Living Growing: Strive to enter

By Joab Cano

What was the mission of Christ here on earth? The lord explained his mission in John 3:17, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” It was clear to him what his mission was when he was sent by God: to bring salvation to humanity. Also, he expressed in Luke 9:56, “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” Not only did Christ clearly state his mission on earth, but he also left his doctrine for us to follow.

The scriptures give testimony of a person who asked the lord about those who would be saved. The question that this person asked is found in Luke 13:23 “Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?” We don’t know what led this person to ask such a question, but the answer that Jesus gave him was full of wisdom. Jesus answered: “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” If we analyze and reflect on the lord’s response, we will find a profound teaching.

To begin, Christ made it clear that his disciples have to strive to enter through the narrow gate. What does it mean to strive? To strive means that one has to make a great effort to achieve or obtain something. In other words, Christ was teaching that his followers have to work hard to enter; it will not be an easy task. Jesus made this clear when he said “for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” Why would many fail in their attempt to enter the narrow gate? The simple answer is because it’s hard. However, even though it’s a difficult road to follow, the recommendation of Christ is to follow that road. He expressed in Matthew 7:13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.”

Furthermore, Jesus clarifies the difference between the two pathways. The wide gate is broad and many go through it. This way of life is easy because it has no rules and one can do as they desire. However, the end of this path is destruction. On the other hand, the narrow gate is difficult and painful, but it leads to spiritual life. It’s important to reflect then and ask ourselves: which pathway am I following? Am I striving to enter? Am I making a great effort daily to enter the narrow gate? Now, it’s also important to note that even though Christ made a recommendation to enter through the narrow gate, does he force us? Did he impose his doctrine on people and force them to follow him? Of course not. Jesus respected the free will of every individual. He expressed in Luke 9:23 “Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” We must make the decision to follow him on our own. Thus, the teaching is clear for the followers of Christ: one must follow the narrow gate, the one which leads to life and few are the ones who find it. A true christian has to make a great effort every day to enter the narrow gate.

To finalize, I would like to extend an invitation to visit a congregation of The Light of the World. There you will learn what God desires for your life and find the guidance to follow the gate that Christ recommends us to take. If you live in Juneau, we invite you to join us at: 1997 Dunn St. Suite No.3. We are open Monday-Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. May the peace of God dwell in your hearts and God bless you all!

• Joab Cano is a missionary for the Light of the World Church. “Living & Growing” is a weekly column written by different authors and submitted by local clergy and spiritual leaders. It appears every Friday on the Juneau Empire’s Faith page.

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