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Strive to Enter

search out truth in a day of darkness

Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?”
And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.

Luke 13:23-24

The questioner wanted to know the purposes of God regarding the proportion of people God intended to save. Would it be a large amount, or only a few? Instead of giving a direct answer to the question, Jesus urged the the inquirer to strive to enter the narrow gate for there would be many who would be interested in entering but would fail to enter.

In His response, the Lord Jesus indicated that the key to entering the narrow gate of salvation is to strive, which means to zealously exert effort. From the Lord’s repeated demonstrations of His power to forgive sin, it is clear that He did not mean that they should strive to clean sin from their lives. Rather, He meant they should strive to know the truth.

In those days, the nation of Israel was saturated with the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy (Luke 12:1). The truth was obscured (just as it is in our day), and discerning the truth required diligent effort. Sadly, a majority of people were not diligent to find the truth but were willing to settle for an easy, but false, gospel. As a result, only a small proportion of people would be saved.

The Lord indicated that there would be few who would be saved, not because God limited access, but because people did not take God’s word seriously.

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