Am I striving to gain eternal life through the narrow gate of trusting and obeying Christ?
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.
INSIGHT: Hopefully by now, you understand that “easy believeism”, and the idea of going to heaven simply because you have intellectually believed in Jesus, is a false teaching that will end with the shame and destruction of those who believe it.
In Luke 13:23, someone asked Jesus, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” In Jn 10:9, Jesus says, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.” In 1 Pet 4:18, Peter says it is hard even for the righteous to be saved. In Acts 14:22, the apostles explain that we must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God. The reason that entering the narrow gate is so hard is that it costs you everything. As we have seen by now in the teachings, it requires a full surrender of our life to Jesus, not just intellectual assent. That is impossible to do, without the grace of God. He is the one who gives us the ability to even desire this and to actually do it, but only after we surrender to Him as Lord, in faith. There is no such thing as “Jesus, my Lord or Savior.” It is “Jesus, my Lord and Savior”. There is no such thing as salvation without surrender (Lk 14:33).
And, contrary to what we want to believe, Jesus does not just do it all. Yes, He empowers us by His grace, but we still have an important part to play. We partner with Him, by His grace, and we make every effort to live godly (2 Pet 3:11), to perfect holiness (2 Cor 7:1), to hold firm to our faith (1 Cor 15:2), to resist the devil (Jam 4:7), to avoid bad company (1 Cor 15:33), to forgive others (Col 3:12), to live worthy of the call we have received (Eph 4:1) and to love each other (Jn 13:34), among other things. This is striving to enter the narrow gate and I’m afraid fewer will enter it than I first hoped.