“Jesus and the Narrow Door” out of Luke 13:22-30 was preached on July 29th, 2012 by Pastor Brett Baggett at the worship gathering of Ekklesia Muskogee. Week #29 in Ekklesia’s The King and His Cross sermon series.
Scripture – Luke 13:22-30
22 He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23 And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ 26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’ 28 In that place 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 but you yourselves cast out. 29 And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God. 30 And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”
Jesus is asked a very to-the-point question while he is traveling to his death in Jerusalem- will those who are saved be few? Jesus responds to this question by teaching us that we must strive to enter through the narrow door to be saved. Jesus does not show us the door, or point to the door, or open a door; Jesus is the door (John 10:9). He is the only way back into the presence of our holy creator- God. Jesus’ righteous life, Jesus’ sin-paying death, and Jesus’ victorious resurrection is the only means by which anyone will be saved. Jesus points out that there will be many who think they are saved because their profession of Jesus as Lord or the fact that they were familiar with Jesus. In the end the only way anyone will be saved is by entering through the narrow door- by turning from our sin to faith in Jesus and all that he is and has done. No one is saved by knowing about Jesus, by being good enough for Jesus, by being enlightened enough, or even by proclaiming that they are a Christian or that Jesus is their Lord. We are called to repent of sin and trust in Jesus- in the gospel- and to urge others to run through the narrow door in the same way. Hell is real, heaven is real, sin is a real problem, and Jesus is a real savior.
Q1. How do you see yourself avoiding the truth that Jesus is the only way back into the presence of our holy creator?
Q2. What are some areas of this passage that are hard for you to swallow? Where do you find comfort in these sometimes difficult facts. Be specific.
Q3. What are some avenues you can open up to urge others to run through the narrow door? How would you do so?
Don’t assume. Run through the door. Run to Jesus. Turn from darkness and run into the light, trusting in Jesus perfect performance in your place. Don’t assume people have run through the door. Don’t assume. Be specific. Talk to people about Jesus. About his work. About him as the only way. About many thinking they are saved but are not.
If you have run through the door, praise God! It is because God the Father pulled you, Jesus was saying “Here I am,” and the Holy Spirit was pushing you. Christian, be encouraged we are sealed for eternity with Jesus. Heaven = Jesus and Jesus = heaven. Death? gone. Sorrow? gone. Sin? gone. Only Jesus. Because of Jesus. By the grace of Jesus. Through faith in Jesus.
SALVATION IS BY GRACE ALONE, THROUGH FAITH ALONE, IN JESUS ALONE
John 10:9 “I am the door. Whoever enters through me will be saved…”
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 17:3 “And this is eternal life,that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
Acts 4:12 “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. This is not your own doing, it is the gift of God. Not a result of works so that no one may boast.”
HELL IS REAL, ETERNAL, CONSCIOUS, AND HORRIBLE
Nobody spoke more about hell in the New Testament than Jesus did. He used words like
“outer darkness” (Matthew 8:12)
“gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 22:13)
“torment” (Luke 16:23)
“unquenchable fire” (Mark 9:43)
“eternal punishment” (Matthew 25:46)
Hell is, in Jesus’ mind, real, eternal, conscious, and horrible.
2 Thessalonians 1:9 “They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.”
HEAVEN IS REAL, ETERNAL, CONSCIOUS, AND WONDERFUL
Heaven is real. It’s not something that we have made up to cope with this life. We believe the Bible and The Bible reveals the truth about heaven.
1 Corinthians 2:9 But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”
Revelation 21:4 “(Jesus) will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor cry- ing, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Revelation 21:22-27 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, 25 and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. 26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detest- able or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Revelation 22:1-5 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
“There we shall see His face, And never, never sin! There, from the rivers of His grace, Drink endless pleasures in.” – Isaac Watts
“I bear my testimony that there is no joy to be found in all this world like that of sweet communion with Christ. I would barter all else there is of heaven for that. Indeed, that is heaven. As for the harps of gold and the streets like clear glass and the songs of seraphs and the shouts of the re- deemed, one could very well give all these up, counting them as a drop in a bucket, if we might forever live in fellowship and communion with Jesus.” – Charles Spurgeon
“Oh, to think of heaven without Christ! It is the same thing as thinking of hell. heaven without Christ! It is day without the sun, existing without life, feasting without food, seeing without light. It involves a contradiction in terms. Heaven without Christ! Absurd. it is the sea without water, the earth without it’s fields, the heavens without their stars. There cannot be a heaven without Christ. He is the sum total of bliss, the fountain from which heaven #ows, the element of which heaven is composed. Christ is heaven and heaven is Christ.” – Charles Spurgeon
Heaven is wonderful because we get to be with Jesus! Death is no more, sorrow is no more, sin is no more. Only Jesus! Because of Jesus! By the grace of Jesus! Through faith in Jesus!