Go When the Gate Is Open
Listen to Audio (right click to save)
I was speaking at this beautiful conference center, and I'd actually been expecting to stay at the inn where the conferees would be, because that's where I've stayed on previous occasions. But this time they gave my wife and me the key to what they called one of their "remote cabins." Well, I asked the man in charge if everyone they sent to those cabins came back. He smiled and said, "Yeah, if the bears don't get you." Actually, it was a fabulous cabin, nestled in the woods with this spectacular mountain view. But there's limited access to these cabins. They are located on a long mountain lane, the entrance to which is unmarked and it's guarded by a gate. They gave us a pass that opens that gate. Apparently, they don't want anyone else following you in. I'll tell you, that gate opens for a brief time and then it closes. So get movin', Roscoe! My guess is that the bears - they don't need a pass.
That's what I learned real fast when I saw that the gate guarding the road didn't stay open forever. Tragically, it's something that many people never realize about God's road to heaven; the gate isn't always going to be open. You have to go in when the gate is open. That's why God warns us in Isaiah 55:7, our word for today from the Word of God, to "seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near."
The implication: the Lord may not always be able to be found. He won't always be near. That's why you have to come to Him while He is. The gate to get to God could not be clearer. It's not a religion - no religion including Christian religion. It's a person. Jesus said, "I am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved." That's "saved" as in rescued from the spiritual death penalty that hangs over every one of us because every one of us has broken God's laws; every one of us has put ourselves first instead of our Creator. Like a person who is trapped in the rubble of an earthquake, our only hope is the rescuer who risks his own life to save us. When it comes to the hellish penalty for our sin, only the One who died for that sin can rescue us.
And when He comes to you, offering His rescue, that's the time to grab His hand. He may come more than once, but don't count on Him coming forever. God has said, "My Spirit will not contend with man forever" (Genesis 6:3). We make the deadly mistake of thinking that we'll come to Jesus when we're ready. That's wrong. You can only come when He's ready. In our sin-deadness, we can't come to Him unless He's working in our heart. Jesus told us, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent Me draws him" (John 6:44).
If this day you're feeling a tug in your heart to get things right with Jesus, I believe that's God drawing you. It's His invitation, not mine. God's Word says, "Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart" (Hebrews 4:7). I don't know how many more times the gate will be open. This is the only opportunity you can be sure of. To miss Him is to miss the meaning of this life and any hope of eternal life.
If you sense that He's drawing you to Him today, would you give yourself to this One who died for you? Tell Him, "Jesus, I'm sorry for the sins of my life. I am turning from them; I'm not running things anymore - You are. Your death for my sins - your resurrection from the dead is my only hope. Thank you for coming to me one more time. From this day on, I'm Yours."
I would encourage you, if that's where your heart is right now, to go to our website sometime today as soon as you can. Because it's been a help for a lot of people when they've been at the point of saying, "I want to get started with Jesus and know how to do that." Now that website is YoursForLife.net. Or I've got a little booklet that has some of that same information in it, and you can call for it toll free. It's called Yours For Life, and the phone number is 877-741-1200.
The gate is open today, and there's no other way to heaven. The gate won't stay open forever, though. Go in while you can.
Distributed by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.
Learn three secrets to loving what you do from Ron Hutchcraft's message, "How to Love Your Job No Matter What." This complimentary CD provides new perspective on how your boss, your pay, and your hard work can help you love your job.