The Open DoorOpenDoor

by Steve Stone

  

   Beyond the open door is a whole new world that many people know nothing about. Not even all of the wonders and beauty of our known universe can compare to this realm that relatively few have seen.

 

Dear Friends,

We live in confusing times in a complex world. Life often seems to be full of pain and emptiness. Sometimes we don't like to talk about it, but its a fact of life - it is reality. Yet we usually act like everything is fine. But is it?

We live in the midst of many frustrating problems: drug and alcohol abuse, divorce and broken homes, sickness, death, and financial troubles. These are just a few, but they are all only symptoms of a deeper problem.

The deeper problem is the struggle to find happiness, peace, and contentment in life. Very often we appear to be happy on the outside, while on the inside there is a well of disappointment and despair, and people everywhere are searching for a way to fill this void.

THERE IS HOPE - BEYOND THE OPEN DOOR

The peace and contentment that seem so elusive is available to those who will step through the Open Door and into the spiritual realm, where God and His Kingdom exist.

God originally intended for all men and women on this earth to live in peace and happiness, enjoying all of the magnificence of creation and living in loving fellowship with Him. But sometime after the beginning of this world, a tragic thing happened. The human race was "taken hostage" by disobedience. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they cut off their only Source to real joy and fulfillment. Ever since that time, mankind has been enslaved to his desire to "do his own thing," and to try to find satisfaction without God. But those "things" can never satisfy! Only in knowing God, Himself, can we ever come to know life with real meaning, purpose and joy.

You may have thought that being a Christian would be the most boring life there is - actually that's about what I used to think - but I was dead wrong! Since God rescued me from a life of dissatisfaction and hopelessness, I have found that Jesus Christ is much more than just someone who church people sing about on Sunday morning. He is Someone who is alive today! Someone who actually loves and understands me. Only Jesus could heal my hurts and make life truly worth living, and He will do the same for anyone who will simply admit that they need Him too!

However, there IS a price to pay to go beyond "the open door." Following Jesus IS the best life, but not the easiest. Christ never promised a bed of roses to His followers, but He does promise that those who are not ashamed , but are totally committed to Him, will receive "abundant" life on this earth, and an eternal life with Him in heaven. Concerning the alternative, to those who refuse Christ and His Kingdom and continue to live in disobedience to God, God will have no choice but to bring eternal punishment. The Scriptures are clear: there will be no reward for the wicked. But this is not what God wants.

THE GOOD NEWS

Although disobedience has separated man from God, He has not forgotten or abandoned us. No, God loves us so much that He spared no expense and sent His own Son to "free the hostages." On the cross, Jesus paid the penalty for our rebellion, and now that He has suffered and died for us, and has risen triumphantly from death itself, we can have faith and hope in God through Him.

Only one last question remains. What must we do to enter this Kingdom?

REPENT

Now God is calling us to repent of our sins (disobedience is sin) and to turn from our rebellion toward Him, and receive His forgiveness and eternal life in Christ. To repent means to "change." We cannot change ourselves, but if we are sincere and willing, God has promised to change our hearts to make them pure. (Hebrews 8:7-10)

BELIEVE

Believe in Jesus and  accept His death on the cross as payment for your sin.

Jesus Christ IS the "open door" into the Kingdom of God. Through Christ and the Holy Spirit, you can know the Father and experience the abundant, joyful life that Jesus promised (John 10:10, II Corinthians 5:17). And even more important, you can have the assurance that death will not be the end for you, but only the beginning to an eternity of the kindness and loving care of the Father.

CONFESS JESUS AS LORD

You also need to confess publicly that Christ is your Lord, and that you are committed to Him. One of the first ways you can do this is by being baptized in water, as Christ has commanded. Also, you should tell your family and friends about the changes that God has brought into your life and find a group or church of faithful believers who can encourage you to grow in God.

Has your heart been changed? Have you been cleansed of your sins? You may go to church, be nice to your neighbors, and give your money to all the right places, but no amount of religious acts can substitute for total commitment to Jesus.

The most exciting life there is, is to be found in the Kingdom of God - - - in the presence of the King and in fellowship with His chosen ones. If the Spirit of God is speaking to your heart, calling you to come to Him, please respond. Don't ignore His call, but step forth into the joy that can only be found "beyond the Open Door!"

"Taste and see that the Lord is good." (Psalm 34:8)

"When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!" (II Corinthians 5:7 - The Living Bible)

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THE OPEN DOOR IN HEAVEN
(copyright) Pat Marvenko Smith
From the series "revelation illustrated"
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