Matthew 7-9

"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord', will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven."  Matthew 7:21, RSV 

Whoa! Did you catch that? Jesus said that not everyone who calls Him Lord will go to heaven. How can this be? I thought this was going to be easy!

But wait, it even gets even more serious than that! He also said,

"Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few." Matthew 7:13-13, RSV 

Having taught a little math, I can tell you that the terms, "many" and "few" are relative to the population that they are describing. But, when they refer to the same population (as is precisely the case that Jesus is talking about here) the terms are not relative. Jesus is very clearly indicating that many will not make it to heaven because they are looking for the easy way, and that the few who do make it will find that the way is hard. In other words many will try, but few will succeed!

Does this discourage you? It should not, because everything worthwhile in this life takes effort. Be it straight "A" students, all-state athletes, high powered executives, good cooks, great artists, (or anything else that men admire and view as great accomplishments) all have these two things in common: The first is that they involve hard work. The second is that they are achievable for those few souls who are willing to do that hard work!

Are you... willing to work hard?

I doubt very seriously if you would be undertaking this study if you were not. And, since you have read this far, allow me to share with you the secret that Jesus said would accomplish this noble task:

 

"Seek and you will find."  Matthew 7:7, RSV