Many Will Seek to Enter Heaven, But Few Will Be Able
By David J. Stewart | June 2010
Luke 13:23-24 and 28, “Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able ... There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.”
Jesus was asked if few people are going to Heaven. Jesus replied that MANY will seek to enter into Heaven, but only a few will be allowed. This Scripture passage should frighten MANY people.
Many people will seek to enter into Heaven in eternity, even blaming the Lord Jesus when they are turned away. We read in Matthew 7:22-23...
“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
These religious people were lost and on their way to Hell. They were shocked and dumbfounded when the Lord rejected them. They had spent their lives teaching in Jesus' name and doing many charitable deeds in Jesus' name. How could this happen? What went wrong? They were so sincere and now they're are being told they cannot enter into Heaven. Despite trying to blame the Lord, they will be cast into the Lake of Fire forever.
Perhaps you ask, what groups of religious people today are doing wonderful things in Jesus' name, and are speaking in Jesus' name; but are lost and on their way to Hell? Namely: Lutherans, Catholics, Church of Christ, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Scientology, Muslims, Judaism, Christian Science, Greek Orthodox, United Church of Christ, Russian Orthodox, Unitarian Universalist, Moonies, New Agers, Episcopal, the Lordship Salvation crowd and many more.
Perhaps the most deadliest of all these groups are those who propagate the lie of Lordship Salvation, who go around saying, “Lord, Lord,” but have never rested completely in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Jesus plainly tells us why they were not allowed into Heaven, and if you have ears to hear and eyes to see, then please listen to the holy Scriptures...
Matthew 7:21, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
Every one of the religious groups I just mentioned have not done GOD'S WILL concerning salvation. What is God's will to enter into Heaven? Jesus gave us the plain and simple answer in the Scriptures...
John 6:40, “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
The will of God the Father is to BELIEVE on Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God. John 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
There is only one way to Heaven and that is through trusting Jesus Christ. Anyone who acknowledges their guilt of sin and comes to God the Father through God the Son for forgiveness will be saved...
Acts 10:43, “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”
All of the religions that I mentioned to you earlier ADD something to corrupt the gospel. Demonic cults are very deceptive. For example: Seventh Day Adventists [SDA] profess to believe that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven. However, what they don't tell you is that they have a very different understanding of what the term “faith” means. To the Adventist, faith encompasses everything that the Christian life includes.
“To have faith means to find and accept the gospel treasure, with all the obligations which it imposes” (Christ's Object Lessons, p. 112).
SOURCE: SALVATION BY FAITH, Jan Paulsen - Adventist Biblical Research
Thus, faith to an Adventist means that a person must be water baptized, go to church, faithfully live a righteous life, tithe, keep the SDA Sabbath, et cetera, to be saved in their religion. Of course, that is a damnable doctrine not taught in the Word of God. Seventh Day Adventism is a false religion based upon self-righteousness and a corrupt view of the gospel.
Biblical faith is simply resting in Jesus Christ for salvation (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3-5; Romans 10:3-4; Ephesians 2:8-9). Biblical faith imposes no obligation upon the sinner in order to be saved. Faith in the Lord is all that is necessary. Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 5:15;6:23), freely offered (Romans 10:13) and freely received (Revelation 22:17). Salvation is receiving, not giving. The sinner who believes on Jesus Christ, the Son of God, apart from all self-righteousness, will be saved and go to Heaven.
Church of Christ deny many doctrines of the Christian faith, including: A literal Hell, a literal Heaven, the Rapture, the Millennial reign of Christ, et cetera. Church of Christ teaches a works based type of salvation, requiring water baptism and amending one's ways for salvation.
Lutherans have corrupted the gospel by teaching that the act of water baptism is the means by which a person is saved. Martin Luther clearly taught Baptismal Regeneration as being mandatory for salvation. The Bible disagrees with Mr. Luther. There are many solid Biblical arguments against the teaching that water baptism is required for salvation.
Evidences That Water Baptism is NOT Required for Salvation:
- FIRST, no one in the Old Testament was ever recorded as being water baptized to be saved. To claim that water baptism is mandatory today for salvation is to errantly teach that there are multiple Gospels. Genesis 15:6 plainly tells us that Abraham's faith in the Lord was counted for righteousness. According to Acts 10:43, people in the Old Testament were saved the same way we are today, that is, by faith in the Messiah.
- SECOND, the repentant thief on the cross was never baptized. Yet, Jesus promised him that they'd be together in Paradise that day.
- THIRD, the Epistle of 1st John was written to assure believers of their salvation (1st John 5:13), yet water baptism is not mentioned even once.
- FOURTH, Paul plainly stated that Jesus did not send him to water baptize. 1st Corinthians 1:17, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel.” If water baptism were required for salvation, then the Apostle Paul never would have made such a statement.
