Uniform Adult Sunday School Lesson for July 22, 2018
To commit to serious cultivation of a holy and faithful life
Background: Matthew 7:15-23; Luke 13:22-30
Luke 13:22-30 (CEB)
22 Jesus traveled through cities and villages, teaching and making his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone said to him,
“Lord, will only a few be saved?” Jesus said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow gate. Many, I tell you, will try to enter and won’t be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and shuts the door, then you will stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ He will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you are from.’ 26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 He will respond, ‘I don’t know you or where you are from. Go away from me, all you evildoers!’ 28 There will be weeping and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in God’s kingdom, but you yourselves will be thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west, north and south, and sit down to eat in God’s kingdom. 30 Look! Those who are last will be first and those who are first will be last.”
“Make every effort to enter through the narrow gate. Many, I tell you, will try to enter and won’t be able to.” (Luke 13:24)
In this week’s lesson we will look at another parable. Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem, He has just given the parables of the mustard seed and yeast. Where He compares the kingdom of God to these two small insignificant things which end up making a huge difference. When someone within the crowd ask the question, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” Interesting that the question comes after Jesus has just talked about how God’s kingdom will grow from almost nothing to something spectacular.
Jesus uses the question as a teaching moment, and the answer can not give a lot of hope for those that are following for the show.
The most sure way of obtaining a place in God’s kingdom, is to listen and obey the teachings of Jesus. It will not be the most popular way and it will require more than lip service. I am certain that crowd did not accept that strict teaching anymore than today’s churches.
Today we have churches bending over backwards to attract the crowd, and do everything but teach a doctrine of denial and holiness. We hear it is unreasonable to expect humankind to live a life of denial, that our teaching is too hard. I think that is exactly what the Moses told the Israelites in Deuteronomy 30:11-14 (11 This commandment that I’m giving you right now is definitely not too difficult for you. It isn’t unreachable. 12 It isn’t up in heaven somewhere so that you have to ask, “Who will go up for us to heaven and get it for us that we can hear it and do it?” 13 Nor is it across the ocean somewhere so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the ocean for us and get it for us that we can hear it and do it?” 14 Not at all! The word is very close to you. It’s in your mouth and in your heart, waiting for you to do it. ) This doctrine is called antinomianism or (against the law) which says that saving faith is of such a nature as to remove the obligation of obedience to God’s law.
This teaching has crept into our churches today, the teachings of many is that God’s grace, somehow trumps obedience and faith. I think that is what Jesus is talking about when He talks about the narrow way and at some point the door is shut. By God’s grace salvation is offered to all, but not all accept the conditions. God’s holiness and our holiness can not be set aside.
My hymn for this week is, Holy, Holy, Holy.