Luke 13:22-30, “22Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”
He said to them, 24″Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’
“But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’
26″Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’
27″But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’
28″There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.””
An overwhelming majority of Americans consider themselves to be Christians. Thousands of churches have sprung up in the countryside and many more have taken root in the cities. In the above passage, Jesus was talking to a Jew. The Jews were the chosen people who could go as wrong as possible, but could never cross God in such a way they’d be off the list. Somehow, America would like to think that because we are a majority who believe in God, we’re on his good side as well. If Jesus was saying that not every individual Jew would be saved on the merit of being a Jew, does that also mean that Americans as a whole must ask themselves if they’ll be saved on their own merit? We might be the Westerners who get a seat at God’s table, but you must be sure that your seat is reserved now.
Paul warned us in Acts 20:28-31, “28Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. 29I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.”
Who could fit that bill? Is there any Christian who seems to have his own following by preaching his own mix of scripture? Do you know anybody who reads all his/her books and seems to ignore the Bible? The point is that despite our massive numbers, Christians aren’t doing the sort of things that first-century Christians managed to get done. We’re not giving so much it frustrates the efforts of the government officials. At this rate, we’re not going to win entire empires to Christianity in the next few hundred years. Either the core beliefs of Christianity have changed, or the numbers of core believers are much fewer than expected.
Good thing that we weren’t only warned about these wolves, but we were told how to identify them. We’ll know them by their fruit. Know any religious leaders in the Christian circle who have been caught acting un-Christian? Furthermore, we’re told not to take stock in anybody who denies that Jesus was God or that He came in the flesh. I’m not saying that every Christian isn’t saved, but a fair number of them are following after things other than Christ. Let us not forget Jesus’ own (paraphrased) words: “It doesn’t matter how many get saved, it matters how many make it through the narrow door.”