Luke 13:25-26, “When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you where you are from, ‘then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.”
For those still undecided, those who have as yet not made a commitment to repent, follow Christ, and be born again, these should be among the most disturbing verses in the entire Bible. Their conscience should be so burdened, and their souls so troubled due to these two verses, that sleep would fail them and rest could not be found. Why you might ask? Because this is one of the passages in the Holy Scripture that reveals to us the fact that the time of grace is not without end. Keep in mind these were the words of Christ, indisputable in their veracity no matter how much men might try to dismiss them or outright twist them. The will come a time, and it is not afar off, when the door to the House of grace will be closed. The Master of the house, God Himself, will rise up and shut the door, and those that entered in during the time of grace, those that were wise enough to fall to their knees at the foot of the cross, and experience true repentance, having their sins washed clean by the blood of the Lamb will rejoice and partake of the great and eternal feast that is even now being prepared.
There is however another group of people, those that continually put off their repentance, those that found a reason not to walk through, every time the door of grace was shown them, every time they were beseeched to enter in, who will be left to stand outside and knock at the door.
More painful still will be the fact that those who will find themselves outside when the Master rises and closes the door will realize their predicament. The full weight of what they rejected and dismissed so readily will be brought to bear, and they will begin to knock at the door saying, “Lord, Lord open for us.” The answer they receive will not be as some believe, ‘right away’, or, ‘give me a second to unlatch the door first, and welcome you inside’, but an answer that will send chills down the spines of those waiting outside, making their blood run cold: “I do not know you, where you are from!”
I know full well that the words you are reading right now fly in the face of what many modern day preachers have adopted as their statement of faith, namely that eventually almost everyone makes it into heaven anyway, because in their minds God is likened to a real estate agent trying to unload property in a time of economic distress. Their cry is not ‘repent or enter through the narrow gate’, but rather, ‘God is slashing prices! Everything must go! Take your time, there are plenty of listings, and not that many buyers anyway.’
Because there is no urgency in many of the messages we hear preached from pulpits today, a disturbing number of individuals are putting off salvation, they are postponing committing themselves to God, hoping to get a better deal, if they wait a little bit longer. No one is comfortable with mentioning the fact that the Master of the house will rise up and shut the door, no one wants to discuss the fact that there will be those who will find themselves outside, knocking desperately hoping to be let in, because well, these are just such uncomfortable topics. We’re not in church to hear the truth anymore, we’re not in church to learn of Christ, to pursue holiness, to encourage repentance; we’re in church to be entertained, to have our egos stroked, and have a better self image, to improve our self esteem, and oh yeah, to prosper. How can we leave out prosperity?
While we busy ourselves with such irrelevance, while we devote our time and our effort to discovering the keys to wealth, the steps to self esteem, the formula for a happy and fulfilled life here on earth, the door is slowly beginning to creak shut.
We’re not becoming a generation of selfish, self centered, self involved, self-obsessed hedonists; we’re already there. Preach holiness and you will be mocked, not on the sidewalk or on the street, but in what is supposed to be the house of God. Preach cheap grace, and even cheaper salvation, preach greed, opulence, pleasure and the absence of consequences, and you will be lauded as a progressive, a forward thinker, a luminary. Your smiling face will stare back at you in bookstores, men will flock to your book signings, the world will embrace you as one of their own, and all the while, the door is continue to creak, signaling the fact that it is closing.
Yes, they know that the prosperity bus has suffered a couple flat tires recently, but as long as it keeps inching along, they will keep the party going for as long as they can. Even when all the tires blow out they will still try to drive it on the rims, because to change their theology, to open their eyes, to see the truth would be to admit that they have led countless souls to perdition, and caused countless others to postpone their salvation to the point that if they do get in it will be by the skin of their teeth.
The voices of those telling people to seek the Lord while He may be found, and call upon Him while He is near, have been drowned out by those encouraging people to take their time, enjoy life, prosper, smell the roses, the Lord will always be there, and when you eventually get around to seeking Him, He’ll be more than gracious in opening the door for you, and welcoming you in. Yes, live, live life to the fullest, do that which your heart desires, knowing that God is always there case of emergencies. In case anyone missed it, yes I was being facetious.
The truth, as the Word of God reveals it to us, is that the season of grace is not endless, and only the Master knows when He will rise and shut the door. The question I must ask of those reading these words is have you entered in? Have you walked through the narrow gate? Have you received Christ, as Savior and Lord? Have you experienced true repentance? I ask this not because I think those of you who read this web log are unsaved, but because if there is one who happens to read these words, if there is one who accidentally stumbles upon this site and does not know Christ, the question must be asked.
Our primary objective, our one goal in this life is to be found in Christ, to take the opportunity the first time it is presented to us and walk through the narrow gate, enter the House of His grace, and find our rest and joy therein.
As these two verses progress, the dialogue between the Master of the house and those who found themselves locked out continues. In their desperation those standing outside attempt to counter the Master’s rejection, and claim that He did not know them by reminding Him that they ate and drank in His presence, and He had taught in their streets.
The madmen of ancient Athens claimed that every ship, which sailed into their harbor, rightfully belonged to them. It is similar with those who have not been born again, who have not received the Christ, yet who hope that they will be partakers of the heavenly Kingdom, that they will enter the Master’s house even though they rejected the Master. There are hearts, which have managed to deceive themselves into believing that they will go to heaven, even though the path they walk is leading them to the darkness of death and sin.
While it lasts, religious deception can be very pleasant indeed, but deception never lasts forever, and once the illusion it created is shattered, the tragedy is unspeakable. When the covering of self-righteousness that many have clothed themselves in will dissipate like the clouds before the sun, it will be a sad and tragic day indeed. The more we hoped in the self, the more we trusted in the self, the more we idolized the self, greater still the pain of realizing that putting one’s faith in self rather than Christ is lunacy in its highest form.
It is not enough to have eaten and drank in His presence, it is not enough to have heard His words, in order for a man to enter into the Kingdom, he must receive Christ, allow himself to be consumed by His love, and make Him Lord over his life.
Many on that day will try to remind God how many times they attended church, how many sermons they sat through, how many potlucks they brought a dish to, but if God does not see His Son in us, He will not recognize us as His own.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.