But, wait…..here’s why….
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. 25 Once 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!’
At first glance, Jesus appears pretty harsh, doesn’t he? We relate to the person saying, “Hey, Dude! I am your bud! Let me in! You know me!” But there’s more to it.
Verse 24 says “make every effort” and I found this can be said a few different ways: strive, struggle as the wrestler struggles, undergo a change of the whole man, agonize, put forth all one’s power to gain victory, be diligent, active, earnest, make it one’s first and chief business to overcome one’s sinful propensities .
Don’t all of these sound a lot more intense than “try “?
But not only that, the whole story emphasizes that our spiritual decisions really need to be addressed sooner than later. At some point, there will be a
and the time will be passed. It won’t matter that a person could have been a dedicated servant of the Lord, because time won’t be reversed. It will be a chance missed with the most horrifying consequences – eternity apart from God.
So let’s look at both factors with reality and act now, while we can. Let’s not put off God because we’re busy or want more time living how we think is most fun. Let’s not rest eternity on assuming we said certain words or had a brief inspirational moment that magically gives us eternity insurance. We’re talking about being honest with the God that created us and knows us better than we know ourselves! It’s worth being honest and facing up to our real hopes and doubts.
God is merciful and patient! But he’s no pushover and you will never be able to pretend your way into heaven. “Come on – God is love,” you say? Yes, He certainly is! And he is just, righteous, holy, and true. The lines he draws are permanent. When it’s too late… it will really be too late, no matter our excuses or pleading. Let’s use our days wisely and seek him now, while he can be found. Could there be a more heartbreaking moment than hearing God say, depart from me – I never knew you? I really don’t think so.