Eternal Consequences


            Then one said to him, “Lord are there few who are saved?”  And he said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.  When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and he will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’  But he will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from.  Depart from me all you workers of iniquity’” (Luke 13: 23-27.)           


            In the ancient world, cities were surrounded by enormous fortified walls.  The city gate was usually a solitary entrance that was open during the day, and closed in the evening.  During the day everything that entered the city was inspected, including the people.  They were asked questions such as, “Why are you entering the city?” or “Do you know someone who lives here?”  These questions were designed to keep dangerous people out.  Within the city, individual homes also had single entrances which were open during the day and closed in the evening […] Hospitality was highly esteemed in Middle Eastern culture.  When people saw strangers in the public square during the day, they would question them politely in an effort to get to know them, before offering them a place to stay for the evening.  They asked questions like, “What is your name?  Where were you born?” and “what city are you from?”  When evening arrived, the master of the house would shut and lock the door.  Jesus used this cultural custom in illustrating a parable […] some foreigners tried to enter a man’s house at night, without having gone through the customary process of getting to know the owner first.  The homeowner replied, “I do not know you, where you are from.”  The owner in this parable represents God; the home is representative of heaven; the daytime represents life, and the night represents death.  The foreigners represent those who will not be allowed to enter heaven.  What does it all mean?  Those who build an intimate relationship with God in this life, will be able to enter His Kingdom.  Those who have refused to build a relationship with God in this life will be denied access to God’s kingdom when they die (there are no more opportunities after death.)  No matter how many times they knock on God’s door, they will spend an eternity in outer darkness.  God Himself will say to them, “Depart from me all you workers of iniquity […] I do not know you.” 

            Today, computers play a crucial role in our everyday lives.  There are many people who desire to do evil things to your computer; they desire to spy on you, and to steal your personal information.  There are many digital walls that keep evil people out.  So they look for ways to be invited in […] Email is a great way to communicate with others, but it can also be a very dangerous way to communicate; some messages can be used as a doorway to enter your system.  I get emails all the time with headings that say, “It’s Jen (who doesn’t know at least one Jen.)”  Or “Hi, I haven’t talked to you in while.”  The messages are designed to make me believe an old friend is knocking at my digital door.  But, one click can open the gateway for evil; a virus can crash my system, or a crook can access my financial records.  To avoid this danger, I have learned to investigate the source of the message before opening it.  If they don’t check out, then they don’t check in.

            In much the same way, God doesn’t open His door for just anyone.  He only opens his door for those He knows intimately.  This life is our time to establish a relationship with God, and that relationship will determine where we spend eternity.  If you have not taken the time to build a relationship with Him now, in the future you will find yourself locked out; and no matter how many times you knock, the door will never open.  Many who have died are probably already knocking; the only thing they have to look forward too is an eternity of looking back with regret, on the very short life they wasted serving themselves instead of seeking God.  If you are reading this message, you still have a choice; make God the center of your life.  Talk to Him; read His word; love others; spread the message; submit yourself to following Him, and when you arrive at His gate, it will open for you, and with Joy, God will welcome you in to His eternal kingdom.

            “Lord Heavenly Father, we desperately seek to know You, and to draw closer to You.  Draw near to us, and help us to serve You with joyful hearts.  Help us to overcome the lusts of our flesh, that we might do Your will in this place.  Father, we ask that You remove any obstacles that are causing us to miss the narrow path.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.”  Amen

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