Luke 13:24a - Strive To Enter Through The Narrow Gate.

Luke 13:24a - Strive To Enter Through The Narrow Gate.

Luke 13:24 (NKJV) "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for 
many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.  

Luke 13:24 (NIV) "Make every effort to enter through the narrow 
door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able 

STRIVE. Gr. agonizomai, originally referred to the effort put 
forth by a contestant in an athletic contest to qualify for the prize, 
and hence came to mean in a general sense "to struggle," or "to 
exert oneself." It is sometimes used in the NT of the Christian's 
efforts to qualify for entrance into the kingdom of heaven (1 Cor. 9:25; 
Col. 1:29). It is also translated "fight" in 1 Tim. 6:12, with 
reference to fighting the good fight of faith (see 2 Tim. 4:7). [SDA Bible 

The word translated "strive" is employed in 22:44 to describe 
Jesus' struggle in Gethsemane. [Jamieson, Fausset, And Brown 

THE NARROW DOOR is Christ Himself apart from whom there is no 
other way to heaven. [Ryrie SB] 

Receiving salvation requires more concentrated effort than most 
people are willing to put forth. Obviously we cannot save ourselves - 
there is no way we can work ourselves into God's favor. The effort we 
must put out "to enter through the narrow door" is earnestly desiring 
to know Jesus and diligently striving to follow him whatever the 
cost. [Life Application SB] 

Man is allotted a part in this great struggle for everlasting 
life; he must respond to the working of the Holy Spirit. It will 
require a struggle to break through the powers of darkness, and the 
Spirit works in him to accomplish this. But man is no passive being, to 
be saved in indolence. He is called upon to strain every muscle and 
exercise every faculty in the struggle for immortality; yet it is God 
that supplies the efficiency.  8T65 

There is no such thing as a truly converted person living a 
helpless, useless life. It is not possible for us to drift into heaven. No 
sluggard can enter there. If we do not strive to gain an entrance into 
the kingdom, if we do not seek earnestly to learn what constitutes 
its laws, we are not fitted for a part in it. Those who refuse to 
co-operate with God on earth would not co-operate with Him in heaven. It 
would not be safe to take them to heaven.  COL280 [Remnant SOP SB] 

God's kingdom is at work in this world, but many people fail to 
take advantage of their opportunities. Instead of entering the 
kingdom, some people only ask questions about it. Salvation is not a 
theory to discuss; it is a miracle to experience. No wonder Jesus wept 
when He saw sinners passing by their opportunities to be saved! Do 
not wait for opportunities to come; they are already here. [Chapter 
by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe] 

Yesterday is a canceled check. Tomorrow is a promissory note. 
Today is the only cash you have, so invest it wisely. [Chapter by 
Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe re Luk. 13] 


