October 1, 2014 Many gates

01 Oct

Daily Bible Reading: Isaiah 11-13, Ephesians 4 

shrek“Pick number three, my lord!”  This quote comes from the movie, “Shrek”, in the scene where Farquar, the diminutive, “wanna-be” ruler stands before the Magic mirror asking about his future as king of Dulock. The Magic mirror presents Farquar with three choices of potential queens of which he is to choose.  With the urging of others, he chooses number three.

In the closing scene of the Indiana Jones series, “The Last Crusade”, Indiana finds himself in the room where the cup of Christ is kept–protected by a Knight from the Crusades, hundreds of years old, who was commissioned to keep everyone from the Holy Grail, the cup which Christ used “on the night in which He was betrayed”, thought to have special healing powers.  As it happens, Indiana Jones’ father is dying from a gun shot wound and his only hope is for Indiana to bring the cup to his dying father choosethat he may live. The Knight guarding the cup reminds Indiana that chosing the wrong cup brings on a gruesome death instead of life eternally.  The guardian of the cup makes the classic statement to all who would drink the cup of Christ,  “Choose wisely.” Of course, Indiana Jones chooses the right cup and ends up saving his father’s life.

When Jesus said to Peter, in Matthew 16:18 (NIV),“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” Jesus reminds Peter and us that hell has many gates, which might suggest that we should be careful which door we choose to walk through in life.  Earlier, Jesus warned all in the Sermon on the Mount:

Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV)”Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

In other words, be care of the choices you make in life.  Why?  The way to hell has many paths. Sadly, many unknowingly choose the road to hell and to their everlasting destruction.

Yesterday, I was asked by a 3rd grader what hell is like. This is what Jesus told us about hell:

Matthew 8:12 (NIV)  “But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 

Hell will be a place of darkness, as in the ninth plague the Lord brought upon Egypt through Moses His servant:

Exodus 10:21-23 (NIV) Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness will spread over Egypt–darkness that can be felt.” So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. No one could see anyone else or leave his place for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived. 

fireMatthew 13:42 (NIV) They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 

Hell is a fiery furnace.  If you can imagine being burned, but the burning never ends, then you can imagine, in a small way, what hell will be like. What will they be doing who are there?  Weeping and gnashing teeth.

But thanks be to God.  Even though there are many gates and ways to destruction, there is but one gate that leads to life.  (Matthew 7:13-14) 

It is narrow, and yes, only a few will find it.  And though it is difficult to enter:

Matthew 19:23-26 (NIV)  Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”  When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”  Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

doorIt is not impossible.  With God all things are possible even finding the gate to life.

John 10:7-10 (NIV) Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

We find life when we enter through Jesus, who is the gate.  Whoever enters through me will be saved.

I give You thanks and praise that You, Lord Jesus, are the gate and by Your death, have opened the way to life everlasting that all who would enter life will enter by grace through faith In YOUR name alone. Amen. 

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