Can anyone help me out with these scriptures that have been haunting me that my friends always quote:
“Many are called; few are chosen”
“Strive to enter in the straight gate, for many shall try but few shall be able.”
“The kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force.”
They always use these scriptures to justify their works-based “theology” if you will (i hate that term too but its the only thing i can think of other than “mindset”)…
The irony here is that these verses should, and probably do, haunt those who quote them to you. Do you remember the famous passage in Acts where Paul began ministering primarily to the Gentiles?
But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began contradicting the things spoken by Paul, and were blaspheming. Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles.” Acts 13:45-46
This is the same mindset of those Jesus addressed. It was jealousy, and only jealousy, by which they saw themselves as guardians of the things of God. They were those in the parable who shunned the invitation sent out, they were those who were taking the wide road to destruction, and they were those who thought they could force themselves in. When I hear people using verses like these I only hear them doing the very same thing the Pharisees did when confronting Jesus with the writings of Moses. They thought to discredit him but they only succeeded in discrediting themselves. Don’t give them reason to justify themselves by playing into their game.