The first will be last. That sounds like it could be a confusing truth. As we jump into our text from the gospel of Luke we see just how hard that truth truly is. How many more will try to enter heaven using the wrong door? Jesus says, “many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.” I’m speaking of those who ignore Jesus’ claims that he is the only way to heaven. Jesus is the narrow door.
There are many who believe that today’s notion of religious pluralism is to be applauded. This is the thought that it doesn’t matter whether you’re Buddhist or Hindu, whether you practice Islam or Judaism, or are a Jehovah Witness or Mormon – God loves us all and will take us all to heaven. There are those who believe they have their foot in the narrow door to heaven because they are such good people. They’ll say, “If you compare me to the Boston bomber, I’m not so bad. And then if I have done something bad, I make sure to do two good things.” The writer of the proverb says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end they lead to death.” Many will not enter the narrow door. Why, you ask? This is because all the faith’s I mentioned, and the common attitudes I listed focus on what I can do for God. How I can make God happy. The simple truth is you can’t. Even the good things you think you do, volunteering, being a good child or spouse, being honest and trying your best at your job. All of these are not good enough for God. Jesus tells us in the fifth chapter of Matthew, “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” The only way to enter the narrow door of heaven is with a perfect life. You don’t have it and neither do I.
Jesus lived a perfect life. By faith, by trusting that Jesus died for our sins, his righteousness is ours Romans 5:19 God tells us, “Through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.” – the narrow door to heaven is flung open wide. God welcomes us for Jesus sake. Make every effort to throw off the temptations that would turn you from your faith and turn you away from the narrow door. You can’t open the narrow door, but Jesus wants to hold the door for you.
Want hear more? Watch this week’s message taken from Luke 13: The First Will Be Last.
Series: Hard Truth
Speaker(s): Fred Guldberg