April 26, 2015
Message, Robby Gallaty, Senior Pastor
The title of the message today is “The Only Door That Leads to Life.” “The Only Door that Leads to Life.”
If I asked you this question, what would you say the American Dream is? Now many people think the American Dream is living the good life, right? Having a comfortable living, owning your own home, having newer cars in the garage, being able to travel on vacations whenever you want and saving up for retirement.
If you want to understand what the American Dream is all you have to do is pick up a People Magazine or an US Magazine at your local grocery store and look at some of the people in there achieving their wildest dreams. However, I want to submit to you that just because people experience a good life, they may not be experiencing the abundant Christian life that Jesus talked about in the New Testament.
So you may be asking, Robby, what is the abundant Christian life that Jesus is talking about? Is it to be rich and famous? Well, if you ask the Health, Wealth and Prosperity Preachers, they may say that is the answer. But the problem with that heretical doctrine, that if you give to me or my ministry, you will be rich, is that those people asking for the money are the beneficiaries of your investment, right? As long as you give to them, then you will be happy. And the problem with that heretical doctrine is, it breaks down when you take it overseas to impoverished countries or when you take that preaching to the inner city or you take it to men who are asking for 200,000 people to give $300 so that they can fund a $60 million dollar personal jet for them. That is another sermon for another day, but you get the point.
And so, what is the abundant Christian life? I want to submit to you that the abundant Christian life is not about acquiring possessions. It is actually…don’t miss this…an attitude of the mind as much as it is acquisition of something. It is an attitude of the mind. It is a state of satisfaction.
And as we see in the text today, the abundant Christian life is when we know Jesus, not Jesus and, not Jesus in addition to when we know Jesus. It is not Jesus, I will follow You so You can give me a treasure. It is Jesus, You are my treasure! There is a big difference.
You see, if we study the New Testament, we meet men like the Apostle Paul who, by worldly standards, had nothing and yet Paul had an abundant Christian life. You would agree. We meet men like the Apostle John who was exiled to the Isle of Patmos and yet he was rich in Christ.
And so I want to show you today in our short time together how to obtain the abundant Christian life, who gives the abundant Christian life so that you and I would be able to experience all that Christ has for us. So who gives it, how to obtain it so we can experience it.
If you have your Bibles, and I hope you do, turn with me to John Chapter 10. John Chapter 10 and Verse 1 and when you get there, say “Word.” We like to say “Word” at Brainerd Baptist because we get excited about the Word because the Word changes our life, not cool stories, not funny illustrations, not my sense of humor. If you came for that, you are not going to get much of that, but you will get the Word of God. Amen? And so lets get into the Word until the Word gets into us.
“Truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all of his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee form him for they do not know the voice of strangers.’ This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what He was saying to them. But Jesus said again to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I AM the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” The Word of the Lord.
I want to break this passage into three different sections how Jesus shows us that He is our source and sufficiency. Here is the first thing Jesus says. Write it down. Jesus Christ is the pathway to life. You could say abundant life, but I just said life. Jesus Christ is the pathway to life.
He says in the text, “Truly, truly I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.”
Now, you have to ask yourself this question. Why does God use this sheep motif all throughout the Old Testament to describe His followers? And you have to wonder, why didn’t God use the idea of goats, like he used sheep and not goats. And the reason is, if you know anything about the animal kingdom, goats are very smart animals. Sheep, on the other hand, are the dumbest animals on planet earth, okay?
And Dave Wiley, our Community Outreach Director and Staff Evangelist, understood this well when he and his wife Mollie traveled over to Africa last year and they were meeting in a community and talking with one of the locals in his backyard. And in the middle of the conversation, Dave said the man interrupted him and said, “Here they come!” And Dave said, “Who?” And he said, “They are here.” And Dave didn’t know what was happening and so he watched this man walk over to the gate of his house. He simply opened the gate up and a few seconds later, a herd of goats walked into his backyard. He shut the gate and he walked over to Dave and he said, “Here is the deal, these goats every day go from my house in the morning as I let them out. They meander through the desert and find pasture. They graze. They come back to the home almost like clockwork and find their way back to the house every day, almost at the same time.”
