Make every effort to enter at the narrow gate

Sunday service, Michael Ngubane, 15 Jan 2017

Luke 13:24-30
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 spoke here to those who were following Him. This is an instruction to us to make every effort to enter at the narrow gate. If you are still outside, enter in and draw nigh. Maybe you’re convinced that you’re in the right way. But examine yourself if you’re indeed on the narrow way. Others again are spectators, just looking on.

Paul asked, who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Why does he speak in such a way? He has stopped being a spectator. He was involved in God’s work and saw its importance. Christ was great in his eyes and God’s work was important to him.

Noah obeyed because God had spoken to him. Others mocked and laughed but he ignored them and did as God had said. But when the rain started they no longer laughed when God shut Noah and his family in. The door was finally closed and it was too late.

It doesn’t just say enter in but that we must make every effort to enter in. Will you be found inside? Blessed are those found inside the ark.

It’s a great danger to us believers when we get used to the things of God and God’s working. God’s ways then become a pattern and habit and it’s no longer God leading you.

Where did things go wrong with king Saul? He became proud. He had many enemies and God gave him the victory over them. One day he had his army with him and he had to wait for the prophet to make the offering. He couldn’t wait and eventually did it himself. It was a proud spirit. Things went wrong with this man of God. God judged him. And the kingdom was taken from his family and given to another family.
Also later God told him through Samuel to go and destroy the Amalekites and once again he did it in his own way and God confirmed his judgement and added more.
The painful thing is that eventually God’s Spirit left him and an evil spirit came over him. Saul started to do the strangest things. Pride was the thing that ruled and destroyed him. When the prophet confronted him about the bleating of the animals he should have destroyed he excused it that he wanted to offer them to God instead of obeying God’s clear command.

What noise is there in your life? What spirit do you have?

Christ wants to rule and reign in your life. Who rules in your life? Is it you yourself? Blessed is the one led by God’s Spirit and not an evil spirit.

Those who are on the narrow way don’t just do things their own way. They do it God’s way.

Why do you hold on to the worthless things of the world?

The Bible says that those who are first will be last and the last will be first. They will come from the East and West and sit down at the tables with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob while the children of the kingdom will be cast out.

Heaven will be a surprise. Those whom we think will definitely enter might be outside while those whom we think do not have a chance will enter in.

With whom are you eating? Who are your friends? Who do you keep company with?

It cost to humble yourself and forsake your own will.

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