How narrow is the door?
|Created by Gerard de Vos|
Category: Christ related
The bigger the door, the easier it is to pass through it, and the more people can use it simultaneously. But the door into the eternal Kingdom of God, that Jesus talks about, is narrow (Luke 13:24 - “And He [Jesus] said to them, ‘Make every effort to enter through the narrow door.......’”). At the same time the Bible declares that God “wants all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3). Jesus said He came to save the lost. Why then this proviso: entry is not easy and automatic. The Interlinear Bible translates it as ‘labor to enter..’ The Greek word is our English - ‘to agonize’.
Why is such diligent effort necessary if it is God’s will that everyone is saved from condemnation (Ezekiel 33:11)? Does God prefer people who are good with self discipline and hard work? What about salvation through grace and mercy? An every day example helps with the answer: there are countries racked apart by rebels, treason, coups, et cetera. That happens because some people are not satisfied with the governor or the government. God’s kingdom is very different. It is not a democracy (the ruler is chosen by the people). It is a theocracy (God rules as the absolute, unelected monarch). He will be the ruler for all time. There will never be elections, or pressure put on Him to resign. He is the supreme King over his Kingdom. But He has to exercise every caution possible to make sure that only loyal children will live with Him for eternity. What better strategy to achieve this than to put obstacles along the path. The people who really love the Lord will learn to regard them, not as hardships, but as pure joy, with their eyes fixed on what is waiting. There are other people who don’t mind to accept Jesus to be saved from the pool of fire, but any effort to live a life that pleases God, is not for them.
Therefore, Jesus is very plain in laying down His requirements: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father that is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). This requires love for the Lord. A citizen who is not that loyal to his country will not be very diligent to obey the laws. His attitude is: this is not the government I want, so I don’t care.
God will not be caught unaware by someone who doesn’t love Him that much. His test and standard is, “If you love me, you will obey what I command” - John 14:15,21,23); “This is love for God, to obey His commands” (1 John 5:3). But according to God’s mercy and grace, He will not leave or forsake anyone who desires to love Him - He has provided the Holy Spirit to help him/her.