Now Dave went out into the street and it was mind-blowing for him because he looked down the street…I want to show you the picture…and literally, you can see these houses. They all look the same and everyone of them are built next to each other. It is literally impossible that these goats would find their way back home. But they do it every single day.
The man said to Dave in passing, “If I had a flock of sheep and I let them out, they would never come home again. We would never find them again.”
Jesus uses this motif of shepherding and sheep to describe how He is both the Shepherd…get this…and the Door. It is dualistic language here of how Jesus simultaneously can be the Shepherd of the flock and the Door.
Now you are saying like I was this week, how can the Shepherd be the door? I have to take you back to shepherding in the First Century. What would happen for a shepherd is, at the end of the day of grazing, he would lead the sheep in an enclosure, preferably one that had four sides and he would lead all the sheep into this enclosure. And most of the time, there was no door or gate at the opening. So what the shepherd would do is, after getting all the sheep in, he would lie on the ground at the doorway and his body would function as the gate. The only way that sheep could get out was to walk over him and he would protect intruders and thieves and robbers and attackers from coming in and stealing or attacking his sheep. It was a beautiful picture of how he was the door and the shepherd.
Adam Smith, many years ago, the great leader Sir George Adam Smith, was on a train ride. He met a man who was a shepherd, an Arab shepherd. He wasn’t a Christian. And he began to tell him about how he was a shepherd. When he got off the train, he talked to this man. He led him to his house and he was showing him how he took care of these sheep. And he asked him, “Is this where you keep the sheep?” It was this enclosure. And he said, “Once I get all the sheep into this fold, they are protected. I protect them.” And he said, “Well, how do you protect them?” And the man simply said this, “I am the door.” Now he wasn’t a Christian man, but he was using that same kind of language that Jesus used all the way back in the First Century.
He went on to say this: “When the light has gone and all the sheep are inside, I lie in the open space and no sheep ever goes out unless it walks across my body and no wolf can ever come in unless he walks across my body for I am the door.”
Friends, only the Messiah could say He is, at the same time, both the door and the Shepherd. Now, a lot of unbelievers were jiving with us to that point until I just said Jesus is the only door. You see, what unbelievers will say is, I am with you, Pastor, as long as you say Jesus is one of many doors to God, I am okay with that. But the moment you become exclusive to say that Jesus is the Only Door to God, that is when I have a problem.
And I want to show you what Jesus is doing here. Just like there was…watch this…just like there was only one door to enter into the Ark of Noah for salvation, just like there was only one door to enter into the Holy Place of the Tabernacle for the High Priest, just like there was only one door to enter into the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur once a year, Jesus Christ is saying, I am the One Door and the Only Door into the presence of God.
You see, unbelievers don’t like that because what they would say is, Robby, there are many doors to God. You see, there is the door of Mohammed in Islam, there is the door of Hinduism with 8 million gods, there is the door of Joseph Smith from Mormonism, there is the door of Ellen G. White for Adventists. There are many doors that you can walk through as long as we get up the same mountain to get to God, we are okay.
Listen to me closely. Either Jesus is telling the truth or He is a liar. We can’t have it both ways. Either Jesus is a prophet who is predicting His life and His future, or He is a false prophet ad the Bible says in the Old Testament, false prophets need to be stoned to death. Either Jesus is a lunatic who has lost His mind in saying the only way to God is through Him, or Jesus is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and He should be worshiped and listened to.
Peter said it this way, “There is salvation in no one else for there is one name under heaven by which men should be swayed, the name of Jesus.” By saying Jesus is the only door, do you know what he is saying? He is saying, every other person claiming to lead you to God is an imposter and every other door that you open up will lead you to hell. That is pretty harsh, Robby. Hey, don’t take offense with me, take it with Jesus. He is just getting started.
