Questions from the New Testament Who Can or Will be Saved? – (Part 7 in a series) Luke 13:23-30
We will continue to look at the question that we began with last week, “Who can or will be saved?” We see this question or a similar question in several places: “Who then can be saved?” (Matthew 19:25); “Are only a few people going to be saved?” (Luke 13:23); “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). Last week we saw two answers to the question. The first was, “It is clear that everyone can be saved” from 2 Peter 3:9 and Isaiah 53:6. We then saw that “All will not be saved.” This too is clear in the Word of God in Luke 13:24, 25, 27, 28; Matthew 13:29; and John 3:36. Today we will examine a third answer to this question, along with several supporting sub-points.
Who can or will be saved? There will be some saved that we did not expect to be saved. Where is our scriptural authority for this? We have it in Luke 13:30, “And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last.”
Think about the instances of this happening in scripture. It must have been a great surprise to the onlookers when a very sinful woman anointed the feet of Jesus. They thought she could not be saved, but she was saved (Luke 7:36-50); look particularly at verses 39 and 50. Another instance was the surprise to the Pharisee to be rejected by God although he was such a “good” man, and to find that the publican, who was such a “sinner,” was accepted by God (Luke 18:9-14); particularly look at verse 14.
A third surprise to people would have been when Zacchaeus, a notorious “sinner,” was saved by Jesus (Luke 19:1-10). Pay special attention to verses 1, 7 and 9. It would have also been a surprise when the lawbreaker who was dying on the cross beside Jesus was saved and went to paradise with the Lord Himself. Luke 23:39-43 describes what took place. In particular, see verses 42 and 43, “Then he said Jesus, ‘Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in paradise.”’
There are still three other examples of surprises that we see in scripture. I am sure it must have been a surprise to the disciples when Jesus preached the gospel and revealed Himself to a gentile woman who was considered “a great sinner.” But He did, and she was saved (John 4:4-30); notice verse 27 in particular. It was a great surprise to Ananias that the Lord revealed Himself to Saul of Tarsus and saved him. But He did (Acts 9:1-19)! And a final example of this comes in 1 Timothy 1:12-16 when it was even a great surprise to the Apostle Paul that the Lord had saved him at all. He never got over it and as a saved person yourself, you should never be able to get over it.
I believe we will all get some surprises when we reach heaven and meet some people whom we did not expect would be there. There is not any of us that deserve to be saved and we must continue to grow in the gift of salvation.
At First Baptist Church we strive to help each other to grow in our relationship with Christ. If you are seeking to know or to grow in Christ, we would love to walk with you as you do so. We want to encourage you and learn together along this path of growth. We would like to share with you in person and help you work through these questions. Come and join our services for Sunday School at 9:30am and the worship service at 10:45am. We have all the precautions in place to keep everyone safe. Would you consider coming and being a part of what God is doing at FBC? If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us through Facebook, email, or phone. Our physical address is 715 N. 2nd St. Timpson, TX 75975. Our email is FirstBCTimpson@yahoo.com and our phone number is 936.254.2220.
W. Dee Daniel, Pastor