SUNDAY, JANUARY 27, 2013.
THERE’D BE SURPRISES AT HEAVEN’S GATE
‘When the master of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. You will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Lord, open the door for us!’ But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from…’ And he will reply, ‘I tell you, I don’t know you or where you come from. Get away from me, all you who do evil’ -Luke 13:25, 27.
FINDING salvation requires more effort than many people are willing to put in. Obviously, we cannot save ourselves; we cannot work ourselves into God’s favour. We “work hard to enter” through the narrow door by earnestly desiring to know Jesus and diligently striving to follow him, whatever the cost. We dare not put off making this decision because the door will not stay open forever. A time comes when it would be too late.
The people were eager to know who would be in God’s kingdom. Jesus explained that although many people know something about God, only a few have acknowledged their sins and accepted his forgiveness. We might not necessarily see the people we expect to find in the kingdom of God. Some respectable religious leaders, claiming allegiance to Jesus, will not be there because they were not true followers, and in the secret, were morally corrupt.
Some gullible members of the congregation may not know much about some of the things so-called respected church leaders are doing. But we know, according to the scripture: ‘before Him no secrets are hidden’. It is important to note that a cover up will not last forever.
One is greatly worried about some young believers who tend to build their faith around prominent men of God rather than focus on Christ. Some go to the extent of idolising these men. This might be because some of the respected leaders, in the eyes of ordinary believers, appear sanctimonious. But in secret, some may even be involved in contract scam, exam malpractice, immorality etc. But glory to God, self- righteousness cannot take anybody to the kingdom of heaven. Only personal knowledge and acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Saviour would do.
It will be frightening to hear the Master say: “I don’t know you”. Or “Where do you come from. Get away from me, all who do evil”. The great danger is that on the Last Day, one might not have opportunity to make things right, notwithstanding miracles performed in great crusades. It is advised, therefore, that leaders and the led ensure that they know Jesus and that He knows them.
Remember: listening to Jesus’ words or admiring His miracles are not enough. We must turn from sin and trust in God to save us.VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.