The Redeemed Life

a Christian blog cultivating spiritual growth

22 July

Narrow Doors and Grim Warnings – Luke 13:22-30

Luke 13:22-30 – Listen

22 He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23 And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, 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.”

Redeemed Mind – Learn

It is a little known fact that the prophet that speaks most about the judgment of hell is Jesus Himself.  Over and over again in the Scriptures, He warns His hearers about the real danger of missing His message of saving grace.  This teaching uses physical examples (the narrow door, the Lord of the House, etc) to describe a future spiritual reality.

This is one of the most frightening passages in the entire Bible  because  those who have been cast out in judgment also claim to be people who knew Jesus in some way.  They ate with Him (fellowship) and heard His teachings (preaching), yet they were not included as part of God’s redeemed family.  This seems to indicate that simply knowing about Jesus does not lead to salvation.  Something more is needed to find salvation.

Redeemed Heart – Worship

When people hear judgment passages from the Bible, many tend lash out in rebellion and anger.  They are upset because they have an incomplete view of Jesus Christ.  The truth of the matter is that Christianity’s core centers around a gentle Savior who has come into the world… but is also returning as a righteous, judging King.  The merciful, gracious Jesus that most people know is only half the picture.  Throughout the Scriptures, there are echoes of judgment and grace, promises of a future redemption for the family of God, but also severe condemnation for the enemies of His Kingdom.

We who have been redeemed await not only the blessings of Kingdom life, but also a final retribution God will deliver to an unbelieving world.  We worship out of appreciation for being saved, but there is also a clear reason why there is a consistent theme in the Bible about “fearing” the LORD.

Redeemed Life – Grow

As you read this passage, what tone of voice did you hear as Jesus send away those outside His house?  Did you hear a feeling of estrangement or even hostility?  A passage from Matthew 7:21-23 sheds light on this cryptic teaching.  In it Jesus says,

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

“Ex Urbe” by Medici – Latin for “Out of the City”

The key here seems to be God’s knowledge of us, but specifically, an intimate knowledge, a personal relationship.  Those who have kept Jesus at a distance for their entire lives find themselves strangers and enemies of God, and here Jesus warns that estrangement leads to judgment.  The key to salvation is an intimate knowledge of Jesus, as a Friend, Brother, Savior and King.  It is one thing to know about God.  It is a completely different thing to know God.

Jesus was intentional about making sure this message was given to all His hearers.  He wasn’t seeking to condemn, but rather to save.  He desires us to live with the reality that this final judgment is coming so we can choose wisely.

How will you allow His words to affect you today?

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