“And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.” (Luke 13:22-28, KJV)
When Jesus is asked whether there will be few people saved, the key word to his answer is the first word he uses. The word “strive” comes from the Greek term “agonizesthe” and it means – “to engage in an athletic contest, to strive, to strive to do something with great intensity and effort, to make every effort to.” (Rogers and Rogers)
When Jesus talks about who is going to be saved, he says it is going to require intense effort and commitment on the part of those who will be saved. It will not be by accident, nor with a passive interest that one will enter the kingdom of God. In fact, Jesus says that many will seek (from a term meaning – to search, to crave, to demand) to enter and will not be able.
There is no doubt that many people want to go to Heaven, but it is also evident by looking at people’s lives that not many actually want to put forth the effort to be there. We must strive to place ourselves within the kingdom. We must, in sports parlance, “want it more” than the average individual. We must want it to the point that we are willing to do whatever it takes to receive it. Otherwise we will find ourselves on the outside looking in.
Are you striving to enter the gates of the kingdom?