Luke 13:24 Jesus answered: “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.”
Over the weekend, a new survey was released which suggests that the United Kingdom is among the least religious countries in the world. The survey was conducted by the Win/Gallup organization and a news report about the results can be read here: ITV News.
The findings of this survey do not surprise me at all. Over the past twenty years, I have seen Christianity decline in Britain, which I think has occurred due to an increase in both humanist secularism in society and liberal progressiveness in the mainline churches. Church attendance is waning and religious connections are diminishing. Those who are still left in the Church are either disillusioned with the direction that their progressive leaders are following, or they are actually deluded into thinking that such a path will make the Church vitally relevant - it doesn't, because not having much to believe in is very quickly transformed into believing nothing at all.
Lots of people don’t really read the Gospels any more. They carry around in their hearts and minds an artificial Jesus of their own making who loves everyone, indulges everything, and accepts anything. Nothing could be further from the Gospel Truth. Jesus Himself talked about a narrow door to salvation, not a broad gate or an open field. Progressives would have us believe that the wider that the Church makes the gate, the more people we can gather together for the Kingdom of God. If that were the case, then why on Earth did Jesus ever talk about a narrow door?
The Truth of the matter about salvation, which should be defined as the forgiveness of our sins and our everlasting re-connection to God, is this: it is only experienced through a narrow door, controlled by God and confined to Christ’s teachings; it is not a broad opening, constructed by our beliefs and ever-widened by our opinions. The sadness about this stark Gospel reality is this: more people in the present generation of Brits will never find that door because of the failures of their Christian leaders. The concern that I personally have is that the United States is heading down the same erroneous way. The only happiness, however, is this: the door to salvation is still open – we just have to make the right commitment to Jesus in order to walk through it.
Questions for reflection: How committed am I to Jesus? Am I willing to walk through His narrow door to find salvation? If not, then how can I be saved?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to seek a real understanding of Who You are and what You actually taught. Keep us from shaping You into our own image, and enable us to be willing to be shaped, led, and saved by You. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to ask questions or make comments about today’s message, please send him an email to Traqair@aol.com.
Today’s image is one of John’s latest Communion drawings called “This Is.” If you would like to view a larger image, please click on this link: This Is.