TOUGH LOVE #7 - YOU STOP PEOPLE FROM ENTERING GOD'S KINGDOM
Have you heard the expression, “You make a better door than a window?” The religious leaders made a better wall than a door. They had access to God’s Word, the knowledge with which to save the world. Instead of giving people answers that would help them, they turned God’s Word into a barrier to keep people out of God’s Kingdom.
The religious leaders had the keys to get in, but did not enter themselves. Isn’t that sometimes the problem with experts?
The chef makes a feast for others but doesn’t want to cook at home.
It’s like the mechanic who drives a wreck.
The old saying is ‘those who can’t teach’. I know many people who have great book knowledge of the Scriptures and a wielding grip on doctrine. But some of them have no relationship with the Body of Christ. They are experts, but their religion has no connection to helping people.
We must guard our hearts from an attitude of exclusivity. Who are you trying to keep out? If we are always concerned about who shouldn’t be included, we miss the point – maybe we’re not really in.
The Old Testament talks about God having a remnant of the nation that would be faithful. Some Christian groups have taught that they alone were right and all the other churches false. To follow their teachings and practices would guarantee that you were truly part of God’s People, not like the misguided people in the other churches.
My own father used to believe that sort of thing. In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s he believed that most of the churches were in error and that God was calling a Remnant to come out of the churches and be the true church. Further along, he believed that God was calling a Remnant out the Remnant.
Once you start down the path of being more correct than others, there is no return. You claim to have the keys but don’t let anyone in. Eventually you realize you cannot even enter.
In contrast, Jesus said that He is the door and whoever enters through Him will be saved. My dad began leaving that kind of thinking behind 50 years ago. In place of the Remnant coming out of the Remnant, he chose to trust in Jesus the true and merciful Judge.
He is the One who guards the door and He wants everyone to enter. His willing sacrifice for humanity’s sin is proof that He is willing to accept all who enter by faith.
According to some traditions, the thief on the cross next to Jesus was named Dismas. He was fully accepted without having an opportunity to prove himself. His confession of faith in Jesus gave the dying thief the keys to the Kingdom of God.
Because of the ‘tough love of God’, there has been a divine intervention led by Jesus. Though trapped in our sinful state, God brought a loving confrontation that calls us to return and be saved. This is not condemnation… it is hope to live.
Instead of being left out, God offers you the keys to the Kingdom. From the intervention that confronts our sin, Jesus leads us home with a right mind.