Matt 23:13. Woe to you scribes and Pharisees hypocrites because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from men, for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow others to enter in.
We’re talking about salvation. We cannot be hindrances to others as they were.
Luke 11:52 is a similar text. You have taken away the key of knowledge, Jesus says.
Have you entered in? Do you know the means of entering in? Of being saved?
Everyone doesn’t automatically enter in or what would be the purpose of Jesus’ death? That was God’s part - the perfect sacrifice.
What is man’s part? We often talk about the five steps to salvation. There is nothing wrong with that. It it could lead to misconceptions though. They are not independent steps, but are all inter-related. Faith is the driving force behind it all. By faith you have been saved through faith, as Paul says. There it is. God’s part and man’s part - it takes both.
2 Cor 5:20,Paul urges those estranged to be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin. To become sin on our behalf - that’s grace.
When we talk about entering in we are talking about gaining access, about a portal. Two passages that talk about God granting access:
1. Rom 5:1-11: we are saved from the wrath of God and because of that we exult in God. We have peace with God as a result. We have been introduced by faith into His grace, there it is. But it doesn’t stop there - we have to continue in faith. It drives our behavior. But also, we exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance which brings about proven character. From that, we realize our hope.
2. 1 Pet 2:4-12 is a similar passage. And coming to Him, verse 4... there it is. Entering in. Five observations about this text:
a. Spiritual perception is everything. A lot of people reject verse 4. Jesus is king of kings and Lord of lords. People are more than what we see. They are souls made in the image of God. b. The house we are part of when we enter in is a solid, enduring house. This house exists no matter what men may do or say, even if I lose my life.
c. Response to the word is also everything. Two everything’s? Because they go hand in hand. My whole life after entering the portal is how I live in response.
d. Mission statement. You are a royal priesthood, a chosen race, a holy nation. We are aliens here, travelers in a Godless world. Do not get too attached to this world. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles so they May glorify God
e. It isn’t all about me. It is about glorifying Him. We must get the focus off ourselves and put it on the one who deserves it.
Conclusion: Verse 12- is your behavior excellent? Are you a person of influence in your allegiance to the Lord? Have you entered in through the portal?