Are You Striving?

Yesterday I posted my notes from the first of two messages that were preached on Friday evening.  Today, here are the notes that I took from the second session.  This message was really a call to examine our lives and ask ourselves if we truly have saving faith.

Luke 13:22-30

The thing Christ did most was teach about the Kingdom

The question asked to Christ in this passage was “Will those who are saved be few?”  We need to ask ourselves “Do I have saving faith?  What do I base my salvation on?” 

Christ said that many will seek to enter and will not be able.  He was speaking to people who professed to know God.  Is He speaking of you here? 

We are commanded to strive to enter the narrow gate.  Striving means to agonize as if in a contest.  Many will seek to enter but will not.  Seeking has the meaning of desiring and aiming at.  Just a desire is not enough – we must strive.

Is holiness a priority in my life?  Am I striving after holiness? 

 1 Timothy 6:11, “But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.” 
~What are your life pursuits?  A Christian pursues righteousness and godliness.  This is shown forth in our lifestyle as a whole.  

Philippians 2:12-1, “So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” 
~
What are you doing with the salvation that you profess to have? 

John 8:31, “So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine’”
~
Do you nourish yourself in the Word of God?

The gate is narrow and the way is narrow.  Are you striving or are you just having fun in all that the world has to offer? 

Galatians 5:24, “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires”
~
What were your passions before conversion?  Was it living for the American dream?  Was it to have praise heaped on you by men? 
~What are you passions now?  If you are a true believe your old passions have been crucified.  Crucifixion was a slow process.  Some sins will die slower than others, but they are all dying. 

The Christian life is marked by repentance and hating sin.  True Christians are working to put their sins to death by faith in Christ.  Are you struggling against sin?  So few strive because most are not Christians – Matthew 7:21, “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 will enter.” The fact that you profess faith in Christ means nothing – does your life support this profession?  Are you striving, out of love, to be obedient to the Lord or do you look like the rest of the world?  It doesn’t matter if you attend church regularly or sing worship songs…what is your life?

Christians cannot be marked by love and passion to the world.  What does your life say about the faith you claim to have?  Those who strive are those who have been truly saved. 

We are commanded to strive, to work out our salvation, and to pursue righteousness, but this is impossible to do apart from Christ. 

We must examine ourselves!  2 Corinthians 13:5“Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you – unless you fail the test?”
~Few strive because few are truly saved. 
~If you look and act just like the world, you are lost. 
~ Ask yourself “Is my life marked by Christ-likeness or is my life marked by the world?
~Do others know that you are a Christian?

If you reject the gospel you are calling God a liar. 

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

Friday night was such a helpful evening, and I’m very thankful that Bethany and I were able to be there.  The challenging messages, the opportunity to meet some people at the church there, and the edifying conversations in the car were all an encouragment to me.  Thank you, Lord!

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