The words of our Lord that are recorded by the apostle Matthew, the former tax collector, ring loudly in our ears with the clarion call to be a part of a small group of people, those who will find eternal life in heaven. Jesus said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13-14). We have brought these two verses up from time to time showing, that there are really only two ways one can go, that the way to eternal life is the difficult and narrow way and that most people will fall into the ruts of that broad and easy way leaving only few that will enter into heaven. Certainly of all that believe in God, heaven and hell, all would be desirous to being included in that number, “few”. That being the case, it seems that it would be to our advantage to give consideration to a few of the things that the word of God mandates in order that we be “the few”.
One must first be taught the word of God. Jesus stated, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me” (John 6:44-45). Multitudes today do not wish to actually know what God’s word requires of them. They are more in line with those Paul told Timothy would come. He said that, “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lust shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (II Tim. 4:3-4). Only those who know the truth can be of the few.
Secondly, the few will consist of those who have eaten the flesh and drank of the blood of Jesus Christ (John 6:53). Space will not allow a complete analysis of the passage and it’s context, but Jesus is symbolically referring to His own death on the cross and the salvation found therein. There is salvation in none other (Acts 4:12). As Paul spoke of the elements of the Lord’s supper, he pointed that they represented the body and the blood of Christ which represented the crucifixion and the new covenant it purchased (I Cor. 11:24-25). The only way to be of the few is to embrace Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the salvation that is found in Him.
One would be amiss if they did not at least recognize that said recognition of Christ and His salvation must be of sincerity, not just words without honesty. Jesus told those hearing the sermon on the mount, “except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:20). The righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees was full of hypocrisy.
One will have to humble himself as a little child to be one of the few. Jesus said, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven”.
Repentance is a prerequisite of being one of the few. Jesus said, “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5). Repentance means a turning around that takes place in one’s mind but will be manifest by way of a change in one’s actions. A must for “few-dom”.
One of those great truths that must be recognized and adhered to is that of being born again. Jesus said, that unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). Two verses later He refers to it as being born of water and of the Spirit. Some teach that this is baptism of the Holy Spirit, but such is erroneous. The new birth is a spiritual change. The apostle Paul speaks of this change wherein one begins a new life when he said that one is baptized into Christ and raised to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:3-4). Thus, the penitent believer must obey the command to be baptized into Christ at which point one is made free from sin and has become the servant of righteousness (Rom. 6:17-18).
There is yet another major truth that will determine who is among the few. Though some claim one cannot be lost after becoming one of God’s children, Jesus commanded, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me…If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned” (John 15:4, 6). A child of God can stand unblameable and unreproveable in the Lord’s sight, but only “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel…” (Col. 1:22-23). Thus, the few are those who have become God’s children by obedience to the gospel of Christ and have continued to live in accordance with the instructions found therein. It contains all that we need to live as God would have us to live (I Tim. 3:16-17).
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