Luke 13.24-27 says, “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 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.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’
But what does it mean that a lot of people will try to enter heaven, but they won’t be able to do it? We talked about that yesterday in Sunday School. One of my students very helpfully brought John 14.6 into the discussion, where Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
So put the two thoughts together. Jesus said that a lot of people will try to enter, but they won’t be able to… and He says that He is the only way to enter heaven, to get to God. The implication seems to be that a lot of people will comment on how many wonderful and spiritual things they did (like in Luke 13). They will think that just because they were in the house of the Lord at church, or because they prayed certain phrases, they are “good enough” for heaven.
But the only questions that matter at the end of the day is, “do you love Jesus more today than you did yesterday?” “Are you growing in understanding how to live in light of the gospel?” “Are you striving to look away from yourself, your own efforts, your own merit, and look solely to Jesus as the basis of your hope as you stand before God someday?”
If we build our lives around working to God instead of resting in Jesus, who has already done the work on the cross, then Jesus is going to say ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’ at the end of our lives.
That’s the scariest thought.
But our hope is that “there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from His (Hebrews 4.9-10).”
The call of the gospel is to rest in Christ who said, “IT IS FINISHED (John 19.30).”