Enter his gate with thanksgiving — Psalm 100:4
I am almost finished reading “The Pilgrim’s Progress.” I am reading the last few chapters really slowly, I just don’t want it to end. That book describes the life of every Christian who has ever set out on the journey to really follow the Lord Jesus Christ. I am most fascinated by the people that Christian (the main character in the first half of the book) encounters that started out on the journey, but did not enter at the Narrow Gate. It is where all “pilgrims” who desire to reach the “Celestial City” must begin their journey.
I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. — John 10:9
I am so thankful that “the gate” is clearly defined in scripture. Jesus flat out tells us that He is the gate. Every single person that desires to be saved must go through Him. If you examine all of the religions, the ticket to “heaven,” or “enlightenment,” or whatever else is promised is found in keeping some set of rules. Do this, don’t do this, do that, don‘t do that, look like this, don’t look like that…all sorts of rules. Not so with Christianity. Even though many denominations try to paint a picture of exactly what a “Christian” looks like, the bottom line is that salvation is a gift given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the gate. The journey to heaven begins with Him.
I know this is a rather simple WMD. I just want you to examine your heart and make sure that you began your journey at the gate, the cross of Jesus Christ. Maybe you bypassed the gate and sit in church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night and think that makes you right with God. Maybe you just decided to be a better person and did a pretty good job of making yourself over and think that because you changed you are right with God. Maybe you play the “I’m a good person” card. The Bible is clear…there is NO ONE good…not even one (Romans 3:10). We are not good people that occasionally do bad things. At our core, we are bad people that can occasionally do good things. The only way we can be saved is if we accept the forgiveness offered at the foot of the cross. Have you received this forgiveness?
When did your journey begin? I don’t know my exact date, but I do know it was in the Summer of 1991. In a car parked in a lake parking lot with my youth pastor, he led me in the prayer of salvation. I went in through the gate.
What a journey I have been on ever since then! This pilgrim has made some progress, though I realize there is a lot more progress to be made before I enter Celestial City. With the help of God, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit…I will make it.
And to think…it all started at this really narrow gate named Jesus.