   Martial artist Morihei Ueshiba once philosophized, "There are 
many paths leading to the top of Mount Fuji." His statement reflected 
the idea that many people believe, which is that there are many ways 
to find God. Life is a journey and people are free to choose their 
own path to the deity of their choice. 
   However, Jesus completely refuted that idea, in Luke 13:24, 
He said, "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say 
to you, will seek to enter and will not be able." In other words, 
there are people who will spend their entire life pursuing a deity 
that cannot save them and will not realize it until it's too late. 
It's a horrifying thought. 
   So, why do so many people think there is more than one way to 
find God? 
   Generally, the belief that there is more than one path to God 
stems from the fact that in every society in the world - it doesn't 
make any difference how civilized or uncivilized - there are always 
people who believe in some kind of deity. Therefore, many 
anthropologists and sociologists reason that there is no one true religion - 
everyone simply worships the deity which best reflects their 
environmental influences. 
   Such scientists conclude that everyone is entitled to their 
own idea of god - including believing that there is no such thing as 
a supreme being. Unfortunately, that's human reasoning. It sounds 
logical, but the problem with it is that it is a complete contradiction 
to the way the one true God has provided for us to know Him (see 
John 3:16-18).  
   So why are there so many cultures with so many deities? 
Romans 1:20 explains, "Since the creation of the world His invisible 
attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, 
even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse." 
People are without excuse in knowing that God exists. That is why every 
culture has a concept of God - He's clearly seen throughout nature. 
However, it's not up to us to imagine who He is or to create Him out of 
our own reasoning or culture. Rather, we must look to the way He's 
revealed Himself to us, which is through the person of Jesus Christ (see 
Matt. 11:27; John 14:7). 
   Unfortunately, people are sometimes offended when Christians 
say that Jesus Christ is the only way to God because they say that 
God wouldn't exclude all the people who don't believe in Christ from 
heaven. However, their reasoning is completely wrong. It's not that the 
one true God is exclusive. In fact, He is completely inclusive. 
Jesus said in John 12:32, "I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will 
draw all peoples to Myself." Jesus offers salvation to everyone. 
Jesus would never turn away someone who put their faith in Him (see 
Rom. 10:9-13). 
   Though life may be a journey, and though there may be a 
multitude of roads to the earthly Mount Fuji; there's only one way to God 
- and that's by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior 
(see John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Christ offers the only road that leads to 
salvation. Though the world may offer an abundance of choices, they'll 
never lead to what you're really looking for (see Prov. 14:12). The 
only right choice is the road God offers - and that is through Jesus 
Christ. Though that path is the narrow one, it's always wide open to 
you. Trust Him. [Life Principles SB By Charles Stanley] 