Look at Verse 8. He says, “And by the way, all who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.” Now, let me tell you what Jesus is not saying. Jesus is not talking about all the prophets who came before Him in the Bible like Jeremiah or Daniel or Isaiah or Ezekiel. He is not talking about those guys. He is talking about the so-called religious leaders who were wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing preying on little lambs of the flock of God. Immature, undiscipled believers who are lead astray by these false teachers promising all these insights and promises that are not biblical. And what Jesus says is, you don’t have to worry about that because the true sheep, look at Verse 5, hear My voice.
Do you know Jesus…or God, in the Old Testament gives a stern warning to those false prophets who lead the people of God astray. Jeremiah Chapter 23. I want to read it to you. Look at the screen. Verse 1. “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for My people: ‘You have scattered My flock and have driven them away, ad you have not attended to them.’” Watch this…”Behold, I will attend to you.”
Now I don’t know what it means when God attends to us for doing evil things against His people, but I don’t want to know, right? God said, you didn’t attend to My people, but I am going to attend to you for doing evil deeds, declares the Lord.”
And basically what He is saying is this, there will be a high price to pay for those so-called preachers and pastors who are leading people astray. What a great responsibility it is to pastor a church, what a great indictment on those who have not done it faithfully and well.
And what He says is this, you don’t have to worry about people getting strayed by false prophets …or people straying from false prophets, because true sheep will hear My voice. Now what He is talking about here is, people who are truly saved are not going to be swayed by false teachers or prophets. They will eventually hear the true voice and will follow Me.
Now we all have friends and family members who at one time or another were following God. We all know people like this, right? We know friends like this. At one time, they were on fire for God. It may have been you. And then something happened along the way where they have turned their back on Christ. You can’t pay them. You can’t beg them. You can’t bring them to church, right? They just won’t come. You are trying to beg people to come and they just won’t come.
And here is what John says. John says, True faith will finish to the end. Okay? People ask me all the time, Pastor, is my son saved? Pastor, is my daughter saved? Do you think I am saved? People come forward, hey, I want to pray. Do you think I am saved? My answer should be your answer all the time is, I don’t know. But I do know this, time will tell. You see, we don’t work to be saved, but once we are saved, we will serve and work for the Lord to the end of our life where we get to where Paul says, “I have fought the good fight, I have kept the faith, I have finished the race,” right? I John Chapter 2 Verse 19, John says this, “They went out from us but they were not of us. If they would have been of us, they would have continued with us, but they went out that it might be plain to all that they were not of us.” So a true faith in Christ will finish to the end, right?
So what Jesus says is, “I am the pathway to true life.” Secondly, Jesus goes a little deeper here. He says, “I am the Provision for your life as well.” I amt eh provision for life as well. True life in Him.
Look at Verse 9. “If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find good pasture.” Now, that idea of going in and out happens when the sheep are actually comfortable. When the sheep feel secure, they will go in and out and graze on the land. What Jesus is promising here is, when you come to Me, I am going to take care of you, but I am also going to give you salvation.
Now salvation has become sadly for the larger world we live in, kind of like a junk drawer word. It is word that many people throw around and they don’t know the meaning to. I, personally, had the same experience when I was a new believer. I got radically saved and I told everyone I could they needed to be saved. Have you been there before? And my nickname back then was “Ignorance on fire.” I was excited about a lot of thing. I just didn’t know a lot of things, right? And so I would tell everybody. I was telling Mom and Dad every day, you need to be saved. You need to be saved. My sister, you need to be saved. Aunt and Uncle, you need to be saved.
I will never forget, one of my family members said, “Robby, what do I need to be saved from? You were on drugs, I wasn’t.” Now here is what I realized, they didn’t know they needed to be saved because they didn’t realize they were lost. You see, if you don’t realize that you are wandering in a sea of sin without a life preserver and the only reason you are going to be rescued is if you call out for help, you are never going to call out for help. You see, we have got to realize that all of us were born into a sinful world and we inherited this sin nature from Adam.
