Here is the context: Jesus has been explaining what the kingdom of Heaven is like. Then one asks, “Lord, are there few that will be saved?” Jesus responds by saying, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate, for many, I say unto you will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.”
Ask yourself, who seeks to enter into Heaven? Answer: religious people! That is, Jesus says that many religious people will seek to enter into Heaven but will not be able.
Who are these religious people seeking to enter into Heaven but will be unable to do so? Letting the Bible interpret itself, we find the answer in Matthew 7:21. In this verse, Jesus makes it very clear that all who do the will of the Heavenly Father will enter into Heaven. That is, the failure of anyone to go to Heaven will be because of their failure to, “do the will of the Father which is in Heaven.” To answer the above question, the “many” who are seeking to enter into Heaven but will not be able to do so, are the religious people who are not doing the will of God. In other words, it takes more that just being religious to be saved.
In Matthew 7:22, Jesus gives us a picture of Judgment Day, saying that many religious people will argue that they spent their lives “doing many wonderful works, prophesying, and casting out demons, all in His Name! Yet, He will say to them, “Depart from Me, ye workers of iniquity, I never knew you.” (Matthew 7:23). Since Jesus had just said, all who do the Father’s will, will go to Heaven, then even though these people were devoutly religious people, what they were doing was not according to God’s will, His Word.
It is important that souls strive according to His Will, and not according to the will of any group of men who meet to decide what “their church” will believe, accept, and how it will worship. — Toby Miller
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