Narrow Wide Door / Luke 13:22-30 NIV
Intro - Today Jesus introduces us to the important theological study of soteriology. Someone asks the question: “Lord are only a few people going to be saved?” Everything that follows is an answer to that question. It’s a question we are still asking to this day.
#1 - The door to salvation is narrow and ______________ .
“Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.”Luke 13:24 NIV
So what is this effort? Is there something that we must DO to be saved and enter through the door to eternal life in Heaven with Christ? No! What is the “effort” about? To enter the One narrow door and not any of many other wide doors. What does Jesus say to us?
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 NIV
Jesus is the only way. The only narrow door.
#2 - God ____________ the door to salvation …
There is effort for us to be saved. Huge, monumental, God-powered effort! God Himself makes it possible for us to be saved:
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.”Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV
Grace - receiving what we don’t deserve. Not from us, not our works, not our effort. It’s all God. So no one - no matter how perfectly or righteously they live - can ever take credit for this salvation. It’s all the work of Christ Jesus on the cross for us. It’s all His effort.
#3 - God _____________ the door to salvation,
but we must ________________ .
There is “walking” involved. We have to walk through the narrow door. We must live in obedience to Christ’s commands as He has given them to us. We must walk in the light and not in darkness. This is one of our proofs of assurance of our salvation, of our fellowship with Jesus:
“If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”1 John 1:8-9 NIV
What purifies us from all sin? Our good works? Our efforts? No! It’s the blood of Jesus, God’s Son! So even our own walk is not powered by us!
#4 - God _______________ through the door to salvation.
One of the great truths of Scripture is this concept of God’s choice of us rather than our choice of God. Did you know that if you are a Christ-follower that God chose you to be one even before the creation of the world!
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”Ephesians 1:4-5 NIV
This concept of God’s predestination, of His choosing of us, election has 4 benefits to how we live our our Christianity. (1) It is humbling. (2) It encourages our love for God. (3) It enriches our worship. (4) It encourages our evangelism.
#5 - The door to salvation will _____________ .
“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.’”Luke 13:25 NIV
This opportunity that we have now is not an opportunity we will always have. It is a limited opportunity.
#6 - Those outside the door to salvation will ________________________ .
“Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth.’”Luke 13:26, 28a NIV
Everyone THEN will try to remember the time when they went to church. When they were associated in some way, in any way, to Jesus. But Jesus tells us that his reply will be an honest one: “I never knew you.”
Now is the time to know Jesus. Now is the time to make our choice for Jesus and to beg Him to empower our own salvation. The wrong choice now means our destruction later.
#7 - The narrow door will also be a _________________ .
“People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and those first who will be last.’” Luke 13:29-30 NIV
Bottom line - not only are there NOT going to be people in Heaven who you think WILL BE there, there also are going to be people who WILL BE there who you think are NOT going to be there. Ultimately it’s not about us, or what we think or do. It’s all about God. It’s all about what He thinks. It’s all about what He does.
Let our daily prayer be this: “Oh God may the narrow door of your salvation - Your Son Jesus Christ - swing wide for me.”