Sermon #99                                                           Luke Sermons


     Title:            Three Sensible Questions About Salvation

     Text:            Luke 13:22-23

     Subject:       Salvation

     Date:            Sunday Evening—April 20, 2003

     Tape #         X-54b

     Readings:     Lindsay Campbell & James Jordan



I read a story this week about a baseball manger who decided to play a rookie in right field one day. The regular fielder wasn’t happy about it and loudly makes it know from the bench that it was a big mistake to play the kid.


As it turned out the rookie was so nervous that he messed up big-time. He made a couple of errors and misjudged several other fly balls that should have been called errors. Each time he messed up, the veteran complained loudly from the bench.


Finally, late in the game the manager replaced the rookie with the veteran, mostly to shut the veteran up. Not long after, the veteran mishandled the first ball hit to him for an error. As he came off the field at the end of the inning, everyone on the bench got very quiet so they could hear what he would say. The manager was waiting for the veteran, but before the manager could address the man, the veteran ballplayer slammed his glove down in disgust and said, “Skipper, that kid has right field so messed up nobody can play it.”


That is the way many feel about salvation. They are so mixed up with regards to salvation that they wonder if they will ever get it straight in their mind. What confusion there is in this day about salvation. I understand the confusion many, including some of you, have about God’s salvation.

·        Almost everything heard from pulpits, religious leaders, and religious people in this day contradicts the plain revelation of Holy Scripture.

·        Our own natural thoughts about God and salvation are all wrong.

·        Satan is a master deceiver, and he delights in keeping us in a cloud of confusion about the things of God.

·        And the Scriptures themselves are confusing to the natural man.

But the salvation of our souls is a subject about which we must not be confused. Confusion here will result in our everlasting ruin.


Tonight, I want us to look at three questions people raised in the Word of God about salvation. The title of my message is, Three Sensible Questions About Salvation. These three questions, raised by different men, at different times in the New Testament, are all clearly answered by God the Holy Spirit in this Sacred Volume. We will begin in Luke 13:22-23.


I.Are there few that be saved?”


(Luke 13:22-23)  "And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. (23) Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,"


The Lord Jesus was making his way toward Jerusalem, where he would lay down his life for his people. There he would make atonement for our sins by suffering all the horrid wrath of God in our room and stead unto death, satisfying the justice of God for us. He was determined to do it.


(Luke 12:50)  "But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!"


As he went his way, he taught the gospel. One day, as he walked in the streets, teaching the multitudes around him, obviously, someone thought of what the Scriptures teach about divine election and concluded that since there were not many disciples following the Master, and God has only chosen some to be saved, there must be only a few who will be saved.


Satan commonly perverts precious, gospel doctrine into something hard in the minds of men and takes that which ought to encourage sinners to trust Christ and makes it a barrier before them That seems to have been the case here. So one of those who walked with and heard the Lord Jesus raised this question—“Are there few that be saved?”


It is likely that this question was asked by a Jew, and that the two parables illustrating the smallness of the kingdom's beginning suggested it to him. The Jews extended their exclusive spirit even to their ideals of a world to come, so that they believed none but the chosen race would behold its glories. The questioner wanted the Savior to give his approval this narrow Jewish spirit, or else to take a position which would subject him to the charge of being unpatriotic.


Whatever the man’s motive was in asking this question, the Lord Jesus answered his question plainly (v. 24).


(Luke 13:24)  "Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able."


What does it matter, whether God’s elect are few or many, if you are not one of them? The Master answered this man’s question directly, urging him to make sure that he is in the number, however large or small it might to be. Satan does not care if you discuss and debate the things of God twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week as long as you go on to hell without Christ. Multitudes go to hell talking about religion.


People like to poke fun at those of us who believe and preach the blessed, gospel doctrine of Divine election, saying, "You folks believe that there are only a select few who will be saved."


Well, yes, that is what we believe. Our Lord Jesus Christ said plainly, "Many are called, but few are chosen" (Matt. 22:14). These are the words of God himself. That settles the question.


I know that in the end God's elect will be a multitude which no man can number, ten thousand time ten thousand, and thousands of thousands. Who can tell how many elect infants God has mercifully taken to glory in his acts of judgment upon their ungodly parents?


Yet, at any one time, God's elect in this world are few, very few, when compared with the multitudes who perish.

·        In the days of Noah, only Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

·        Lot was the only person in Sodom whom God had chosen.

·        Of all the multitude who left Egypt, only two, Joshua and Caleb, entered the land of promise. The rest perished in unbelief.

·        There were 851 prophets at Carmel, only Elijah knew God.

·        When Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem, he said, "I and some few men with me" came to do the work (Neh. 2:12).

