“A bystander said, “Master, will only a few be saved?”
He said, “Whether few or many is none of your business. Put your mind on your life with God. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires your total attention.
A lot of you are going to assume that you’ll sit down to God’s salvation banquet just because you’ve been hanging around the neighborhood all your lives. Well, one day you’re going to be banging on the door, wanting to get in, but you’ll find the door locked and the Master saying, ‘Sorry, you’re not on my guest list.’
“You’ll protest, ‘But we’ve known you all our lives!’ only to be interrupted with his abrupt, ‘Your kind of knowing can hardly be called knowing. You don’t know the first thing about me.’” Luke 13:23-27 Message Bible
Not long after the church began in Acts 4, one of the very first sermons that was preached by the apostle Peter when John was with him we find an interesting statement in Acts 4:11-12. Peter is addressing the Sanhedrin; he is talking to the leading brethren of the Jewish church. He makes this statement in verse 11:
“He is “the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.””
“This is the cornerstone by which every other stone is measured and you leaders of the church have rejected it.” Then in verse 12 we read this very clear statement:
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
The Jews, the crowd that was following Jesus to Jerusalem were taught that salvation is by works. You had to be circumcised; you had to do a whole list of things. They had a string of dos and don’ts and if you didn’t do any of them, you would not make it.
Jesus said, “No, it’s not by works.” There are many people trying to go to heaven but they will not make it because the way to heaven is very narrow. You cannot take any of your baggage. I’m not making this up because the parable points this out. Remember it outlined:
The people Jesus was addressing in Luke 13 were Jews.
The Jews were walking on that broad road on which every other religion was walking, which is “salvation by works.”
If you read Romans 9:31-32, Paul tells us there that the reason why Israel will not make it to heaven is not because they have not tried but because they tried the wrong method:
“But Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the “stumbling stone.””