LORD, ARE THERE FEW THAT BE SAVED? (SUNDAY LIGHT: 23/06/19, 30/06/19, 07/07/19)
Because of the Lord’s schedule for the Movement, we are refocusing on the Sunday Light messages that moulded the Church. We thank God for the life of the Lord Jesus on earth. He was sent so that, through all things that would take place in His life lost mankind could cease to be in ignorance as to what to know and do to be saved (cp. Jn. 8:12; 12:46).
Today, we spot Him on His way to Jerusalem through the cities and villages giving out the truth of God as He went. The particular incident we are reviewing and learning from is a time of question and answer as to whether it is only a few that would be saved.
In answering the question, the Lord pointed His audience to the following aspects of eternal truth which we shall explore in this teaching viz:-
(1) Striving to enter (Lk. 13:24)
(2) Shutting of the door (Lk. 13:25)
(3) Confession of the lost AND THE REJECTION OF THE LORD (Lk. 13:26-27)
(4) The cry of the damned (Lk. 13:28)
(5) The number and order of the saved (Lk. 13:29-30)
STRIVING TO ENTER (Lk. 13:24)
When a person is enjoined to strive to accomplish a task, it is because that task will not be easily accomplished. The Lord knew that entering into the kingdom of God at last is a task that will not be easily accomplished, hence He enjoined His followers to strive to enter (cp. Matt. 11:12). This is because of the following two major reasons:-
(a) The Way And The Gate Are Narrow (vs 24 cp. Matt. 7:13-14)
The picture of a narrow way and gate that the Lord painted has some lessons to teach. Firstly, such a way and gate cannot be used by those who love ease or convenience because, such routes have no convenience to give. Secondly, a narrow route cannot be used by those who have careless lives because they will surely stumble into the bush.
(b) Many Seeking To Enter, But Unable To Enter (vs 24)
We can see the picture of what the Lord was saying as we reflect on many seeking to enter higher institutions of learning, places of fanfare, etc; but are not able. They are not able because of the hindrances in their ways which they are unable to scale.
If anyone must enter, the same must really endeavour with steady effort to do so. (Lk. 13:24 cp. Matt. 11:12).
SHUTTING OF THE DOOR (Lk. 13:25)
While a man is yet on earth, the door to the kingdom is left open for him to enter. If he repents of all his sins and receives Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour, he is automatically admitted into the kingdom of God (Matt. 13:38; Col. 1:13 implied in Lk. 10:20). Following this, if he continues to live a life that is pleasing to God, he will be eventually admitted into the kingdom at the end of life (Matt. 25:1,2,4,6 & 10; 2 Pet. 1:10-11).
But if the man neglects the opportunities to repent and dies in sin, the door to the kingdom will be shut against him and any acts of repentance become unacceptable and useless (Lk. 13:25).
CONFESSION OF THE LOST AND THE REJECTION OF THE LORD (Lk. 13:26-27)
From these verses of Scripture, it is obvious that a man will remember what went on earth when he leaves it at death (cp. Lk. 16:27-28). From the statement of the Lord, it is also obvious that, as soon as a man’s spirit departs his body at death, that soul will want to be in heaven, having now realized that eternity has begun. But on approaching, that soul is turned back because of not having his name written there. On being rejected, that soul will begin to plead in vain his worthless involvement (without repentance and holiness) in Bible studies, convocations, seminars etc. (vs 26).
Although all these be true, yet will he be denied and rejected because, while he engaged in all those things on earth he continued in sin and refused to be saved, and so was unknown to the Lord (Lk. 13:27).
THE CRY OF THE DAMNED (Lk. 13:28)
Following the lost soul’s vain plea and rejection, there will be such lamentation as cannot be adequately described by the living (cp. Matt. 8:12; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30). What will give bitterness to the lost soul’s cry include lost opportunities and the sense of endlessness of eternity.
THE NUMBER AND ORDER OF THE SAVED (Lk. 13:29-30)
“Coming from the East, West, North and South” indicates coming from all parts of the earth into the kingdom. The number will be innumerable (Rev. 7:9-10). It will also include all those, such as harlots, who appear unsalvable to some eyes (Matt. 21:31-32).
This is a big lesson to the soul winner who has been deceived by his senses and will not preach to a certain category of people.
Besides, the order in which men will be saved is clearly stated. There are those who are now first, but will be last (vs 30). This has a number of meanings:- (i) There are those who began very early and laboured all along, but who will be given the same reward as those who came shortly before the roll-call (Matt. 20:1-16); (ii) There are those who are now first but who will be last among those that will be accepted (as in a race), who also will received some inferior prize; (iii) There are those who are now first, but who will be at the extreme rear (as in a race), who will be rejected entirely (Matt. 8:10-12).