Now, sadly, here is the problem. We all have a blind spot to sin if we are unbelievers because we are blinded to the fact that we are blind. So unless someone or something confronts you, namely the Bible, then you don’t see your own sinfulness, right? You see, sin was inherited from Adam. The entire human race was infected because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve in Genesis Chapter 2. God said you could eat of any tree in the garden, don’t eat of that tree. They ate of that tree and because of that, all of us were infected with sin.
Now the problem with sin is, it is way worse than AIDS or cancer or any other terminal disease. Here is why. Because those diseases end at this physical life. Sin has repercussions…watch this…the eternity.
I know what you are probably thinking, well, Robby, I am not really a big sinner. I mean, I don’t sin a lot. Well, let me ask you are couple of personal questions. Have you ever told a lie before? A big lie or a small lie, a white lie? We all have, right? Have you ever stolen anything before? Change off a dresser, answers off a test? We all have, right, from time to time. Have you ever looked at another person of the opposite sex with lust in your heart? We all have.
So the Bible says you are a lying, thieving, adulterer, right? And what the Bible also says is that if you break one of the Old Testament commandments or one of the commandments, you break all 613 of them. So to sin once, is to sin and break all the commandments.
Here is the problem with sin. Watch this. God is holy and perfect and righteous and just. By His nature, He cannot come in contact with sinful human beings. He has said that He can’t do that. He cannot break what He already said. So the only way sinful man can come in contact with a Holy God is if we have a sacrifice or a payment for our sin. See, that is why Jesus Christ is central to the gospel.
Now the problem with many of us who have a comfortable life, many of you, is that a comfortable person never sees the need to come to Christ. Why? Because they don’t need Him! The worst place for a person to be in this world is in a comfortable position. I am so thankful I lost everything. I wouldn’t do it again, but I am thankful I did. Why? Because I had to get so low where I saw the need for Christ. But most people don’t get there. They live a comfortable life. They make a comfortable income. They have fluctuating problems, but nothing really major and they coast through life and they head to hell. And it is not until you understand the enormity of your sins and you understand the eternal weight of spending a life departed from Christ in hell and you understand that eternity is too long to be wrong, then you see the need to repent of your sins and put your faith in Jesus Christ.
You see, the reason Jesus Christ is the Only One who has a doorway to God or is the doorway to God is because Jesus Christ is the only One who absorbed your sin. You see, Jesus Christ, on the cross, took the sins of us on Himself. You see, God’s wrath, for God to be a just God, He said, I am punishing sin. The wrath of God was meant for sin. Jesus Christ, perfect and spotless said, Don’t punish them, God, punish Me. See, it was us who should have hung on the cross, not Jesus. And yet Jesus, as a perfect sacrifice, hung on the cross, absorbed our sin. He died so that we could live. Aren’t you glad! Do you see it? His death brought life for us. Friends, that is why…don’t miss this…Mohammed could never save you. Here is how. Mohammed didn’t absorb your sin. It is how Joseph Smith can’t save you. Joseph Smith in Mormonism, he never absorbed your sin. Ellen G. White, Hinduism, Buddha was a good man. He didn’t absorb your sin. Mahatma Gandhi was a good man. He didn’t absorb your sin, right?
Jesus Christ alone took on your sin and absorbed them so that you would live. Aren’t you glad of that? That is why Jesus Christ is central to the gospel message.
Listen to what Peter said. “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed for you were straying like sheep but have now returned to the Shepherd and the Overseer of your souls.”
Anyone who puts their faith in anything or any person other than Jesus…watch this…will open that door one day at death and realize it will be the equivalent to boarding the Tower of Terror…I was just in Disney last week…and take a straight trip down south. And at that point…don’t miss this…it is too late!
