"I am the door."
-- John 10:7
Every presidential election becomes more acrimonious than the one before. No longer does one party present its ideas as better for the country than the other party, but rather each side predicts the violent death of America if the other side wins.
A similar tug of war took place near the end of Jesus' ministry. The party of the Pharisees arose to fiercely oppose Jesus. They promised the people lower taxes on earth and a simple path to Heaven. Jesus preached giving to Caesar what is Caesar's, plus a plan of salvation that required giving absolutely all of one's heart, soul, mind, and strength to God. The Pharisees wanted people to follow them. Jesus said to follow Him by going through "the door."
The Door is Legitimacy
The Pharisees were constantly critiquing Jesus as unqualified to sit on the thrones of David (as Savior) and God (as Lord). Jesus counters by claiming, "I am the door," the only legitimate entrance and access to the kingdom of God.
If you listen to the wrong message and try to slip in using another religion, God will ban you like a "thief." If you try to buy your way in with money, your money will perish like that of a "robber." If you try to convince Him you belong because you are a good person, He will not hear you and draw you near to His heart because you are a "stranger" to Him.
Do you want God in your life? Then you have got to enter in the right door, the only legitimate door to God and God's kingdom. Jesus said, "I am the door." I vote for Him!
The Door is Salvation
When you walk through the door of Christ, by grace through faith, you find salvation. Jesus said the second time, "I am the door," then followed, "If anyone enters by me, he will be saved." "Saved!"
The Pharisees were insulted, for they saw no need for themselves or anyone else to be saved by Jesus. And people followed the Pharisees then, as they do now. You ask the typical non-Christian or nominal Christian today, the man on the street or the mainline Protestant, the secular humanist or the lapsed Catholic, "Would you like to be saved?" They will laugh in your face. "Saved?" "Saved from what?" Sin.
Sin is the disobedience or disregard of God's perfect will, best described and discerned from His holy word, the Bible. We all sin, and the perfect and holy God does not take it lightly. This is why sinners need the salvation found just inside "the door."
Jesus loves you enough to tell you the truth, that we are all sinners, by nature, by commission, and by omission. His law condemns but His gospel saves us, with the imputed righteousness of His perfect life and the atoning for sin in His sacrificial death.
Many doors lead to sin. One door leads to salvation. Jesus said, "I am the door." I vote for Him!
The Door is More
Have you seen the commercials that come on television during football season (Dear Lord, let there be a football season this year!). They laud the SEC as the best and claim that to the member institutions and their states (including Arkansas and Georgia!), football means more.
People who walk through the door and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are not better than other people. But, we most definitely enjoy better lives. We have more. We have more quantity of life and more quality of life. We have a better eternity and a better existence. Our lives, because the door we have entered through, just means more.
Go through the door and you will give God glory in worship. You will give God pleasure in the way you walk as a disciple. You will give God joy in your fellowship with Him. You will give God help, yes, you will partner with God, as a means of ministry to others and in the mission to spread the gospel all over the world. All other lives are temporary and ultimately empty. The Christian life just means more.
But, to be a Christian, you have to go through the door. Jesus said, "I am the door." I vote for Him!
Chuck DeVane is the pastor of Lake Hamilton Baptist Church in Hot Springs. He is a graduate of Valdosta State University, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He has served churches in Arkansas and Georgia, and preached the gospel across the United States and other countries. Email him at [email protected]