- FIFTH, in hundreds of New Testament Scripture references we are told to BELIEVE to be saved (e.g., John 3:16; John 6:40; John 11:25; Romans 10:3-4, 13; Philippians 3:9; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1st Corinthians 1:21; st Thessalonians 4:14), but water baptism is not mentioned.
SIXTH, The saints martyred during the Tribulation period are washed by the BLOOD of the Lamb, not water baptism. Revelation 7:14b, “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Water cannot wash away anyone's sins, only Jesus' precious blood can cleanse away sin!
- SEVENTH, The “Gospel” is defined in 1st Corinthians 15:1-4 as: Christ's DEATH on the cross, His BURIAL, and bodily RESURRECTION three days later. No mention is ever made of water baptism in the Gospel (i.e., Good News). The man who repents (changes his mind) TO believe the Gospel is saved (Mark 1:15).
Water baptism is the believer's public profession of faith, in likeness of Christ's death, burial and resurrection. Water baptism is an act of Christian obedience to the Lord, and not a part of saving-faith. Water baptism is not necessary for salvation, but is necessary for discipleship. Salvation costs us nothing, but discipleship will cost us everything. Salvation is dependent upon God's faithfulness, but discipleship is dependent upon our faithfulness.
Satan's Greatest Weapon is to Con People into Living the Christian Life Without Ever Being Born-Again!!!
So few people are going to enter into Heaven, because most religious people today have never been born-again by the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9). We read in John 3:1-7 that Nicodemus, a religious leader of the Jews, was lost in his sins without Christ. Thankfully, Nicodemus became a believer and was one of the disciples who later prepared the body of Jesus and buried him in the tomb.
Oh listen friend, salvation is very simple: you and I are SINNERS, and Jesus is the SAVIOR! Don't follow some false prophet who is going to rob you of eternal happiness. I don't enjoy exposing men like Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameroon, Paul Washer and others; but they are all followers of John MacArthur's damnable Lordship Salvation heresy, which requires that a sinner amend his ways to be saved. Dr. John MacArthur is an admitted 5-point Calvinist. John Calvin was an unsaved heretic who lived centuries ago. All 5-points of Calvinism are of the Devil. It is a shame that so many people are still foolish enough today to follow his teachings. Calvinists corrupt the Biblical meaning of repentance, requiring people to give up deliberate sin in order to be saved, which is a false gospel. You don't give up your sins to come to Christ; but rather, you come to Christ to be forgiven of your sins. The changes that need to be made in a believer's life are God's department, and you can rest assure that He will attend to that.
Pastor Lester Roloff said, “Real repentance is putting your trust in Jesus Christ so you will not live like that anymore.” In other words, we give up our sins because we ARE SAVED; not to GET SAVED. Brother Roloff didn't mean that you have to stop committing sin to be saved; he meant that genuine repentance brings forth a changed life. Although a person doesn't have to stop committing sin to be saved, God does expect each believer to obey the Bible because they are believers... “Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1st Peter 1:16). No one has God's permission to sin. A changed life is the FRUIT of genuine repentance; and not a part of the ROOT of saving faith (Romans 3:31).
Jesus plainly taught that many people will try to enter into Heaven, but only a few will be allowed to enter. Keep that in mind. Why would MANY people seek to enter Heaven, but not be granted entrance? Clearly, most people think WRONGLY concerning the way to get to Heaven. Most people have been deceived. Satan has succeeded in blinding most people, especially religious people (2nd Corinthians 4:4). What irony that most people think they're going to Heaven, but they are blinded fools. They are going about to establish their own righteousness, instead of resting in the righteousness of Christ Jesus (Romans 10:3-4; Genesis 15:6). Note that all Scriptures are quoted only from the trustworthy inspired King James Bible.
Matthew 7:21 clearly tells us why few will enter Heaven—it's because most people fail to do God's will concerning salvation, which is to BELIEVE on Jesus Christ (John 6:40). I tell you, churchianity is not the way to Heaven. Religion is not the way to Heaven. Charity is not the way to Heaven. Doing wonderful works in Jesus' name is not the way to Heaven. Brotherly love is not the way to Heaven. Committing one's life to God is not the way to Heaven.
Jesus proclaimed in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Jesus is the ONLY way to Heaven! Please don't let your religion go to your head. Most people have baptism on the brain, but that is not the way to Heaven. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and is the ONLY way to Heaven! If you come as a helpless sinner to the precious Savior to be forgiven, believing the Gospel, you are saved (Romans 10:13). Most people have churchianity without Christianity. Salvation is NOT found in any religion; but rather, in a Person—The Lord Jesus Christ! Simply believe my friend. 1st Corinthians 1:21, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” Calvinism and Lordship Salvation are synonymous, which are both works salvation.