·        Isaiah said that when the judgment of God came upon the earth, there would be "few men left" (Isa. 2:6).

·        A great multitude was carried away into Babylon; but when they came to Jeremiah in repentance, they said, "we are left but a few of many" (Jer. 42:2).


Our Lord Jesus said, concerning the way of faith and life, "Few there be that find it." (Matt. 7:14). And in his parables Christ made it plain that there are "few that be saved" (Luke 13:20-25). At the last time, in that age of the church depicted by Sardis there were only "a few names" found among the faithful (Rev. 3:4).


This is plainly the teaching of Holy Scripture: Among the multitudes who wear the name of Christ, and profess to be his followers, there are only a few who know him and are saved. The rest are perishing under the delusion of a false hope.


Hear the word of the Lord, and be warned. Are you among the many who are perishing; or are you among the few who are chosen, the few who trust Christ alone for eternal salvation? With the apostle Peter, I solemnly admonish you to give diligence to make your calling and election sure. Has Christ been revealed in you? Do you know the Son of God? Do you truly trust Christ alone as your Savior? Is Jesus Christ your Lord and Master? If you will be honest, you can know whether or not you are among the few when God has chosen. You can know your election. Paul told the Thessalonians plainly that he knew they were God's elect for five reasons (1 Thess. 1:4-10). These are certain identifying marks of God's elect.


(1 Thessalonians 1:4-10)  "Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. (5) For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. (6) And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: (7) So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. (8) For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. (9) For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; (10) And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come."



A. God's elect hear and receive the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit   (1:5). Being taught of God, they are assured of Divine truth.


B. God's elect follow Christ (v.6 compare v.3 – "Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father."). Like Christ those who are truly born of God, believe God, serve God with patience, hope, and love, and walk before him in the joy of faith. Like their Master, the people of God persevere in the hour of trial. They follow him.


C. God's elect are committed to Christ and to the gospel of his grace (v.8).


D. God's elect repent of their sins and turn to God with a true heart (v.9).


E. God's elect live in this world as men and women of expectation and hope, "waiting for his son" (v.10).


If indeed you and I are among those who are elect of God, our hearts should be filled with gratitude, praise and admiration for him (Rom. 11:33-36). The only difference between the many who perish and the few who are chosen is the difference which grace has made (I Cor. 4:7; II Thess. 2:10-14). As for me, I gladly ascribe the whole of my salvation to God, who loved me freely with an everlasting love and saved me by his grace. "By the grace of God I am what I am." I am chosen by grace, redeemed by grace, called by grace, given faith to believe by grace, preserved by grace, and free grace alone shall bring me safely into heaven's eternal glory (Jude 24-25).


"Oh to grace, how great a debtor,

Daily I'm constrained to be!


II. “Who then can be saved?


The second question is found in Matthew 19.


(Matthew 19:16-25)  "And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? (17) And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. (18) He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, (19) Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (20) The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? (21) Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. (22) But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. (23) Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. (24) And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. (25) When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?"


A.   No one can be saved by anything he does.


B. Anyone can be saved by the free grace of God in Christ.


I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus  the Nazarene,

And wonder how He could love me, a sinner, condemned, unclean.

How marvelous! How wonderful! And my song shall ever be:

How marvelous! How wonderful is my Savior's love for me.


I Am so glad that our Father in heaven

Tells of His love in the Book He has given,

Wonderful things in the Bible I see;

This is the dearest - that Jesus loves me.


I am so glad that Jesus loves me,

Jesus loves me, Jesus loves even me.


·        Christ can save those whom sin has disqualified.

·        Christ can save those whom sin has dissatisfied.

·        Christ can save those whom sin has disabled.

·        Christ can save those whom sin has defiled.

·        Christ can save those whom sin has darkened.

·        Christ can save those whom sin has made dead.


III. “What must I do to be saved?


We find the third question about salvation in Acts 16. You are very familiar with the story; but I want you to turn ther and read two verses with me.


(Acts 16:30)  "And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"


Here is an expression of humility - “What must I do  to be saved?” The question implies a need. It implies man has a great need. Here is a man without hope, lost, doomed, damned, and in need of mercy.


In Shoreham, England, several years ago, a savings and loan association celebrated their 40th anniversary. Some of the directors decided it would be great to give away some great prizes and have a beauty contest. So they did. Someone came up with the idea: “Since it is our 40th anniversary, let us give the prizes only to a lady who is over 40 years old.” But they ran into a problem. The ladies beautiful enough to win the contest would not admit they were 40 years old.


A. Here is a question that expresses hope—“What must I do  to be saved?”


B. Now, look at verse 31. Hear the answer of God and obey his word.


(Acts 16:31)  "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."


Isn’t it time you quit asking questions and believed?


(Isaiah 45:22)  "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else."