Lately, I’ve been fascinated with the narrowness of God. What? Yes, God is narrow. He says He is in Matthew 7:13 and Luke 13:23.
Let’s look at this for a moment.
In Matthew 7:13, Jesus is teaching that the broad way is where most people live. Living as broadly as you please, with no restrictions, and no limitations to your lifestyle. The narrow way is the path that leads to God. One way to salvation, living according to God's commandments, which are narrow compared to those who live in the broad way.
God’s ways are narrow. Look at the Ten Commandments. Ten moral laws that God expects from people, therefore living according to a narrow way. Many of you know this, but I want to call your attention to the immediate words following His mention of the narrow way:
Matthew 7:14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
Don't you find these words perplexing? I do. First, it is narrow, okay we get that, but look at the word ‘difficult’ and the phrase, ‘and only a few ever find it.’ Narrow is not easy, and because it is not easy, few people are willing to tackle it. It is not an easy way to live. So, my next question may be even more difficult to answer. “Why do we try to make it easy in our invitations to explore the claims of Christ?” Simply raise your hand to accept Christ, ‘There it is done, you are in the Kingdom.’
So, how do we explain the narrow way, the difficulty, and the few who really find it? Most people would probably say, “Well, pretty hard to sell narrow, difficult, and it’s not too popular.” Right? However, I think we familiarize people with Christ, but they really don’t go to the point of knowing Him. Look further in Matthew 7 and what He says about some of His followers:
Matthew 7:23 But I will reply, “I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.”
So what laws did they not keep? Good question. Perhaps their religious observance, their familiarity with God, was all they knew, there was no heart connection with Him. Remember, Jesus quoted:
Isaiah 29:13 And so, the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.”
You see, it’s less important what you say about knowing God … the reality is, does He know you? Here we see He doesn’t know them, even though they say they do know Him. It’s not the same knowledge because God must know them for them to enter His Kingdom. So, the three optimum words in this Passage in Matthew are: narrow, difficult, and it’s not popular.
Let us head over to Luke 13:23-24.
Luke 13 23Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” He replied, 24“Work hard to enter the narrow door to God's Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail.”
Again, we see Jesus talking about working hard to enter the narrow door or gate, for the majority will try to get in but will be prohibited. The reason they will not be let in is because the Lord does not know them. Note, the people think they know Him, but the Lord says He doesn’t know them.
I believe a lot of people are familiar with Jesus … they may even have a religious understanding of Him, but He is not aware of them. In other words, there never was a surrender to His Lordship. Think about it for a moment. We often know someone by name, we know what they do, and we know people who know them, but we have never met this person. The person we know of doesn’t know we even exist. This is the reason we are not allowed into God’s Kingdom … He does not know us. The last clue is found in Verse 27: But he will reply, “I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!”
God wants complete surrender to the Lordship of Jesus. Many people will attempt to make their own rules as to why they should be let into God's Kingdom. Not complying with God's rules will make that person an evildoer in God's eyes. An evildoer schemes to make their way acceptable, but rejects God’s requirements. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father but by Him. So, anyone who attempts to circumvent this requirement is an evildoer. They not doing it God’s way … that is the same sin that Satan was guilty of committing.
So, it comes down to this … does God know you? Does He know you because you have surrendered your life to Him? That, my friend, is the only way God knows you … by your willingness to surrender to Him.
This is the greatest challenge in life … to discover the importance of God and surrender to Him. Have you taken up the challenge?
Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler
Missed a Sermon? Catch up with Sunday Sermons on Demand