“Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail. When the master of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. You will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Lord, open the door for us!’ But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ Then you will say, ‘But we ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ And he will reply, ‘I tell you, I don’t know you or where you come from. Get away from me, all you who do evil.’
“There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, for you will see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, but you will be thrown out. And people will come from all over the world—from east and west, north and south—to take their places in the Kingdom of God. And note this: Some who seem least important now will be the greatest then, and some who are the greatest now will be least important then.” (Luke 13:24-30)
Today’s passage is at the heart of Christianity. Finding 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 the narrow door to God’s Kingdom” (Luke 13:24) is earnestly desiring to know Jesus and diligently striving to follow him whatever the cost. We dare not put off making this decision, because the door will not stay open forever.
There will be many surprises in God’s Kingdom. Some who are despised now will be greatly honored then; some influential people here will be left outside the gates. Many “great” people on this earth (in God’s eyes) are virtually ignored by the rest of the world. What matters to God is not a person’s earthly popularity, status, wealth, heritage, or power, but his or her commitment to Christ.
How do your values match what the Bible tells you to value? Put God in first place, and you will join people from all over the world who will take their places at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven. How do you show the priority God’s Kingdom has in your life?