The Answer may
Shock You . . .
"Then said one unto him, Lord, are there
few that be saved?" Luke 13:23
When the preceding question was asked of Christ by His disciples, He answered with what
has become one of the most sobering warnings found in the Bible. He said:
"Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for MANY, I say unto you, will seek
to enter in, and shall NOT BE ABLE." Luke 13:24
As a professing Christian, one's first assumption when reading this verse is that the "MANY"
referred to here consist primarily of all those poor souls involved in a non- Christian religion.
Surely, one reasons, Christ is referring to those who have never called upon Him to save
them; surely any Christ-centered church is excluded from being counted among those
However, remember that it was to a Christ-centered church that the Apostle Paul said:
"EXAMINE YOURSELVES, WHETHER YE BE IN THE FAITH; prove your own
selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be
reprobates?" 2 Cor. 13:5
Furthermore, consider the OTHER warning Jesus gave in Matthew 7, a warning even more
sobering! He said: "NOT EVERY ONE THAT SAITH UNTO ME, LORD, LORD,
SHALL ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN; but he that doeth the will of my
Father which is in heaven. MANY will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not
prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done
many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I NEVER KNEW YOU:
DEPART FROM ME, ye that work iniquity." Mat. 7:21-23
One can't assume that the "MANY" mentioned here are non-Christians. Go back and read
what they said. They called Christ, Lord; they "prophesied" (preached) in His name; they
even "cast out devils." THEY ARE CLEARLY PROFESSING CHRISTIANS!
You're probably wondering how a person can spend their whole life assuming they know
Christ -- only to end up hearing Him say, "I NEVER KNEW YOU."
But this horrible scene will be a lot more common
than you think . . . Here's why . . .
. . . Beginning with, the very verses we just read.
Notice again what Jesus says in verse 21: "Not every one that SAITH UNTO ME, LORD, LORD,
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. BUT HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF MY FATHER
which is in heaven."
Jesus here is making a distinction between someone who calls Christ, Lord, and someone who's
living like Christ IS their Lord. Jesus will not tolerate "lip service." That's why He said of the
religious crowd of His time: "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth
me with their lips; but their heart is far from me" (Matthew 15:8). God is NOT naive. He knows
the difference between "talking it" and "living it." He knows a truly submissive attitude when He sees
one. He can see one's heart and is not solely dependent on what they say. In fact, He asked another
"And why CALL ye me, Lord, Lord, and DO NOT the things which I say?" Luke 6:46
You see, Christ said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I KNOW THEM, AND THEY FOLLOW
ME" (John 10:27). And here lies the primary reason why so many professing Christians will discover
one day that Christ never knew them -- they were not submissive to Jesus Christ. They didn't live
like He was the ONLY Lord of their lives. THEY DIDN'T MAKE HIM THEIR LORD!
Oh, they may go to church, sing the hymns, and then quietly listen to the sermon while they nod their
heads in agreement. They'll give the preacher an amen from time to time, and even drop their tithe and
offerings in the basket when it goes by. But in their hearts there's a limit as to how far they will follow
Christ. Whereas when they should have repented, given up their self- will and submitted to Christ as
Lord (as well as Saviour), they held back, not truly willing to GIVE IT ALL TO CHRIST.
Now, lest you think that we're taking all this a bit too far, consider how the early Christians reacted
to Christ's Lordship over their lives. Let's begin with Jesus's first disciples. In the gospels, we find
Jesus preaching: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: REPENT YE, and
believe the gospel" (Mark 1:15). "REPENT: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Matt. 4:17
TO REPENT means to change one's mind, to recognize your lost, sinful, hell-bound state.
A person with a truly repentant attitude admits that they have sinned against a Holy God.
With this acknowledgment comes the willingness to forsake their sin, their grip on the world,
their self-righteousness, their religious beliefs, and, more importantly, THEIR SELF-WILL.
