Do you “agonize” over spiritual things? Maybe you should. Jesus said in today’s text, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” (Luke 13:24 NKJV)
The word for “strive” here in the original Greek is the word we get our English word, “agonize”. Observe to how a few other translations word this verse…
“Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail.” (Luke 13:24, NLT)
“Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because I tell you, many will try to enter and won’t be able” (Luke 13:24, HCSB)
Strive with earnestness to enter in through the narrow door, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter in and will not be able.” (Luke 13:24, DARBY)
Today we will discuss what this agony is all about. Why should we agonize and what should this agony look in our lives?
Read today’s text to get a bigger picture…
Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he went, always pressing on toward Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” He replied, “Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail. When the master of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. You will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Lord, open the door for us!’ But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ Then you will say, ‘But we ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ And he will reply, ‘I tell you, I don’t know you or where you come from. Get away from me, all you who do evil.’ “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, for you will see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, but you will be thrown out. And people will come from all over the world—from east and west, north and south—to take their places in the Kingdom of God. And note this: Some who seem least important now will be the greatest then, and some who are the greatest now will be least important then.”” (Luke 13:22–30, NLT)
Are you securely in God’s Kingdom? Are you sure? How do you know?
Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? —unless indeed you are disqualified.” (2 Cor 13:5 NKJV)
The Apostle Paul put it this way…
But faith’s way of getting right with God says, “Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will go up to heaven?’ (to bring Christ down to earth). And don’t say, ‘Who will go down to the place of the dead?’ (to bring Christ back to life again).” In fact, it says, “The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”” (Romans 10:6–13, NLT)