Faithlife Sermons

The Narrow Door

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I feel lead to continue through the book of Luke
Jesus is giving out some strong information
Jesus never spoon fed anyone
Luke 13:22 NLT
Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he went, always pressing on toward Jerusalem.
Jesus knew his task and was not going to let anything distract him
What do we know we should be doing but we are not
the action of delaying or postponing something.
We only procrastinate about things we don’t want to do
It is spiritual quick sand
The devil cannot stop the plans of God
But he can stop us.....if we allow him
It is time to start making Jesus and our spiritual health a priority
Are we making our prayer relationship with Jesus a priority?
Are we making spiritual disciplines ( bible-fellowship-acts of love) a priority?
The power of God in our life comes from making God’s priorities our priority?
Parable of the ten servants
Given “money” to invest while he was away....(God’s spirit & word)
1st person:
15 “After he was crowned king, he returned and called in the servants to whom he had given the money. He wanted to find out what their profits were. 16 The first servant reported, ‘Master, I invested your money and made ten times the original amount!’
17 “‘Well done!’ the king exclaimed. ‘You are a good servant. You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to you, so you will be governor of ten cities as your reward.’
If we make the things of God our priority…(church-fellowship-prayer-acts of mercy & love)
invest time and energy into them
Then God will empower us with more of his resources, presence and power.
Then someone asked Jesus a very important question
Luke 13:23 NLT
Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” He replied,
Luke 12:23 NLT
For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing.
Jesus replied with a very famous
He takes it from a general question and makes it very personal
He takes it from a general question and makes it very personal
Instead of how many will be to be saved (are you saved)
Luke 13:24 NLT
“Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail.
The two words “work hard” come from the Greek word which means “to agonize”
Entering the narrow door will require the hard work of :
Repentance (different from confession)
Luther said that “repentance should be constant”
Believing Christ’s message and giving obedience to him
The narrow door does not allow you to bring alot with you…its narrow
Its made for one person at a time to go through
Not with alot of packages
There is much we need to shed before we can fit through that door
Ephesians 4:3 NLT
Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
Hebrews 12:1–3 NLT
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.
says it like this:
Jesus explains it this way
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Ephesians 4:31 NLT
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.
It is very hard to get through the door with these things.
Matthew 20:22–24 NLT
But Jesus answered by saying to them, “You don’t know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink?” “Oh yes,” they replied, “we are able!” Jesus told them, “You will indeed drink from my bitter cup. But I have no right to say who will sit on my right or my left. My Father has prepared those places for the ones he has chosen.” When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant.
Matthew 19:22–24 NLT
But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
Matthew 18:22–24 NLT
“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven! “Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars.
Matthew 20:24
The possessions the rich man had were the things in his heart he would not let go of
What are we holding onto
Galatians 5:19–21 NLT
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
How do we rid ourselves of these things?
Not by denying they exist
Honesty is the precursor to victory. (The truth will set us free)
Before God, and in your own conscience, call your sin exactly what it is.
Stop all explanations and excuses.
Just get on your knees and confess that this thing is absolutely opposed to God’s character, that it is hurting others and destroying you.
Psalm 32:5 NLT
Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Interlude
Once you confess....then you repent
The biblical word for the movement of the will away from sin and toward God is “repentance.”
It basically means a deliberate change of mind and direction.
The moment you decide against sin and begin to act in a new moral course, new neurological, synaptic pathways immediately begin to form.
Your mind actually begins to take on a new shape!
Paul says you literally “become renewed in the spirit (the bent or inclination) of your mind
How do we receive power over the sin?
We acknowledge our sin-confess
Then we have to walk
We desire to turn from our sin - repentance
But What will give us the power over the sinful flesh?
There is no magic prayer that is going to take your desire to sin away
We need to “grow in grace” and experience God’s love in our failings to receive the power to change
We need to “grow in grace” and experience God’s love
Ephesians gives us a clue....
16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.
Confession takes trust
Repentance takes trust
Honesty takes trust
As we do this more and more in Christ we learn of God’s:
Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.
Here is how this works: (slide of staked trees)
New trees are supported by stakes that protect it from being torn from the ground in storms
Christian analogy:
We stand with new Christians and support them in storms
This shows them the love and concern of God
We pass on our experiences and teach how to pray through situations with God’s word
you understand that God is with us in storms
you don’t need the supports anymore because your roots go down deep enough
19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Summary of how to let go of things that will stop you from going through the narrow door
You confess
You repent
You allow your roots to grow deep into the ground (not giving up in storms) and discover the true nature and love of God
This knowledge will empower you to drop whatever is required to follow Jesus.
Jesus explains the cost of following him
Luke 9:23–26 NLT
Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed? If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.
Matthew 7:13–14 NLT
“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Twelve: Questions and Answers (Luke 13)

But the major reason was given by Jesus Himself: “Ye would not” (Luke 13:34). Their minds had been instructed by the Word (Luke 13:26), and their hearts had been stirred by His mighty works, but their wills were stubborn and would not submit to Him. This is the deadly consequence of delay. The longer sinners wait, the harder their hearts become. “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” (Heb. 4:7).

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