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Thread: The narrow gate

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by fuego View Post
    This kind of goes along with ‘eye of the needle’ when Jesus talked about it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle’ than a rich man to enter the kingdom of God because the tend to trust in their riches. The eye of the needle being a smaller door at night for travelers to get through and so named for its shape due to allowing a camel hump through. Signifying one having to give up or empty themselves to get through it.
    Same thought I had.

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  3. #12
    Administrator fuego's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colonel View Post
    Some people claim that because they think that otherwise it would be talking about works salvation. Which it doesn't really since the speech starts with the wide and narrow gates (own vs imputed righteousness). But what else would the context be than salvation when taking all the elements into consideration ?
    Well, not being in the context of salvation, destruction and life can have meanings apart from eternal destruction and eternal life. That's why I'm saying I don't think it's necessarily salvation. In the context, it's talking about judging, etc, so maybe quality of spiritual/natural life depending on how one lives? Things along those lines, although I haven't come up with anything specific per se.

  4. #13
    Senior Member Colonel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuego View Post
    Well, not being in the context of salvation, destruction and life can have meanings apart from eternal destruction and eternal life. That's why I'm saying I don't think it's necessarily salvation. In the context, it's talking about judging, etc, so maybe quality of spiritual/natural life depending on how one lives? Things along those lines, although I haven't come up with anything specific per se.
    To me that theory looks like a quick fix against a works salvation interpretation. For comparison I've seen many quick fixes against Calvinism where the interpretation probably made things worse because the Calvinist interpretation seemed to have more merit even though it wasn't necessarily the correct one.

    Mat 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

    Do you know of any other instances where "entering the kingdom of heaven" implies something less than eternal life?

    22a Many will say to Me in that day

    Since he's talking about a specific day in the future it has to mean judgment day.

    22b ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
    23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

    There is no provision or time for changing one's ways either, again judgment day.

  5. #14
    Senior Member Colonel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireBrand View Post
    Same thought I had.
    Note that the impossibility of getting saved by "going through the eye of the needle" is mentioned in all three gospel accounts, making that element highly integral to the teaching :

    Mat 19:24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
    25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”
    26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

    Likewise in Mark 10 and Luke 18.

  6. #15
    Senior Member Smitty's Avatar
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    Can anyone know for sure that they are saved?
    Well the Bible calls us to make our salvation a matter of certainty.
    "Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure" (2 Peter 1:10).
    It is our duty to seek assurance of our salvation with diligence.
    This is not done through compromise and gratification of fleshly pleasure, but as we enhance our growth in sanctification.
    Christians who remain uncertain about the state of their salvation are subject to all sorts of questions that paralyze their walk with Christ.
    They stumble in doubt and are vulnerable to the assaults of Satan.
    So we must be assured of our salvation.
    The group in Matt 7:22 were doing the miraculous in Jesus name but were not saved, yet they believed they were saved.
    They had assurance of salvation without salvation.
    Because it is possible to have false assurance of salvation, why is then that Christians tend to choose the wide gate (disobedience and compromise) instead of the narrow gate (godliness and sacrifice)? Lastly, (before I get into trouble) can a person think that he has saving faith and not really possess it? Apparently, Jesus thought so.
    "I never knew you; Depart from Me you who practice lawlessness" Mt 7:23.
    If you put God First, you have Him at Last.

  7. #16
    Senior Member Colonel's Avatar
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    At the time of the ministry of Jesus, noone was born again yet. At best they were followers of Abraham's faith. Some of them had worked miracles but were still trying to get through the wide gate along with the throng. It's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for anyone to get into the kingdom of God that way because it's the way of works salvation, self righteousness. It's impossible for anyone to be saved that way. Better to go through the narrow gate of faith in Jesus.

    It's quite possible to think that one is going through the narrow gate by relying on own godliness and sacrifice and in reality one is going through the wide gate because one is merely relying on one's own righteousness. No amount of apparent godliness and sacrifice will bring anyone to salvation through that gate. The Pharisee from the following passage is an archetypical example of this :

    Luke 18:9 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

  8. #17
    Administrator fuego's Avatar
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    Just as a note, the context of Jesus' 'eye of the needle' comment were concerning how hard it is for a rich man to get into heaven. And His explanation was because ...how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!. It wasn't a general teaching on getting into heaven. It was directly related to rich people and why it is hard for them.

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  10. #18
    Senior Member Colonel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuego View Post
    Just as a note, the context of Jesus' 'eye of the needle' comment were concerning how hard it is for a rich man to get into heaven. And His explanation was because ...how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!. It wasn't a general teaching on getting into heaven. It was directly related to rich people and why it is hard for them.
    You're assuming that it means that it's easier for others to get into heaven. Apparently His disciples wondered about that and asked him "who can then be saved". The answer they got was that "with man this is impossible". Just because Jesus had found the rich young ruler's achilles heel doesn't mean that He wouldn't be able to find each and every one of ours as well and thereby destroy our quest to get into heaven according to our own works and righteousness, including the Pharisee mentioned in Luke 18. And a large number of Hindus who are in the habit of claiming that they have never ever sinned.

    We may turn this around and ask the following question : "If the rich young ruler had done as Jesus said and had given away all his riches, would he then have qualified for heaven ?" The answer to that is no. Noone stands righteous before God, noone can ever gain righteousness before God either.

  11. #19
    Senior Member Colonel's Avatar
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    In the contemporary Roman culture of the times they had a different view of rich people than we do today. Instead of declaring that their riches probably corrupted them the Romans tended to declare that only the rich (especially those born into that estate) would have no reason to be dishonest in their affairs since they already had all they needed. So the attitude of the rich young ruler was probably that it should be easier for him to gain entry into heaven than for anyone else. The same righteous sheen could be seen among the rich and the aristocracy here in Europe right up until modern times. Faced with that culture and attitude it was only natural for Jesus' disciples to ask "who then can be saved?"

  12. #20
    Senior Member Colonel's Avatar
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    Here's an other example of people in the NT who thought that a love for riches was no problem and that they could be worn as a badge of integrity or something like that :

    Luke 16:14 Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him.
    15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

    Even though they were more into works salvation and own righteousness than anyone else, going to such lengths as tithing from their garden herbs, they still loved money thinking that there was no conflict between that and being righteous before God.

    Jesus turns that whole mindset completely upsidedown once again through the parable that follows :

    Luke 16:19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

    There is no mention of any sins being committed by either man except that the rich man is hoarding his riches and failing to help the beggar Lazarus at his gate. In Jesus' eyes the righteous sheen of the rich in the eyes of the Romans and the Pharisees alike didn't help them one bit.

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