Summary: Jesus Corrects the Modern Myths of Salvation
September 9, 2001 Luke 13:22-30
22 Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ 28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”
It was a beautiful day on a Sunday afternoon as I was walking to the park with my niece. The grass was green and the birds were singing - one of those easily forgettable yet enjoyable moments in life. Somehow, however, we got in a conversation about my niece’s grandfather who had recently passed away. I was kind of surprised when she told me, “grandpa turned into an angel. Now he’s in heaven looking after me.” Now, I’m thinking to myself, “I know that the Bible doesn’t say that.” So I gently tried to explain to her, “no, that’s not quite right.” But the more I tried to state the truth to her, the more she adamantly demanded that she was right. It was at that time that I put my theological gloves back in my locker and saved the fight for another day.
My niece was confused about the facts of salvation. She believed a myth. There are many myths when it comes to salvation - especially when it comes to who goes there and how you get there. As Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem to die - he wound his way through many side villages and towns. As he was walking, someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” It was an open ended question that Jesus could answer in any way he felt fit. And so, after having dealt with the people in these towns for quite some time, he answered in a way that would debunk any well known myths of the day. Today we’ll see how
Jesus Corrects the Modern Myths of Salvation
I. Who will be saved
When I was in McCook I conducted a door to door survey of as much of the town as I could. In this survey, I started with the first question - “do you believe that heaven and hell exist?” I would say that about 99 percent of the people that I asked said yes. About one percent weren’t sure if hell existed. It goes to show that most people are born with a natural knowledge that there is more to life than our existence here on earth. After I asked the first question, I then followed up with the second, “where do you believe you are going?” Out of the hundreds of people I asked, only about two said hell - the rest said heaven. If everyone who believed they were going to heaven went to heaven, then we would have to say that almost all people are going to be saved. Is this true? That was the question that Jesus was asked - “Are only a few going to be saved?”
Jesus answered the question by giving a very vivid description of what will happen on Judgment Day. Many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ Isn’t this a vivid picture? People standing outside of the kingdom door - banging and crying, “Lord, let us in!” But when the trumpet blows and Judgment Day comes, there will be no second chances. The separation will take place, the righteous from the damned. How many will end up in hell? Jesus said, “MANY” will try to enter and not be able to. This debunks the first myth that all or most people go to heaven. Not true. Many don’t. It doesn’t matter if everyone thinks they’re going to heaven. Many aren’t.