You see, that is why John 3:16 is so encouraging to believers. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only, His unique, one of a kind, Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Martin Luther said that was the gospel in miniature. In fact, notice what Luther said. Luther said, “For God, the greatest lover, who loved the greatest degree, the world, the greatest company, that He gave, the greatest act, His Only Begotten Son, the greatest gift, that whosoever, the greatest invitation, believes, the greatest simplicity, in Him, the greatest person, should not perish, the greatest promise, but the greatest difference, have the greatest certainty, eternal life, the greatest possession. And my friends, that is great news for believers! Amen?
So Jesus says, I am not just the pathway to life, I am the provision for life. I am the only way to life. And I am all you need for life. And then finally, Jesus takes it one step further and Jesus shows us that He is the protector of our life. Jesus is the protector of our life.
Look at Verse 10. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Here is a perfect example of taking a text in context. Let me tell you something. This text has been used for so long out of context by so many people. Probably one of the most misused verses in the gospel of John and that is why I am so thankful for inductive Bible study, exegetical Bible study which we have some guests with us today who are with us. I am so thankful for taking a text and camping out on the text.
The first thing you realize if you take this text in context is that the thief is not the devil. It is the false prophets Jesus is just talking about. He is talking about these false leaders who disguise themselves as true leaders or shepherds, but they are actually sheep in wolves’ clothing. They act like they want to take care of you, but they actually sacrifice you for their own well-being. They are not worried about helping you, they are worried about lining their pockets with their own wages. And what they do is, they will do anything to anyone to perpetuate their own ministry. And Jesus says, that is how those guys are.
But let me tell you about the True Shepherd. The True Shepherd has come to give you life and give it to you abundantly. That word “life” there is an interesting word. He is talking about eternal life, but he is talking about life abundantly now.
You know, so often in the Christian world, we talk about being aborted from this life into the spiritual by and by to be with Jesus one day in eternity and thank God for that. But I don’t know about you, I want to be filled with the Spirit of God to live the rest of this life with Him. It is a dualistic promise. And Jesus says, “You will have life because I give life.” Now how in the world could Jesus give life? Here is how. Because He is the only One who laid His life down so that we could have life. Four times in this passage…notice how many times Jesus says, “I laid down My life for you.” Verse 11, circle it, underline it. “The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” Verse 15, “I lay down My life for the sheep.” Verse 17, “I lay down My life that I may take it up again.” Verse 18, “No one takes My life from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it back up.”
Now, the life Jesus is talking about is abundant life. And some people have tried to minimalize this or reduce this to money. It is way more than money, although money could be a product or a by-product of an abundant Christian life, it is way more than that because anyone with money knows, you can purchase a lot of possessions or things, but you can’t buy happiness. Anybody been there before? You can have a lot of things. Just turn on the television and you see a lot of people tell you that on national TV.
What He is talking about here is satisfaction. He is talking about contentment. Paul knew this well. Philippians Chapter 4 Verse 10. Turn there is you have a Bible. I want to show you this quickly. If you read this text, Church, and you don’t know where Paul is writing from, this really does not mean much to you. It is a great truth, but it doesn’t have the same magnitude as when you know where Paul is penning these words from. Do you know where Paul is? He is in prison. It is easy to say, “I have learned the secret of being content,” when you are on a mountaintop experience in the Rockies, right? Or you on a summer home at the sea. When you are in prison and you are penning words like this, people listen.
Look at Verse 10. When you are there, say “Word.” Paul says, “I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I have learned in any situation the secret of facing plenty, or I know how to be brought low and how to abound. Sorry. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things thorugh Christ who strengthens me.”
Here is another passage that has been taken out of context so long. He is not talking about being able to hit a home run when the pitch is thrown to him in the World Series, although people use it for that. He is not talking about winning UFC fights as some have tattooed on their chest. What he is talking about here is, it doesn’t matter what happens to me in life, if I have Christ, I have enough. You see, for Paul, Jesus was his treasure. Paul didn’t say Jesus, if you do this, then I will have a treasure. Paul says, Jesus, You have done enough. You are my treasure. There is a big difference.
