Jesus said that many will seek to enter the race and not be able.
Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able (Luke 13:23-24).
Why could so many seek the strait gate, but not be able? Jesus said, “For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matt. 7:8)? The Pharisees were searching the scriptures, but they could not find eternal life (John 5:39). Why could the Pharisees search and not find when Jesus said “he that seeketh findeth?” The primary problem is that they did not believe what they read in the scriptures (John 5:46). Some today are no different. They refuse to believe Jesus statement “. . . for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able?” The question is, Why? Paul could not enter into the race because he was “. . . more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers” (Gal. 1:14). Many today have the same faith as Paul before he was converted. Paul thought that he was was zealous for God (Rom. 10:1-3), but he was in fact “more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of” his fathers. When Paul saw the Christ, he realized that the traditions of his fathers were false. Thus he rejected them, and then was able to believe the word of God. The key for the Pharisee was the same. If he had fully turned from his traditions he would have been able to believe every word in the scripture. The key for the Pharisee is the same key for us today. We should turn fully from our traditions, and refuse to believe any doctrine except what we find word for word in the scriptures. We should accept Jesus’ warning and “Strive to enter in at the strait gate.”
The race that is set before us is one of the many different analogies that the Lord gives to show us away. He also shows us the pathway through the analogy of a fight. Paul was seeking to win the good fight (1 Cor. 9:26,27). He commanded Timothy to fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim. 6:12). We are commanded to take on the whole armor of God in order to win that fight (Eph. 6:10-17). Paul had finished the fight and won the crown of life several months before he died (2 Tim. 4:7,8). The pathway is also described as a grape vine (John 15:1-8), which, instead of running or fighting is ground which brings fruit to perfection (Luke 8:14, 15). The disciples are pictured as olive trees (Rom. 11:16-24). His children are described as a family (2 Cor. 6:17-18), a household (Eph. 2:19), the temple of God (Eph. 2:19-22, 1 Cor. 3:16-19), etc. He also describes his people as a kingdom. This is the analogy this article follows as we seek for the entrance to this race. How does one enter the kingdom of God.
The picture of the kingdom is the major description that John the Baptist and Jesus used as they went about preaching the good news to the Jews before the cross (Matt. 3:1-2; 4:17; 10:7-8). Over 115 times they referred to the kingdom as coming. When is the kingdom coming or has the kingdom already come? Before we see the entrance to the kingdom (race) we must understand the kingdom as God reveals it.