Not Every One Which Says “Lord, Lord,” Shall Enter into Heaven
Matthew 7:21, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
As I am typing, I am listening to episode #3396 of Pacific Garden Mission's (PGM) radio program “UNSHACKLED.” It's the story of Matthew Hebert, a 21-year-old young man, who grew up in a religious home, but went astray into sin and worldliness. Then one night he comes to his senses and prays, and I quote: “Oh God, at least I see. Thank you for loving me even though I don't deserve it. Lord, I repent of my horrible lifestyle. Please save me Lord. Thank you for sending your Son to die for my filthy sins. Thank you! Thank you Jesus!” Although this is not one of the worst episodes I've heard (there are some HORRIBLE episodes blatantly teaching works salvation), I need to warn you that PGM teaches Calvinism. They wrongly understand “repent” to mean literally forsaking a lifestyle of sinful behavior.
Biblically, repentance for salvation simply means “a change of mind.” It is a change of mind that compels a person to BELIEVE the Gospel. Any changes in a new believer's life is the Holy Spirit, not the individual's self effort. Eternal life is a free gift. Getting saved doesn't change a person one bit. It takes time for a new believer to grow and mature in the Lord, as they nurture on the milk of the Word of God (1st Peter 2:2). It is no more reasonable to expect a new baby believer to experience radical transformation of life , as it would be to expect a newborn human baby to run a marathon!!!
Notice what Matthew prays: “I REPENT OF MY HORRIBLE LIFESTYLE.” Folks, forsaking a sinful lifestyle, or deathstyle, is not required to be saved. Repentance is a change of mind, not a change of behavior or heart's attitude toward one's sins. It is a change of mind about one's status as a sinner. Repentance is the acknowledgement that I am just as guilty a sinner as God hath declared me to be in His holy Word.
“Repentance is the recognition of my sinnership—the owning before God that I am as vile as He has declared me to be in His holy Word.”SOURCE: Except Ye Repent, by Dr. Harry Ironside, chapter 3
For the unsaved religious man, repentance is changing his mind from his own ideas about what he need to do to get to Heaven verses what God says he must do. Thus, repentance is “a change of mind” about whatever has been hindering us from coming to the Lord to be saved. The idea that repentance is from sins is not found in the Bible, and constitutes a works-based plan of salvation. In UNSHACKLED episode #3399, the story of “Dorie: The girl nobody wanted,” the PGM narrator guides the listener to pray “Please come into my heart and transform me to be more like you.” Although innocent sounding, this is not the Gospel. You don't have to “ask” Jesus into your heart to be saved.
In UNSHACKLED episode #3296, the life story James Bailie, the PGM narrator presents the Gospel, but then leads the viewer to also pray “Come into my life and make me new,” which is totally unbiblical. Do you have to invite Jesus into your life to be saved? Do you have to ask Jesus to make you new to be saved? No, you do not, neither of these things. This is works for salvation! The Gospel is so delicate. Read Acts 15:1, where circumcision was added to the Gospel. Acts 15:1, “And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.” This is no different than those false prophets today, who say if you don't forsake intentional sinful behavior, you cannot be saved. It is “ANOTHER GOSPEL” (2nd Corinthians 11:3-4). It is a “CURSED” Gospel (Galatians 1:7-9).
Acts 15:24,“Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment.” Lordship Salvation (i.e., requiring a change in a person for salvation) is of the Devil. Millions of people have been confused by Chick Tracts, errantly misled to think God won't save them unless they are willing to “turn from sin,” which Jack Chick wrongly understands to mean “repentance.” No, Biblical “repentance” for salvation is turning from unbelief, nothing else!!!
In fact, you don't have to ask God anything to be saved, for He has already promised in His Holy Word “to save them that believe” (1st Corinthians 1:21). It is not wrong to ask, but it is not necessary. The way to be saved is to BELIEVE the Gospel (John 3:16). If a man didn't repent (i.e., change his mind), then he wouldn't believe the Gospel. You don't repent AND believe, you repent TO believe. Believing is the way to be saved. The Bible confirms this truth in 1st Corinthians 15:1-4 where it defines the “Gospel.” There is no mention of “repentance.” In fact, the Apostle Paul doesn't mention any form of the word “repent” in his first Epistle to the church at Corinth. That speaks volumes!!! The reason why is simple, that is, the man who believes has repented.
Please beware of corruptions of the Gospel in the churches today, because your eternal destiny depends upon it. If you're wrong on the plan of salvation, then you will end up with the shocked hellbound religious group in Matthew 7:21-23, when they heard the most horrifying words anyone could ever hear from the Lord Jesus Christ... “I NEVER KNEW YOU: DEPART FROM ME, YE THAT WORK INIQUITY”!!!
“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man...” —Colossians 1:27-28
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