Many of you know Matthew Henry from the commentary he wrote in 1714 at the age of 52. He was facing death and he was about to die and if anyone had a right to throw stones at God for the life that was dealt to him, Matthew Henry would have been justified. He had lost his first wife early on in his marriage. He then went on to lose not one, not two, but three of his children to disease and now at the age of 52, he was facing death. He had every right to get mad at God. On his deathbed, here is what he said to his friend. He said, “You have been used to hearing the sayings of dying men. This is mine. That a life spent in the service of God, in communion with Him is the most comfortable and pleasant life that anyone can live in this present world.”
You see, Matthew Henry learned the secret and that was Christ is enough. Do you believe that? Do you really believe that?
And the question I want to answer before we close this passage is, and here is a crucial question, why is Jesus talking about a door at this time in His ministry? Like Jesus, why now would You talk about this? And in order to understand that, we have to put John Chapter 10 in context.
Now let me teach you a Hebraic principle for teaching back then. Here is a principle that Jesus used all the time. And let me just give you an insight. When I learned this, the New Testament, particularly the Gospels, came alive for me. Here is the insight. Jesus as a Jewish Rabbi, would teach on a particular topic and then He would illustrate it with a real world example. Or, Jesus would perform a miracle. He would heal someone, then He would gather His disciples aside and say, let me just tell you about what I just did. He does this all the time.
This experience is no exception. John Chapter 9, Jesus is going to a blind man who was born blind from birth. You remember from a couple of weeks ago. This man born blind from birth experienced one of the three Messianic miracles I said to you that only the Messiah would perform, that only the Messiah they believed could heal a man born blind from birth. If you haven’t’ heard that message, you can go back and listen to it. And when the man is healed, he goes to the religious leaders and they start to question him. Who healed you? How were you healed? Were you blind from birth? The man said, yes. Then they went to his parents, remember? Is this your son? Was he blind from birth? Yes. Is this your boy? Was he really blind? Yes. We don’t know anything. Ask him, they say, or we are out of this thing. They go back to the blind man. Were you really blind from birth? For the third time they are asking someone. He says, yes. Who healed you? Who is this guy? He said, listen, I don’t know much, but all I know is this. I was blind and now I can see. And with that response…get this…they excommunicated him from the synagogue, which I want to submit to you is the equivalent of death. It is like being cut off from the community completely.
When Jesus…I love this…when Jesus goes and finds this man who has been kicked out of that system of Judaism and Jesus says to him, Come, follow Me. What Jesus is doing…watch this…He is saying to him, the old system of Judaism that you followed for so many years can’t save you. But I am inviting you into something that can save you and it is a personal relationship with Me. When He finds this man, this man is a lost lamb who has been kicked out of the fold. You have to understand, the religious leaders were given the task of shepherding and caring for the flock. And not only did they not care for this guy, they neglected him and they kicked him out of the flock. He is wandering like a lost sheep. You have 99 and one is gone. Go find the one. Jesus finds this man and He says, listen, do you believe in Me? John Chapter 9 Verse 35. Do you believe in the Son of Man? The man says, Yes sir, I do. Tell me who He is.
Now why in the world would the blind man say this? Here is why. When Jesus healed the man, remember, he was blind. Jesus puts mud in his eyes and He says go wash down at the Pool of Siloam which would have been a long journey, okay? Jesus sends him on a short-term excursion with mud in his eyes in the middle of the festival. When the man cleans the mud from his eyes, he could see, but he has never seen Jesus. So Jesus finds the man who has been kicked out of the flock, out of the fold. He says, hey, listen, do you believe? The man says, Tell me who the Messiah is. Tell me who the Son of Man is and I will believe. Jesus says, it is the One you are talking to. And the man says, I believe!
Aren’t you glad that Jesus as the Good Shepherd finds His own? Do you know what Jesus is saying is, I have got a new flock. I have a new fold. And the only way that you can get into My fold is if you come through Me to the fold because I am the door. I am the Shepherd and I am coming for you and I am inviting you and you have to respond.
