Luke 16:16 “everyone is FORCING his way into the Kingdom of Yahuweh”
Luke 16:16 “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of Yahuweh has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.” (NASV)
Luke 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. (KJV)
I realize how that sounds a little confusing the way it's worded, the part about “forcing or pressing” our way into it, but the short version of what I believe the Messiah to be saying is that we have to 'force' or 'press' our way into the Kingdom of Heaven.
In Luke 13:23-24 when I man asked Yahoshua if there would be 'few' saved notice the Messiah's answer “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.”
The word “strive' used there is the Greek word “agōnizomai”, # 75 in the Strong's Concordance. You'll notice the word “agoniz” as part of the word. I'll list the definition for that word from the Strong's concordance and Thayer's Greek dictionary and I think you'll get a better idea of what Yahoshua meant in Luke 16:16 when you read the definitions. (if someone doesn't have a program called “e-sword” they ought to get it. It's a free download and there are a lot of resources on it, including the Strong's concordance and Thayer's Greek dictionary.
1) to enter a contest:,,,
2) to contend with adversaries, fight
3) metaphorically to contend, struggle, with difficulties and dangers
4) to endeavour with strenuous zeal, strive: to obtain something
From G73; to struggle, literally (to compete for a prize), figuratively (to contend with an adversary), or generally (to endeavor to accomplish something): - fight, labor fervently, strive.
So what the Savior is saying in Luke 13:24 and Luke 16:16 is that we are to, rather we "have to", strive to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, Meaning we are to contend, struggle with difficulties and dangers, endeavor with strenuous zeal, fight, labor fervently, if we want to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
The fact is, salvation IS NOT a matter of bowing ones head and saying a prayer, something we're never told to do in the Bible. Salvation is 'dying daily' to the flesh, losing our lives and allowing the Messiah to live his life in us. Nothing short of that will inherit Salvation. (See list of passages telling us 'we have to lose our lives' at the bottom of this article)
In 1 Peter 4:18, Peter tells us that it is with “difficulty” that the “righteous” will be saved. 'Righteous' of course being those that are obeying the Torah (Deut 6:25; 1 John 3:3-10).
Why is it "with difficulty", because many of those who are 'striving' will not make it (Luke 13:24). Those who are not striving don't stand a chance of being saved.
John tells us that those who do not obey the Torah will not only miss out on Salvation but he goes as far as to say that “they are children of the devil”. 1 John 3:10.
Paul tells us to work out our Salvation in “fear and trembling”. Phil 2:12.
So what Yahoshua is telling us in Luke 16:16 is that “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed/preached until John and since that time the good news of the kingdom of Yahuweh is being proclaimed/preached, and everyone (that is many) are striving, struggling to enter it.”
If someone has a question about something I said let me know and I'll do my best to address it.
*We have to lose our lives in order to gain life. Matt 10:37-39; Matt 16:24-26; Mar 8:34-37; Luk 9:23- 26; Luk 17:33 Joh 12:25; Luke 13:23-24; Matt 7:21-23; Gal 2:20; Phil 2:12; Rev 21:17