22 Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, "Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?" He said to them, 24 "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Sir, open the door for us.' "But he will answer, 'I don't know you or where you come from.' 26 "Then you will say, 'We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.' 27 "But he will reply, 'I don't know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!' 28 "There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last."
It is about striving, and putting legs to our faith
24 "Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. (NAS)
agonizomai (ag-o-nid'-zom-ahee); to struggle, literally (to compete for a prize), figuratively (to contend with an adversary), or genitive case (to endeavor to accomplish something): KJV-- fight, labor fervently, strive.
Gospel is giving up everything you are, everything you hope, everything you dream and want to be. Abandon yourself completely to God and His sovereign grace and purpose. This is a real battle in the soul. It's the battle to repent. It's the battle to be penitent and broken and contrite. It's the battle to be unselfish, selfless, to give up control. It's the battle to abandon sin. In James 4, he says, "Weep, wail, be miserable, turn your laughter into tears because God gives grace to the humble, but He resists the proud." This is the battle. It's the battle of self-denial. It's the battle to give up everything to the Lordship of Christ. (John Macarthur)
22 And he said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life." 23 Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?
Examples of what it means to take up one's cross and follow Jesus
16 Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?" 17 "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments." 18 "Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, "'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'" 20 "All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?" 21 Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." 22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
This rich man refused to deny himself, take up his cross (give away his possessions) and follow Jesus.
On the other hand, the 12 disciples of Jesus left everything to follow Him. What if the 12 decided to pray a prayer, then go do as they pleased? They would have been lost.
Back to Luke 13: Jesus says, "I don't know you"
27 "But he will reply, 'I don't know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!'
21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
Are you seeking Christ every day with all your heart?
Is He first in your life?
Do you hear His voice, and obey His will?
It is all about our relationship with Jesus Christ