   The path which I have set before you, He said, is narrow; the 
gate is difficult of entrance; for the golden rule excludes all pride 
and self-seeking. There is, indeed, a wider road; but its end is 
destruction. If you would climb the path of spiritual life, you must 
constantly ascend; for it is an upward way. You must go with the few; for 
the multitude will choose the downward path. 
   In the road to death the whole race may go, with all their 
worldliness, all their selfishness, all their pride, dishonesty, and moral 
debasement. There is room for every man's opinions and doctrines, space to 
follow his inclinations, to do whatever his self-love may dictate. In 
order to go in the path that leads to destruction, there is no need of 
searching for the way; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad, and the 
feet naturally turn into the path that ends in death. 
   But the way to life is narrow and the entrance strait. If you 
cling to any besetting sin you will find the way too narrow for you to 
enter. Your own ways, your own will, your evil habits and practices, 
must be given up if you would keep the way of the Lord. He who would 
serve Christ cannot follow the world's opinions or meet the world's 
standard. Heaven's path is too narrow for rank and riches to ride in 
state, too narrow for the play of self-centered ambition, too steep and 
rugged for lovers of ease to climb. Toil, patience, self-sacrifice, 
reproach, poverty, the contradiction of sinners against Himself, was the 
portion of Christ, and it must be our portion, if we ever enter the 
Paradise of God. 
   Yet do not therefore conclude that the upward path is the 
hard and the downward road the easy way. All along the road that 
leads to death there are pains and penalties, there are sorrows and 
disappointments, there are warnings not to go on. God's love has made it hard for 
the heedless and headstrong to destroy themselves. It is true that 
Satan's path is made to appear attractive, but it is all a deception; in 
the way of evil there are bitter remorse and cankering care. We may 
think it pleasant to follow pride and worldly ambition, but the end is 
pain and sorrow. Selfish plans may present flattering promises and 
hold out the hope of enjoyment, but we shall find that our happiness 
is poisoned and our life embittered by hopes that center in self. 
In the downward road the gateway may be bright with flowers, but 
thorns are in the path. The light of hope which shines from its 
entrance fades into the darkness of despair, and the soul who follows 
that path descends into the shadows of unending night. 
   "The way of transgressors is hard," but wisdom's "ways are 
ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace." Proverbs 13:15; 
3:17. Every act of obedience to Christ, every act of self-denial for 
His sake, every trial well endured, every victory gained over 
temptation, is a step in the march to the glory of final victory. If we take 
Christ for our guide, He will lead us safely. The veriest sinner need 
not miss his way. Not one trembling seeker need fail of walking in 
pure and holy light. Though the path is so narrow, so holy that sin 
cannot be tolerated therein, yet access has been secured for all, and 
not one doubting, trembling soul need say, "God cares naught for 
   The road may be rough and the ascent steep; there may be 
pitfalls upon the right hand and upon the left; we may have to endure 
toil in our journey; when weary, when longing for rest, we may have 
to toil on; when faint, we may have to fight; when discouraged, we 
must still hope; but with Christ as our guide we shall not fail of 
reaching the desired haven at last. Christ Himself has trodden the rough 
way before us and has smoothed the path for our feet. 
   And all the way up the steep road leading to eternal life are 
well-springs of joy to refresh the weary. Those who walk in wisdom's ways 
are, even in tribulation, exceeding joyful; for He whom their soul 
loveth, walks, invisible, beside them. At each upward step they discern 
more distinctly the touch of His hand; at every step brighter 
gleamings of glory from the Unseen fall upon their path; and their songs 
of praise, reaching ever a higher note, ascend to join the songs of 
angels before the throne. "The path of the righteous is as the light of 
dawn, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." Proverbs 4:18, 
R.V., margin. 
   The belated traveler, hurrying to reach the city gate by the 
going down of the sun, could not turn aside for any attractions by the 
way. His whole mind was bent on the one purpose of entering the gate. 
The same intensity of purpose, said Jesus, is required in the 
Christian life. I have opened to you the glory of character, which is the 
true glory of My kingdom. It offers you no promise of earthly 
dominion; yet it is worthy of your supreme desire and effort. I do not 
call you to battle for the supremacy of the world's great empire, but 
do not therefore conclude that there is no battle to be fought nor 
victories to be won. I bid you strive, agonize, to enter into My spiritual 
   The Christian life is a battle and a march. But the victory 
to be gained is not won by human power. The field of conflict is 
the domain of the heart. The battle which we have to fight--the 
greatest battle that was ever fought by man--is the surrender of self to 
the will of God, the yielding of the heart to the sovereignty of 
love. The old nature, born of blood and of the will of the flesh, 
cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The hereditary tendencies, the 
former habits, must be given up........ 
   The victory is not won without much earnest prayer, without 
the humbling of self at every step. Our will is not to be forced 
into co-operation with divine agencies, but it must be voluntarily 
submitted. Were it possible to force upon you with a hundredfold greater 
intensity the influence of the Spirit of God, it would not make you a 
Christian, a fit subject for heaven.......... 
   But many are attracted by the beauty of Christ and the glory 
of heaven, who yet shrink from the conditions by which alone these 
can become their own. There are many in the broad way who are not 
fully satisfied with the path in which they walk. They long to break 
from the slavery of sin, and in their own strength they seek to make 
a stand against their sinful practices. They look toward the 
narrow way and the strait gate; but selfish pleasure, love of the 
world, pride, unsanctified ambition, place a barrier between them and 
the Saviour. To renounce their own will, their chosen objects of 
affection or pursuit, requires a sacrifice at which they hesitate and 
falter and turn back. Many "will seek to enter in, and shall not be 
able." Luke 13:24. They desire the good, they make some effort to 
obtain it; but they do not choose it; they have not a settled purpose 
to secure it at the cost of all things. 
   The only hope for us if we would overcome is to unite our 
will to God's will and work in co-operation with Him, hour by hour 
and day by day. We cannot retain self and yet enter the kingdom of 
God. If we ever attain unto holiness, it will be through the 
renunciation of self and the reception of the mind of Christ. Pride and 
self-sufficiency must be crucified. Are we willing to pay the price required of 
us? Are we willing to have our will brought into perfect conformity 
to the will of God? Until we are willing, the transforming grace of 
God cannot be manifest upon us. MB138-143 


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