Strive to Enter

TEXT:  Luke 13:22-30

INTRODUCTION:

A.      JESUS ANSWERS A QUESTION (vs. 23-24)  WE FOCUS ON THE ANSWER.

B.      JESUS ADDRESSES THE REJECTION OF SOME.

          1.       Why were they locked out when strangers were not?

          2.       What do Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob have to do with all this?

C.      THEIR PROBLEM IS SIMILAR TO WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE CHURCH NOW.

I.      WE MUST STRIVE TO ENTER ( Luke 13:24 ).

A.      GOODSPEED'S TRANS. "You must strain every nerve..."

          THAYER – “agoonizomai;  2. universally, to contend with adversaries, fight; 3. figuratively

          to contend, struggle, with difficulties and dangers antagonistic to the gospel; 4. to endeavor

           with strenuous zeal, strife, to obtain something; followed by an infinitive,” Luke 22:44

B.      "STRIVING" TO ENTER INVOLVES DIFFERENT THINGS:

          1.       We have a powerful enemy ( Eph. 6:12;  1 Pet. 5:8). 

                   a.  Remember who he is.

                   b.  We must fight him together (Phil. 1:27).

          2.       We must then use every weapon the Lord gives us (Eph. 6:10-11, 13f.).

          3.       We must make heaven our focus if it is to be our goal (Col. 3:1-2;  Matt. 6:33).

          4.       We must; cease from sin( Rom. 6:12;  1 Cor. 9:25-27).

C.      THERE IS A PRICE TO PAY (Luke 14:25-28).

D.      ARE YOU WILLING TO PAY IT?  (The Great Race TV show)  (Matt. 16:26).

II.     IT IS THE NARROW DOOR ( Luke 13:24 ).

          stenos, “narrow, strait:” (Thayer)

A.      NARROW BECAUSE OF LIMITED OPPORTUNITY.

          Arizona’s most common tale of woe.

          1.       The warning from James (James 4:13-17).

          2.       The warning of Paul and Jesus (1 Thess. 5:3;  Matt. 24:42).

          3.       Felix and Drusilla ( Acts 24:24-25).

          4.       Paul’s great plea (2 Cor. 6:1-2).

B.      NARROW BECAUSE IT IS THE ONLY WAY.

          1.       Jesus said (John 14:6;  Acts 4:12).

          2.       One church! (Matt. 16:18;  Eph. 1:22-23;  2:16;  4:4Matt. 15:13).

          3.       One FAITH! (Eph. 4:5 č Gal. 1:6-9).

D.      NARROW BECAUSE IT IS DIFFICULT (Luke 9:23;  1 Pet. 4:19).

III.    THE PROBLEM OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL (vs. 25-30).

A.      THEIR FAILURES DID NOT INVOLVE A REJECTION OF THE CHRIST.

          1.       The religious leaders not the questioners – Pharisees & Sadducees.

          2.       They knew who Jesus was, or who he claimed to be.

          3.       His rejecting them tied to the answer of vs. 24.  They weren’t involved in the struggle.

          4.       Their dismay heightened when they see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets

                   in the kingdom.  To top it off people from all over, including Gentiles, will be there.

B.      ALL OF ISRAEL WAS GIVEN A PROMISE THRU ABRAHAM (Gen. 12:3).

          1.       They were caretakers of that promise (Rom. 3:1-2) and were prepared (Gal. 3:23-24).

          2.       In a very true sense (John 4:22).

          3.       Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the prophets, in addition saw the value and entered the

                   struggle.  They all saw what Abraham saw (Heb. 11:8-10, 13, 16).

          4.       They had a MISSION, and they put it first.

C.      WHAT DID THE TYPICAL JEW SEEK?

          1.       A fleshly king (John 6:15).

          2.       Fleshly, mortal combat (John 18:36).

          3.       But many enjoyed the status quo and relative peace in which they lived.

          4.       The leaders sought human glory, political and material security, and demanded strict

                   obedience to tradition (Matt. 23:1-7).

D.      EVERYBODY TALKED ABOUT A MESSIAH, BUT

                             NOBODY REALLY WANTED ONE (John 11:48).

E.      THEY WERE LAZY AND INNATTENTIVE TOWARD THE MESSIANIC PURPOSE,

          BECAUSE SOMEBODY HAD CHANGED THE MISSION.

          1.       The mission had been to preserve and present to the world Victory over Satan.

          2.       The new mission was to preserve and glorify national Israel.

          3.       What excited them?  What charged them up?

F.      THE CHURCH’S MISSION? (1 Tim. 3:15).  WE HAVE CHANGED THE MISSION.

          1.       More worried about size and money than saving souls.

          2.       Do people attend where needed in order to serve, or where they will be served?

          3.       Where is our emphasis?  Is the church a mere business, competing with others for

                   customers and money?

          4.       Will we compromise or soft-pedal TRUTH to stay in business?

          5.       Which growth is more important?  Growth in spiritual strength, or in numbers?

          6.       What impresses you?  What worries you?

CONCLUSION:

A.      1 Kings 19.  WHAT IF ELIJAH WERE REALLY ALL BY HIMSELF?

B.      WHAT IF ONE DAY, CHURCHES OF FAITHFUL BRETHREN REALLY CAN

          ASSEMBLE IN A PHONE BOOTH?