Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.Luke 13:24
We know that eternal salvation is not by the works or will of man. Therefore, if we are told to strive for something, it must have reference to something other than our eternal home in heaven.
The context of these words in Luke’s gospel is most important. Jesus has been contrasting the unbelieving Jewish leader’s definition of their kingdom with the real Kingdom of God. They were looking for any earthly kingdom that put them in charge and ran the Romans out of town. Jesus, time and again, tells us that the true kingdom is not of this world. God’s kingdom is not in any one location ruled by a single man. It is present wherever the Spirit of God takes it. It cannot be stopped from spreading.
So, what does Jesus mean here?
In order to dwell in and experience the benefits of living in God’s kingdom now, we must be willing to repent of our sins and suffer difficulties because of our choice to follow Him.
Contrary to the popular opinion in most of Christianity, the life of disciple is not an easy one. Consider just a couple of scriptures regarding this:
Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.Acts 14:22
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.2nd Timothy 3:12
We are citizens of God’s kingdom but we sojourn in a strange land throughout our lives. The only way we can find peace and rest is in fellowship with Jesus.
So, its definitely worth it!
And not only this, we should learn the lesson from Jesus’ warning here. There may come a time when it is too late to partake of the joys of the Kingdom while we live here!
Press on, Brethren, press on!