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Jesus, The Open Door to Heaven

39155902 - heaven gate in an old illustration

Jesus is the open door to Heaven. Jesus is always waiting for us with arms wide open, ready to welcome us into His heart so He can transform our life.

Jesus is knocking on the door saying: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Revelation 3:20

Jesus sees us falling into so many traps the devil sets for us and He urges us to: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

In this post, let’s open the Scriptures to look at the signs on the Narrow Road that leads to life.

The ‘wide path’ is a path that Satan wants all people to be on. It is a ‘wide path’ because there is no moral code on the ‘wide path’ censoring behavior. Sexual immorality, abortion, greed, violence, vengeance, vanity, selfish attitudes and extreme self-indulgence are the signposts on the wide path.   The wide path is a sensual road where people do what ‘feels right’ with a strategic focus on pleasing SELF.  On the other hand the Narrow Road is a path focused on serving God and doing what God Wills.

Many people who do not believe in God may wonder why would I choose a narrow path and submit to serving God when I can focus on pleasing myself? The answer to this question would convert many, many atheists and it is this:

There is no greater joy, no greater peace and no greater personal fulfillment than in entering into a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ!

That’s what characterizes the ‘Narrow Road’ – a Sacred Divine Relationship, a Holy Communion with Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, a Oneness with God that no one and nothing can separate!

So let’s travel down the Narrow Road and look at the signposts.

The first signpost on the Narrow Road is REPENTANCE AND FORGIVENESS.

Jesus died to forgive us and cleanse us from our sins, but this purification is only granted after we confess our sins.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

There is nothing Jesus cannot forgive if we are truly sorry! “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” Psalm 51:17

And just as Jesus forgives us, He calls us to forgive one another. “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Luke 6:37

The next signpost on the Narrow Road is BELIEVE, HOPE AND TRUST IN JESUS.

On the Narrow Road we are never alone. So we can feel safe that irrespective of what challenge we may face Jesus will be there with us, walking with us every step of the way.

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

We can have faith in Jesus.  We can hope in Him and give Him our unconditional trust because Jesus is Our Lord and God and no one loves us the way He does.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

I remember at the beginning of my spiritual journey I kept hearing Jesus say in my heart: “Trust Me”. I realized, as He persisted in urging me to ‘Trust Him’ that I was in His holy presence and that He would always be there to help me and that He would never abandon me. Trusting Jesus gives me a great inner calm and peace. I was once an anxious person because I felt burdened by so many things, but now that I trust Jesus I no longer worry.

The next signpost on the Narrow Road is DON’T WORRY, LISTEN and LEARN.

Jesus says,

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34  

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”   Matthew 11:29

When we are in a personal relationship with the Holy One, Jesus Christ and He is walking with us and offering to help us with every challenge, we can rest in the security of that Sacred Relationship and stop worrying. Jesus wants to guide us and steer us away from the empty promises of the Devil.   He wants us to rest in Him and know that He will help us with all our challenges.

Every relationship grows through good communication and our relationship with Jesus is no different. Jesus wants to protect us, to teach us and to develop us into the people of dignity and integrity He wants us to be and in order to do so we must be attentive to His Word and listen and learn from Him. Reading the Word of God is essential to understanding what Jesus expects from us. But learning only happens when we start to practice what we read, for example: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” Matthew 7:1

I remember years ago seeing teenagers begging for cash on the side of the street and I wondered ‘why don’t they get a job?’ Not long after I asked myself that question, Jesus introduced me to some youth living on the streets. One young man asked me ‘do you do drugs?’.  I said, ‘no I don’t’. He was astonished and said ‘I never met a chick that didn’t do drugs!’ He told me that although he was living on the streets he occasionally went home on the weekends and did drugs with his mother.

