Faithlife Sermons

Are you In or Out?

Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  31:49
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Luke 13:22–30 HCSB
He went through one town and village after another, teaching and making His way to Jerusalem. “Lord,” someone asked Him, “are there few being saved?” He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because I tell you, many will try to enter and won’t be able once the homeowner gets up and shuts the door. Then you will stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up for us!’ He will answer you, ‘I don’t know you or where you’re from.’ Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets!’ But He will say, ‘I tell you, I don’t know you or where you’re from. Get away from Me, all you workers of unrighteousness!’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth in that place, when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves thrown out. They will come from east and west, from north and south, and recline at the table in the kingdom of God. Note this: Some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

Salvation is a limited opportunity

Luke 13:24–25 HCSB
“Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because I tell you, many will try to enter and won’t be able once the homeowner gets up and shuts the door. Then you will stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up for us!’ He will answer you, ‘I don’t know you or where you’re from.’
If you notice, in verse 23 there is a generic question, will it be a lot of a few who are saved?
Jesus uses this general question, to be very direct. YOU ALL NEED TO BE SURE THAT YOU ARE ONE OF THE SAVED.
How many is not as important as “Be sure you are one of them.”
This gate is called the narrow gate, and it is not called so without cause. It is always narrow, and difficult to pass through to some people, and it will be so as long as the world stands. It is narrow to all who love sin — and are determined not to part with it. It is narrow to all who set their affection on this world — and seek first its pleasures and rewards. It is narrow to all who dislike trouble — and are unwilling to take pains and make sacrifices for their souls. It is narrow to all who like company — and want to keep in with the crowd. It is narrow to all who are self-righteous — and think they are good people, and deserve to be saved. To all such, the great gate which Christ made, is narrow and strait. In vain they seek to pass through. The gate will not admit them. God is not unwilling to receive them; their sins are not too many to be forgiven: but they are not willing to be saved in God's way.
“ I don’t know you” Here and in verse 27. This is horrible and surprising news as we will see in a moment. This is someone who believes for a variety of wrong reasons that they are tight with the Lord, but He says I don’t know you.

You can know about God without knowing God

Luke 13:26–27 HCSB
Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets!’ But He will say, ‘I tell you, I don’t know you or where you’re from. Get away from Me, all you workers of unrighteousness!’
This is the equivalent to saying: I was in church all the time. I warmed up next to the fire of church stuff. I sang in the choir. I sat in the pew at Riddles Bend under the preaching of a dozen different pastors. ( I am the 21st in our 100 year history and soon to be longest serving. But you will not be able to get into heaven by saying I listened to Rodney Prickett preach for 8 plus years)
I walked an aisle. I gave 10% plus. I was dunked in the creek, or the river, or the baptistry.
All that will matter is “Does God know you relationally? Have you accepted Jesus into your life?
Notice they are saying, “We hung tight with you Lord,” and he calls them “Workers of iniquity”
It’s not that Christians don’t sin. But Christians hate their sin. We slip in sin. We fail and fall. We hate that part of us and strive against it.
A lost person is at home in their sin, its their nature.

Surprise! Who is in and who is out?

Luke 13:28–30 HCSB
There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth in that place, when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves thrown out. They will come from east and west, from north and south, and recline at the table in the kingdom of God. Note this: Some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”
This flips on its head so much of what people in Jesus day believed and what many people today believe.
Weeping and gnashing of teeth is Jesus’ description of Hell.
The Jews believed they were right with God because of their heritage. They had pedigree. They were descendants of a long line of godly people. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob walked in covenant with God. The Jews believed since they were descendants of these faithful men, they were right with God. Jesus flips the whole thing. You will see them in, but you will be out.
Adding insult to injury, Jesus says people will come from everywhere (implied: who aren’t even Jewish) and they will be in the kingdom, but you won’t.
Final blow: There will be people who you think will be in heaven who won’t; and there will be people you think could never get there who will. First: those that think they are a shoo in. Last: Those that no one think can have a chance, will make it .
What makes the difference: Those who strive to enter in, by trusting Christ and Christ alone as their way to heaven.
Let me leave you with this again: How many will make it in? Not as important as “Will YOU MAKE IT IN.” Are you in or out?
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