the forces of temptation and whatever would hinder us from doing the will of God (even apathy, indifference, and compromise). The good news is that we do not struggle alone. God is with us and his grace is sufficient!