Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Unlocking Heaven


"We proclaim the gospel to the world so that they may be saved."

If you've ever been locked out of a place you were desperately needing to get into (especially if it was urgent), you know how frustrating it can be not to have the key to get in. Many of the doors in our lives have but one key each and we keep them in a special place, knowing that it's in our best interest not to lose them. When you're seeking to unlock that old shed, your everyday house key won't do. You need the key with the perfect fit.

Yet we know that locks can be picked. As our church's resident locksmith knows, where there's a will, there's a way. Especially considering today's use of electronic locks, it is possible to hack your way past any locked barrier if you have the right amount of knowledge and skill.

Not so with heaven.

Individual salvation and eternal bliss are locked down tighter than Fort Knox. Everlasting life is in a safe so secure that it makes a bank vault look like a pickle jar. You see, not just anyone at any time can access heaven -- it is simply beyond the capable reach of mankind.

So, what's the deal? How does anyone get there?

Let us not forget how Jesus began His ministry: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand," (Matthew 4:17). Jesus is the Answer -- the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Or, as our local Christian station Key Radio puts it: "The key to life is Jesus Christ."

When it comes to gaining heaven -- gaining God Himself -- no manmade "key" will do. There's no will-power or skill set to break the barrier. There's no formula for success (or "combination," as for a padlock) for those who try hard enough. Our sinful, rebellious thoughts, desires, and actions have proven that our corruption is well beyond self-repair. The only way for men to gain entrance into heaven is through faith in what Jesus has done. "There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved,” (Acts 4:12).

Jesus died in our place for our sins, that we may be forgiven of them all, past, present, and future. He was raised from the dead for our justification. By faith alone, we are made right with God, based on His merits. This is the gospel.

There's a rush of excitement and relief that comes from finally unlocking an inconvenient door; but there is eternal joy and peace that attends the heart of the believer as God imparts eternal life to his soul. This is why we proclaim the gospel.

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