A Short Study of Luke 13:23

“Are there few that be saved?”
(Luke 13:23)

Sometimes people poke fun at those who preach the 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” (Matthew 22:14). Those 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 times 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 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. Among the many 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 (Nehemiah 2:12). Isaiah said that after the judgment of God came upon the earth, there would be “few men left” (Isaiah 24:6). A great multitude was carried away unto Babylon; but when they cane to Jeremiah in repentance, they said, “We are left but a few of many” (Jeremiah 42:2). Our Lord Jesus said, concerning the way of faith and life, “Few there be that find it” (Matthew 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 (Revelation 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?

D. Fortner

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