Summary: Some people have heard of the teachings of Jesus Christ. They have read the bible. They have eaten the bread and drank the wine in church. The trouble is that although they know OF Jesus they do not yet know him personally.
You think your life is sorted? Well think Again!
This is the stark message from our bible reading in Luke’s Gospel.
This is the first episode in our 10:30am series of sermons leading up to Easter and just beyond. Over the next few weeks we are walking with Jesus through the latter part of Luke’s Gospel, continuing from where we left of last quarter. We’ll be challenged head on with the gospel truth urged to “THINK AGAIN” which should also encourage us greatly with great hope of what Jesus Christ can bring into our lives.
A powerful preacher was reported to have preached on this passage from Luke’s Gospel and he had explained that not everyone that thinks they will, will get into heaven. Some people will be locked out and destined for eternal torment in Hell where, he said, “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” One smart elderly lady shouted out and said, “well my teeth won’t be gnashing because I haven’t got any” The preacher in his powerful preaching voice replied “Madam, teeth will be provided”
Today’s message is from Luke 13. Let’s remind ourselves about the writer: The Gospel writer Luke was a very well educated man – a Doctor of medicine. He was a companion of the Apostle Paul and (Paul was the write of much of the New Testament letters) but Luke also wrote the book of Acts.
Luke wrote his Gospel account of the life and works of Jesus to someone called Theophilus. This translates as “God Lover” and I like to think that he’s written his Gospel for God lovers everywhere not only to this specific person Theophilus.
And he wrote his Gospel account is his very scientific factual manner, in very rich educated Greek language in Rome around 26 - 47 years after Jesus’s crucifixion. He wrote his Gospel based on eye witness testimony so that you can be sure that these things are factual. (Luke 1)
Our account in Luke’s Gospel is set at a time Jesus travelling around the towns and villages, preaching and teaching on a journey that would end in Jerusalem. We pick up the account with someone telling Jesus about a particularly unfortunate group of Galileans that had died at the hands of Pilate and another group that had died in a tragic construction accident in Siloam.
The exact question that they asked isn’t said but the answer that Jesus gives indicates that the people were debating as to whether the Galileans death was brought on by their sins and were these Galileans more sinful than others.
Jesus says "No" and that the people should not concern themselves with the behaviour of the Galatians – it’s a total irrelevance. What they should concern themselves with is THEIR OWN behaviour only.
Verse 3and repeated in verse 5 “Unless YOU repent, you too will all perish”
Jesus then tells them a parable about a fig tree in a vineyard that didn’t produce any fruit. After 3 years the vineyard owner tells the gardener to cut it down. The gardener says – well let’s just give it a dig over and some fertiliser and give it one last chance to produce fruit. If it still won’t then we’ll cut it down.
We jump then to where Jesus is teaching about entering the Kingdom of God
As he’s travelling through the towns and villages someone asks him if everyone will enter heaven or will only a few people will be saved.
Jesus again turns it back on them and, implying that they don’t need to concern themselves about the actions of other people, tells them to make every effort to enter through the narrow door.
This links in with Matthew’s Gospel chapter 7 where Jesus refers to the narrow “gate” to life.
13"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
So the road to the Kingdom of heaven, to life not destruction, is through the narrow door AND Jesus says that not everyone who wants to get into heaven will get in.
They will be locked outside and it will be too late.
They will plead to God that they were Christians, that they went to Church and ate and drank with him and listened to His teachings but God will turn them away.
Other people will be in there but they – the people who thought they were eating and drinking with God and listening to the teachings will go to hell.
Where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Indeed those who think they are first in the queue (as it were) will be last and those who people perhaps thought would never get into God’s kingdom will be first in.