You see, Jesus told His disciples, He said, “You guys didn’t choose Me. I chose you.” Remember that? You didn’t search out for Me. I came looking for you. John Chapter 6 Verse 44, Jesus says, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws them.” It sounds like the sovereignty of God. It does.
John Chapter 6 Verse 65. “This is why I told you guys that no one can come to Me unless it is granted to them by the Father.” It sounds like the sovereignty of God. You are right. God is the author and an actor of salvation. However, man must respond when God acts.
Revelation Chapter 3 Verse 20. Do you remember that verse? Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to eat or come in to him and eat with him and he will be with Me.” How in the world is Jesus going to be let in your house? Not everybody at once. You have to physically open the door! You see, the challenge with western Christians is that we have to have everything bullet pointed and flow charted and outlined, everything perfectly so when we hear doctrines like the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man, we say, it is either one or the other. When you ask a Jewish man, do you believe in the sovereignty of God or the responsibility of man, guess what they say? Yes to both Yes to both. So which one is it, Robby? Is it God chose us or we chose God? And the answer is, yes, to both.
Donald Gray Barnhouse was the pastor of the Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was preaching on this topic of the sovereignty of God, the responsibility of man and he was talking about how the cross is a doorway to life. And there was a lady, much like yourselves probably, sitting in the audience who had been supposedly a believe her whole life, but on that Sunday she realized that although she knew about Christ, she never understood the gospel message. She thought she was a believer, but she wasn’t a believer and here is why. She realized she had never spiritually walked through the door. And Barnhouse said these words, she said she would never forget, he said, Imagine the cross of Christ has a door in it. All you are asked to do is go through the door. On one side of the door, the side facing you, there is written an invitation that says, Whosoever will come. And so you stand there with your sin upon you and you wonder, should I enter the door? And then you finally take the first step. You experience a freedom like never before. You are safe and secure for the first time in your life. Do you remember being there when you came to Christ? You were joyfully filled. You then turn around when you walk thorugh the door and on the backside of the door and the cross, you see another sign and the sign reads, Chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.
The woman heard this message. She realized she had never walked through the door and she put her faith and trust in Jesus Christ on the spot.
When Jesus says, I am the Door, He is saying two things. Don’t miss this. The door is synonymous with a decision. Write this down. When a person sees a door, we have a decision to make. Do we open the door or do we not open the door. And every person in here has to make a decision today. Have I walked through the door or have I not walked thorugh the door?
People ask me all the time, when is the best time to put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ? Well, the Bible says Today is the day of salvation, right? The door is also a picture of separation. You see, whenever you see a door, you realize that there are people on the inside of the door and people on the outside of the door. And I don’t know where you are today. I don’t know if you are part of the flock of God on the inside. I don’t know if you are part of the goats on the outside, separated from God. But the cool thing is, I don’t need to know because you do and God does. And so let me ask you a question, have you made a decision to walk through the door?
The children’s song captures it well. There is a lot of theology in this song, but let me share it with you. You may remember it. One door and only one and yet its sides are two. Inside and outside, on which side are you? One door and only one and yet its sides are two. I am on the inside. On which side are you?
Now some of you are still hung up on something I said earlier. I can imagine. What is bothering you is the fact that I said that Jesus Christ is the only door to God and that every other door leads to separation from Him. I don’t want you to leave thinking about that. In fact, I want you to leave feeling the weight of this. Aren’t you glad that Jesus Christ gives us any door to walk through? Aren’t you glad that there is even a door to open? He didn’t have to do that. He could have said in Noah’s day, I am done with this. He could have said in sinful man in Jesus’ day, they turned on My Son. I am done with humanity. And yet a holy God has made provision for sinful man to enter into His presence. Aren’t you glad about that?
Now for many of us, prayerfully, we have opened the door. When Jesus knocked on the doorposts of our heart, we answered the door. But there are some in here today I know…you know how I know? Because I was you at one point in my life and I heard that knock and I refused to answer. And friends, if Jesus Christ is knocking on the doorpost of your heart today, would you answer the door? Eternity is too long to be wrong.