“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.” Luke 13:23, 24
Jesus responds to the question “are there few that be saved?” with a pointed answer…Strive. To strive means to agonize, to fight, to struggle.
Matthew Henry said concerning this passage. “Strive to enter in at the strait gate.” This is directed not to him only that asked the question, but to all, to us, it is in the plural number: Strive ye. Note, (1.) All that will be saved must enter in at the strait gate, must undergo a change of the whole man, such as amounts to no less than being born again, and must submit to a strict discipline. (2.) Those that would enter in at the strait gate must strive to enter. It is a hard matter to get to heaven and a point that will not be gained without a great deal of care and pains, of difficulty and diligence. We must strive with God in prayer, wrestle as Jacob, strive against sin and Satan. We must strive in every duty of religion; strive with our own hearts,agoµnizesthe—”Be in an agony; strive as those that run for a prize; excite and exert ourselves to the utmost” “.Many will seek to enter in, and shall not be able; they seek, but they do not strive.”
Notice the statement by Matthew Henry; “It is a hard matter to get to Heaven”.
Ponder on that a while. Have you been taught that? Do you believe that?
If I said strive to enter in or agonize to enter in or fight to enter in someone would probably accuse me of preaching “works salvation”…But the Master said strive.
Recommended Listening: Self Delusion by C. H. Spurgeon