Of Berea?

Every now and again some person will exclaim: “So you think you are the only ones going to heaven?!” It’s not that the one who exclaims it is really interested in God’s truth, and neither is it the case that the one who exclaims it is accurate in the accusation. What really results from such comments is the weakness of one’s knowledge and comfort of spiritual things, thus the blurting out of a defensive remark.

What did the Lord say about such things? In Luke 13:24, the Lord exhorts all to strive to enter the narrow gate. The word strive connotes the idea of extend much effort. Is this not earning one’s salvation, one might ask? Not hardly. It was the Lord who said it, thus there is no earning. What He had (and has) in mind is this: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (cf. John 14:15). Striving, then, is not earning salvation, but putting forth the effort to hear the Lord and obey His will in a world that is doing whatever can be done to thwart the Lord’s way (cf. John 14:6).

Jesus also said that not everyone who calls Him Lord will be heard on that last great day (Luke 13:24-28). If such is the case, as a Christian what obligation do I have? Not only to keep God’s commands, but also to be like the Bereans. The Bereans were more noble (fair-minded) than those in Thessalonica in that they searched the Scriptures daily to see if that which Paul said was so (Acts 17:11). Now, if that was done with the apostle Paul, how much more so with anyone who identifies himself as a preacher today?

Those who are saved or lost belongs to the Lord’s determination (cf. 2 Timothy 2:19). All we can do while here on earth is teach the Lord’s way faithfully and accurately. If it is the case that those who hear don’t like the implication of what is said, then let them apply the spirit of Acts 17:11 in their own personal study of the Lord’s way. In effect, they are taking that up with the Lord as His word opens up to them. RT