Summary: Salvation

Introduction: According to the gospel of John (John 10:22.), our Lord had gone into Jerusalem for the eight-day Feast of Dedication. It was during this week that our Lord healed the blind man and was confronted by the Pharisees after he taught about the good shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep. Consequently, the Pharisees were divided some saying he had a demon, others saying he was insane, leaving others uncertain. Many in the temple wanted to know if he was the Christ. When he said, "I and the Father are one," the Jews took up stones again to stone him. But Jesus eluded their grasp (John 10:22-39). So our Lord then moved from Jerusalem to the east of the Jordan into the district of Perea (modern day Jordan), governed by Herod Antipas, who had earlier ordered the death of John the Baptist. He continued to minister in that district until spring. In spring, He proceeded back to Jerusalem to attend his final Passover feast. We find our Lord in Luke 13:22-35, teaching and healing in the cities and villages of Perea as He journeys toward Jerusalem.

As the disciples observed the Lord, especially in his dealings with the Pharisees, they began to realize that the teachings of the rabbis were in direct contrast to the teachings of Jesus. They began to see the mounting opposition to Christ and His message of salvation. In light of the rejection and opposition of many one of Christ’s followers asks in Christ, "Lord, are there just a few who will be saved?" Christ’s reply is powerful and startling. He states, “Strive to enter in through the strait gate (or narrow door), for many, I say to you, will seek to enter in and will not be able.” Christ made two points very clear – (1) the doorway to salvation is very narrow and (2) not everyone who seeks to enter is or will be able to enter. Let us consider these two statements.

I. The Doorway to Salvation is Very Narrow.

A. Matthew 7:13-14 "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it."

B. John 10:1 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber." John 10:7-9 "Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. [8] All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. [9] I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."

C. The way of salvation is extremely specific. Not all roads lead to Heaven.

1. Proverbs 16:25 "There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."

2. John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

3. Acts 4:12 "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

II. Not Everyone Can Be Saved or Go to Heaven.

A. Those who trust in their own goodness cannot go to heaven.

1. Matthew 5:20 "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."

2. Luke 13:3 "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."

3. While a man rests on his own merits for acceptance with God, it is of little consequence whether he is a pagan idolater or a proud, ignorant Pharisee. They are both equally lost.

B. Those who do not humble themselves cannot go to heaven.

1. Matthew 18:3 "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."

2. Jeremiah 9:23 “Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches. But let him that glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth. For in these things I delight, saith the LORD.”

3. A Fox was boasting to a Cat of its clever devices for escaping its enemies. "I have a whole bag of tricks," he said, "which contains a hundred ways of escaping my enemies." "I have only one," said the Cat; "but I can generally manage with that." Just at that moment they heard the cry of a pack of hounds coming towards them, and the Cat immediately scampered up a tree and hid herself in the boughs. "This is my plan," said the Cat. "What are you going to do?" The Fox thought first of one way, then of another. While he was debating the hounds came nearer and nearer and at last the Fox in his confusion was caught by the hounds and soon killed by the huntsmen. Miss Puss, who had been looking on, said, "Better one safe way than a hundred on which you cannot reckon.” The world brags about a hundred ways of reaching heaven. But the sure way of faith in Jesus Christ is better than ten thousand ways that don’t work!

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