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The Narrow Door of Salvation


According to research by the Barna Group, people who don’t talk about faith are motivated by either “avoidance or ambivalence.” When asked why religious talk makes them change the subject, participants explained: (1) “Religious conversations always seem to create tension or arguments” (28%); or (2) “I’m not religious and don’t care about these kinds of topics” (23%). Many unbelievers object to the claim that Christ is the only way to God. Nonetheless, Scripture is very clear about this point. Jesus said in Matthew 7:13–14: “Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

When someone asked Jesus, “Are only a few people going to be saved?” (Luke 13:23), He gave a similar answer: “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to” (v. 24). He followed this answer with a scary scenario in which the doors of the kingdom were shut and entry denied (vv. 25–28).

Why did Jesus emphasize exclusion? It is helpful to understand the cultural context. The Jewish people assumed they would be part of God’s kingdom simply because of their heritage. Jesus, however, would one day tell people who did not trust in Him for salvation, “I don’t know you” (v. 25; see also Matt. 7:21–23). This is illustrated by His parable of the sheep and the goats (Matt. 25:31–46). Jesus Himself is the only door or gate through which we can obtain eternal life (see March 22). Only through Him will people from all over the world be admitted to God’s kingdom (v. 29).

>> Today, it’s more important than ever to share the truth of Christ firmly and clearly, but with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15). Consider how you can calmly and clearly share your faith with someone you know who does not believe.

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Brad Baurain has worked as a writer and editor for Today in the Word since 1993. Currently, he serves as associate professor and TESOL program head at Moody Bible Institute. Brad has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He has also taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Brad and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Munster, Indiana.

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