The weather sure has been interesting around the world. You would think God is trying to get some peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s attention or something!
We had a nasty thunderstorm come through where I live. All of the electricity went out. Some pretty good-sized hail; and thankfully, no damage to the car. But I came upon an interesting scene at a gated community. The people couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get in, and the people couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get out. Now remember, the power went out. So the gates wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t open! People got out of their cars to push it open. It wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t budge! I am sure there was supposed to be a battery backup, but it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t working. So people were lined up in their cars Some were trying to get in and some were trying to get out. I thought, Ã¢â‚¬Å“This is going to be interesting to see how this plays out.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Now, I am not sure if the person was a redneck or not, but as you might have guessed, someone took their car and just started forcing open one of the gates! Just kept pushing. Eventually, the arm bar that was set down in the cement began to bend backwards; and the next thing you know, this big piece of cement began to lift out of the ground! He was successful in moving that half of the gate, and then everyone either went out through that one section or came in through that one section. Where is Samson when you need him?!!
Ã¢â‚¬Å“GateÃ¢â‚¬Â or Ã¢â‚¬Å“gatesÃ¢â‚¬Â are mentioned 419 times in the Bible. People sometimes refer to the Ã¢â‚¬Å“gates of heaven,Ã¢â‚¬Â which they may get from Genesis 28:17:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.Ã¢â‚¬Â
I began to wonder, though, who will want to break in there? Because if you get in there, it is going to be wonderful; but the Judgment is also there. Do people really want to be judged by God?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.Ã¢â‚¬Â
God is a holy, holy, holy, holy God. His purity is going to shock your socks off when you meet Him. We have broken the laws of God. He gave us His Ten Commandments, and we have failed miserably. His death on the cross is the Ã¢â‚¬Å“payment in fullÃ¢â‚¬Â that redeems us from all of our sins. The ransom has been paid.
His blood pays that ransom. He is the perfect blood sacrifice that you must give to God the day you meet Him. Perfect in that He was tempted in all ways we are yet without sin. It is His blood that cleanses us of those sins. He is the sacrifice offered once and for all to take away the sins of the whole world. He is the Perfect Blood Sacrifice!
In verse 26, Ã¢â‚¬Å“which believeth in JesusÃ¢â‚¬Â is a strong phrase. It is the choice everyone gets to make. Everyone! You have the responsibility and ability to come to the cross of Christ. He has given that choice to everyone walking on planet Earth. No excuses here or on the other side. If you decide to reject Jesus, you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t blame the King. You can only blame yourself.
We meet people all the time who seem to have no interest in the gospel. We met some of them walking past us at the Atlanta Hawks playoff games as we were handing out tracts. Yet, I said to one man, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Are you born again? Are you saved?Ã¢â‚¬Â He stopped and said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“No, I am not.Ã¢â‚¬Â I stated, Ã¢â‚¬Å“What is holding you back?Ã¢â‚¬Â He said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I grew up in Pakistan and grew up Muslim. I am doing a lot of searching right now.Ã¢â‚¬Â Boy, did we have a great encounter! He knows he is going to die. He knows it is his job to search. Everyone has that in them. Now, we will see if he comes to truth or not.
One lady sent this email to the ministry. It said:
Before I had a family and became a Ã¢â‚¬ËœChristian HippieÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ living off the grid in Alaska, I was an RN. I have watched many people die, some in peace and some in agony fighting God until their last breath. I was telling my daughter today that when it comes to life and death, nothing else really matters at that moment. I have had 8 children, all at home.
At the moment before a birth, nothing else matters. It does not matter how poor you are or how much food you have, the overdue bills, the lack of a nice vehicle, house, furniture, clothes, etc. It is life and death, and the only thing that matters is that life that you are trying to bring forth. Time stands still until it happens; it does, and the parents get to glimpse at just a little of the glory of God.
The same thing happens with death. It no longer matters how rich you were, how many people you have stepped on along the way to get there, the friends you have had, the nice house and car you own. It is death now, and there are no other thoughts. The ones that have called on Jesus rest sweetly and wait for the glory; no anxiety, no fear. The ones that refuse salvation (or worse yet have not been told) fight every breath, struggling to not make a decision, even though they know it is at the doorstep. They put it off until the last breath comes and there are no more chances. Nothing else matters now.
Think about that for a second. At the moment of birth and at the moment of death, nothing else really matters. When your baby is being born, you really just want everyone to be healthy. When you are dying, either you are struggling to stay alive, or you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t wait to take that last breath and meet the King!
But how can we become that singularly focused as we live this life? I mean, truly, all that matters is what awaits us after we die.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.Ã¢â‚¬Â
One of the main keys in this life is to stay singularly focused as we walk through our days. Stay fixated on the cross of Christ and what happens when you die, and you will have a wonderful journey through this place.
There is actually a term called gate crashing. It means Ã¢â‚¬Å“crashing a party or an event you were not invited to.Ã¢â‚¬Â So you didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have an invitation to the event, but you are going to sneak in or get in there anyway. There is no gate crashing into Heaven. You have been invited. Accept the invitation. If you have accepted the invitation, hand out many more invitations to the lost in the days to come.
If you go to Hell, you will not be able to exit through its gates. If there are gates to Heaven and you wind up going there, you wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be able to get out! (And you wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to, by the way!!) So remember, when you die, you will live in a gated community! But just make sure it is the right one!!
Until the nets are full,
P.S. Many thanks for all of the nice testimonies several of you have shared about the new gospel tract Ã¢â‚¬Å“The PrizeÃ¢â‚¬Â! I thought you might enjoy some of these pictures that have been sent in: