“Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance—isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’ — Matthew 7:21-23 (The Message)
There is a parking lot here at Spring Training that is fenced with a guard standing at the open gate. The only ones allowed to park here are ballplayers, coaches, and some of the other people associated with working for the ballclub. Every car that is driven through that gate has to have a tag hanging from the rearview mirror or laying on the dashboard. Every person that walks through that gate has to have credentials to do so. The other day three women approached this gate wanting to cut through the parking lot to the practice ballfields. The guard at the gate said, “I can’t let you come through this gate, but you can walk down a little farther and walk through that gate right down there.” The women became irritated, pleading to please let them through, “We are good people.” The youngest of the women said, “You mean you are telling me no?!” The guard replied, “Why yes I am. You are going to have to turn around and walk away.”
One day we will approach a gate that opens into a beautiful place called Heaven. It is God’s dwelling place, a place we really want to enter. What will the “guard” at the gate say to you? Will He say, “I can’t let you in, you don’t have the credentials, now move along to that gate down there.” Will you become irate, not believing that He would dare refuse you, “I’ve been so good Lord, and yet you still are telling me no?!” His reply, “Why yes I am telling you no, now move along.” Or, will the “guard” let you in because you have the proper credentials, the credentials of having a relationship with Jesus Christ and the belief in Him as your Savior. Which gate do you want it to be?
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” —Matthew 7:13-14