Matthew 7 “13 “Enter in by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter in by it. 14 How the gate is narrow and the way is restricted that leads to life! There are few who find it…..21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will tell me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, in your name cast out demons, and in your name do many mighty works?’ 23 Then I will tell them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work iniquity.’”
Dear believer, many of us can be afraid of this passage thinking that only few Christians will be saved in the end – only those who are really holy and doing the works of God.
But that is not true at all.We will be set free when we understand the context:
Jesus was not talking to Gentiles, but He was speaking to the Jews. Let us read a parallel passage to see what’s going on:
Luke 13 “22 He went on his way through cities and villages, teaching, and traveling on to Jerusalem. 23 One said to him, “Lord, are they few who are saved?” He said to them, 24 “Strive to enter in by the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will seek to enter in and will not be able. 25 When once the master of the house has risen up, and has shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ then he will answer and tell you, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 He will say, ‘I tell you, I don’t know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity.’ 28 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in God’s Kingdom, and yourselves being thrown outside. 29 They will come from the east, west, north, and south, and will sit down in God’s Kingdom. 30 Behold, there are some who are last who will be first, and there are some who are first who will be last.”
The context: Jesus was clearly telling the Jews in the cities of Israel that only few of THEM would be saved.
They saw Jesus preach on the streets of Israel for 3.5 years and called Him “Lord, Lord” – but eventually they did not believe in Him for salvation – they crucified Jesus. Then they persecuted and killed the Apostles and most believers in that generation. Most of these Jews believed in false Messiahs, false miracles, in those days.Eventually the Jewish nation was destroyed in the Roman wars from 66-136AD. Very few Jews believed in Christ in that time.
The broad majority of them perished because they trusted in the Law. The narrow road was about the few Jews who were saved.
Jesus Himself is the narrow door and gate to salvation.
John 10 “7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved”
The majority of Jews followed the broad road of the Law with many false teachers & Pharisees and were condemned.
But what did Jesus say about the Gentiles?
He said that people will come from all over the world to enter the kingdom by faith in Him.
When Jesus saw Gentile believers, this is what He said compared to the Jews who rejected Him:
Matthew 8:10 “10 When Jesus heard it, he marveled and said to those who followed, “Most certainly I tell you, I haven’t found so great a faith, not even in Israel. “
Paul confirms that here:
Romans 9 “30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, who didn’t follow after righteousness, attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith; 31 but Israel, following after a law of righteousness, didn’t arrive at the law of righteousness. 32 Why? Because they didn’t seek it by faith, but as it were by works of the law. They stumbled over the stumbling stone;”
Dear believer, if you trust in Jesus for salvation and not by works, then you have nothing to fear. You are righteous, holy, blameless, perfect by Christ’s finished work!
John 6 “28 They said therefore to him, “What must we do, that we may work the works of God?”29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.””
The promise is salvation for everyone who believes – not a small minority – but everyone who trusts in Jesus Christ will be saved.
Romans 10 “4 For Christ is the fulfillment of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes….9 that if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart, one believes resulting in righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in him will not be disappointed.”
You have done the will of the Father by believing in Christ.Your salvation is guaranteed in Jesus’ name!