It’s tempting to think simplistically that the ‘good’ people in the world are on the narrow path while the ‘bad’ people are on the wide path, but that’s not the case. There are many good people with good hearts that are making poor choices because of many different reasons. This is not a justification for sin but it opens us up to being more understanding and compassionate about how tragic life circumstances can lead to substance abuse, addictions, crime, violence etc. If the young man I met didn’t have a mother that was a drug addict, he likely would not have been living on the streets and on drugs himself. Youth addicted to drugs often finance their addiction through criminal activity, so you see the critical need for the next signpost…

The next signpost on the Narrow Road: COMPASSION, LOVE AND CHARITY

“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.” Mark 6:34

All Christians are called to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. Not everyone will be an evangelist preaching God’s Word but all of us are called to witness to the love of Jesus by trying to be compassionate and to show mercy and love. “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35

I met the young man who asked me ‘do you do drugs’ at a youth drop-in center that offered to help young people living on the streets find a place to live and get training so they can ultimately get a job. There are so many good charities that are living the message of Jesus to love and serve the needy. I don’t know what became of the young man who was astonished that he had met a chick that didn’t do drugs, but like a ‘mother hen’ I still pray for him hoping that God will help him to find faith, hope and love!

The next signpost on the Narrow Road: PRAYER, PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Jesus calls us to love unconditionally: “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.”  Luke 6:33 “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”  Matthew 5:44

I am deeply grieved to see the ongoing threats from North Korea for nuclear destruction.  Will political counter threats and economic sanctions eliminate the problem?  Let us pray for peace!  Divine intervention is needed!

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Jesus wants a relationship with us that is intimate and that requires that we be listening persistently to what His Holy Spirit is telling us, always praying (even for our enemies) and always thankful for His many blessings. An attitude of gratitude fills us with hope and joy and gives God the praise He so deserves!

We are privileged to receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Let’s receive this spiritual food for our journey on the Narrow Road with great joy and thanksgiving. Recall the Words of St. Paul reminding people to receive the Holy Eucharist with reverence and understanding: “Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.” 1 Corinthians 11:28-29

The next signpost: DENY YOURSELF AND CARRY YOUR CROSS

Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

The world preaches self-indulgence but Jesus preaches denial.

Do you know why?

Jesus asks us to deny ourselves so that He can become closer to us.  He calls us to eliminate the barriers that stand in the way of our relationship.

Sometimes even people we consider our friends can be a destructive force in our life taking us back onto the wide path that leads to destruction.

“The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs 12:26

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 27:17

“Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.” Proverbs 13:20

Consider what you might deny yourself in order to grow closer to Jesus. With schedules jam packed with entertainment is there enough time to really listen to God’s voice speaking to our heart and conscience? Quiet time with God is essential if we want to truly fulfill the plans God has for us.  “Be still, and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10

The final signpost: THE ETERNAL INHERITANCE: HEAVEN!

What do we have to lose for not being on the Narrow Road?

THE ANSWER IS: HEAVEN!

There is no eternal inheritance on the Wide Road. By failing to accept the call of Jesus to follow Him, we risk losing our eternal birthright, Paradise with God.

Jesus invites us to take His hand and enter into a relationship with Him that is personal and intimate.

Faith is not a casual ‘encounter with Jesus’; true faith is a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus!

If we believe in Jesus then let’s give Him the trust He wants. Jesus wants to forgive us for our past sins and give us a new start in life. So let’s take Him up on His offer to walk with us through life, helping us to discern His Holy Will every step of the way.

Every disciple of Jesus Christ on the Narrow Road has a great responsibility to pray for those who are on a path of destruction.   God will hear our prayers if we turn to Him with trust and with faith. Seek the Crucified Face of Our Saviour Jesus Christ and allow the memory of His Passion to change your heart and fill you with resolve to honour God with all your heart and with all your soul for God loves you so much!

God’s promise is this:

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Please make a choice to join a powerful Christian peace movement that is inviting all followers of Jesus to pray together daily, at the time Jesus died for us, 3pm, in our local time zones.  We call this movement A Peaceful Revolution in the Name of Jesus Christ.  At 3pm stop, if but for a few moments, to remember your Saviour Jesus Christ being crucified for you! Thank Jesus for His infinite sacrifice of love and call upon the omnipotent power of Our Lord to save souls and to send His Holy Spirit upon our sinful and suffering world so it can be revolutionized by God’s love.

“I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me.” Words of Jesus, Revelation 3:8