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Devotionals Sermon on the Mount

Am I Saved?

When the Bible is translated from the original languages, it is possible that some translation errors might creep through. When the spiritual leader does not check the original language, whether it is through the use of Commentaries, Interlinear Bibles or Dictionaries, it is possible that he will arrive at one or more interpretations of the text. That cannot be right though. Every verse and every passage only means one thing. If it did not then God would be confused and He would be the architect of ambiguity! He is not! We need to understand this and apply it to all of Scripture. Now we come to the next passage in the Sermon on the Mount and immediately we see there is no ambiguity at all. Jesus teaches:

Mt 7:13 “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.”

Before we deal with this passage, I would like that we consider Luke’s version which is a fuller account of what Matthew writes or it is a similar teaching.

Lk 13:22 Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”

He said to them, 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. 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.’

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!’

28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 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. 30Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

1) En route to Jerusalem, Jesus was questioned about the number of people who would in the final analyses be saved for eternity.

Lk 13:23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”

This is a question asked of pastors today as well.

(1) It is the wrong question. The reason it is wrong is because one must not look at the Gospel’s requirements and demands and wonder who will get into heaven. This takes the focus and pressure off self. It is a diversion. It is a tactic satan places in the heart to accuse God of unfairness if only a few will be saved. However many the few are, that is God’s business not ours.

(2) The right question is … “Will I be saved?” or “Am I saved”? This evening, Jenny and I chatted with a lovely young lady via WhatsApp. She lives in another country. She wants to be certain of her salvation and to do this she wants to study the Bible in more depth. Her approach is correct. It is not “How many will be saved?” It’s “I want to know that I am saved and will be in glory with my loved ones who have gone before me.” This must be your concern … “Am I saved?” I would suggest thereafter another concern ought to be evangelism. This means the next question ought to be “Who can I share the Gospel with?” Not “how many or how few” … but “who can I try to get into heaven through sharing the Gospel Message?”

2) Jesus insists the person questioning Him has a change of thinking by addressing everyone present:

Lk 13:23 He said to them, 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.”

Jesus’ response sounds peculiar until you realize that Jesus is the great Evangelist and wants the speaker and the others present to focus on the condition of their souls! When He says “make every effort” he is not saying keep the Law better. He is not saying offer more sacrifices or give more tithes or assist the poor better or be a better husband, wife, parent, children sibling, employer or employee. He wants His hearers to make every effort to find the “narrow door”. This narrow door is not a salvation of works but a salvation by faith … and this faith needs to be in Messiah—in Him. We will see later that Jesus is the door or the gate! He wants people to “make every effort” to find Him because if they don’t, their future will be horrendous!

3) Jesus says many will try unsuccessfully to enter the narrow door.

Lk 13:25 “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.’

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!’”

This reminds us of the Parable of the Ten Virgins. Here the owner who closes the door is God. He will call time on His Gospel Invitation. That is His right and once the door of Heaven is closed it is final and no one may then enter! As those locked out cry for help and attention He responds … I don’t know you or where you come from. He repeats this again when they say … ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.True … many ate and drank with Jesus. He also taught the masses. They are the ones who had all the opportunity. God incarnate was with them and amongst them … and they rejected Him as their Messiah! Now they want in … when they had all the time when He walked amongst them … and all they will hear is … Away from me, all you evildoers!

4) Jesus inform us of the horror of that hour!

Lk 13:28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.”

Picture the multitudes of Jews at the Judgment. All their godly ancestors and all the preachers (prophets) they rejected and killed were at the Banquet in glory and they were caste into hell … weeping … and gnashing of teeth. One’s thoughts move to Luke 16 where we read of the Richman and the Beggar and we see the one in perpetual agony and the other in everlasting bliss. We will return to this topic tomorrow, but the great question that ought to dwell upon our minds is … “Have I found the narrow gate … Have I found Jesus as Lord and Savior?”

Thank You, Lord, that there is not ambiguity in what You have to say about the way of salvation. To those who are saved, yet lacking assurance, please assure them Lord. Amen.

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