It is the desire to hang on to one's self-will and remain lord of their own lives, that will
result in so many hearing Christ say: "I NEVER KNEW YOU: DEPART FROM ME, ye that
work iniquity" (Matthew 7:23). Remember, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord,
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. But he that doeth THE WILL OF MY
FATHER which is in heaven." Matthew 7:21
As Christ preached repentance and faith, He came across, "Two brethren, Simon called Peter, and
Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers" (Matt. 4:18). Notice what
Christ did: "And he saith unto them, FOLLOW ME, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matt.
4:19). Now, notice their reaction: "And they straightway LEFT THEIR NETS, AND FOLLOWED
HIM." Matthew 4:20
Continue reading the chapter and you'll find the same reaction from: "James the son of Zebedee,
and John his brother...HE [Christ] CALLED THEM. And they immediately LEFT THE SHIP
AND THEIR FATHER, AND FOLLOWED HIM." Matthew 4:21-22
In the other gospel accounts we read the same thing over and over again: "And straightway they
FORSOOK THEIR NETS, AND FOLLOWED HIM" (Mark 1:18). "And straightway HE
CALLED THEM: AND THEY LEFT their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants,
AND WENT AFTER HIM" (Mark 1:20). "And when they had brought their ships to land,
THEY FORSOOK ALL, AND FOLLOWED HIM" (Luke 5:11). "...he went forth, and saw a
publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me. And HE
LEFT ALL, ROSE UP, AND FOLLOWED HIM." Luke 5:27- 28
In this next verse we see why so few ARE willing to forsake career, family, friends, money,
materialism, fame, worldly status, family religion, "pet sins" and even self for Christ: "From that
time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the
twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, LORD, TO WHOM SHALL WE
GO? THOU HAST THE WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE. And we believe AND ARE SURE that
thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." John 6:66-69
Friend, one reason why so many professing Christians are not truly saved is because they've never
truly realized that, WITHOUT CHRIST, THEY HAVE NOTHING. Perhaps they still believe that
they, themselves, can run their own lives independent of God. Perhaps, in their heart, they hold back,
fearful of what Christ would have them to do, or what they would have to sacrifice, if they
surrendered it all to Him. Yet, nothing in this world is worth hanging on to-- not even one's own
self-rule and independence.
"And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them,
Whosoever will come after me, LET HIM DENY HIMSELF, and take up his cross, and
FOLLOW ME. (35)For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; BUT WHOSOEVER SHALL LOSE
HIS LIFE for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it." Mark 8:34-35
Friend, as a professing Christian, did YOU truly repent when you called upon Christ to save you? If
you're not willing to trust Christ as the only supreme LORD of your life, you can't even begin to trust
Him as Saviour. After all, how can you seriously trust Him to save your eternity bound soul, when
you're not even willing to trust Him to run your short earthly life? Jesus warned:
"I tell you, Nay: but, EXCEPT YE REPENT, ye shall all likewise PERISH." Luke 13:3
IF you were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven? The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).
q BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps
you from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated
between you and your God," Isa. 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For
all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God;" Rom. 3:23.
q SECONDLY, you must realize that there is
NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn
Heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the
gift of God: Not of works, lest any man
should boast." Eph. 2:8-9 Baptism, good deeds,
church membership, self-righteousness are all
examples of good works that cannot save you,
because: "Not by works of
righteousness which we have done, but
according to his mercy he [Christ] saved
us," Titus 3:5.
q THE ONLY WAY you can get saved
is through Jesus Christ. He said: "I am the
way, the truth, and the life: no man
cometh unto the Father, but by me."
(John 14:6) THAT'S WHY: "...while we were
yet sinners, Christ died for us."
(Rom. 5:8-9) THEREFORE: You must REPENT
(change your mind); admit that you are a Hell
deserving sinner and can't save yourself. And
call upon Christ, and Him alone, to save you.
"if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord
Jesus [REPENT], and shalt believe in thine
heart [TRUST] that God hath raised him
from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Rom. 10:9
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[Christian Helps Ministry (USA)] [Christian Home Bible Course]