Summary: All Are Welcome, Coming In and Going Out, Partnership
I AM - I AM the Gate
Mother’s Day - May 13, 2018
John 10:9 (p. 748)
Please remember every time Jesus made an “I AM” statement it caused the Pharisees and religious leaders to wince…God’s name is Yehoveh… “I AM” and every time Jesus would say, “I AM the gate” or “I AM the living bread” or “I AM the way, the truth, and the life” He was announcing his messiahship…His divinity…He was making the claim…I AM God.
In our text from John 10 Jesus is speaking to these wincing Pharisees…He’s just said to them, “You are sinful and guilty because you claim to be able to see…but in reality you are spiritually blind.”
They’re spiritually blind because they claim to know God’s plans…His Word, but standing right in front of them is the promised Messiah…Jesus. The very one that the Old Testament prophesied would come…and they don’t believe…they refuse to accept Him…they are blind to the very hope of entering God’s Kingdom.
Listen to His rebuke:
JOHN 10:1-10 (p. 748)
Jesus uses the word “Thura” here which means “gate” or “door.” It’s used 39 times in the New Testament…from describing the door of Jesus’ tomb to the door the Apostle John sees opening in heaven in his Revelation (Matt. 27:60; Rev. 4:1).
I bet like me you’ve walked through some doors that changed your life…and probably out of a few that have done the same.
Jesus knew that “a door” was one of the most important pictures of Christianity. It’s the point of entrance and unless you open it and enter in you will always be on the outside…so when Jesus says…“I AM the door and whoever enters by me will be saved.” He’s making an exclusive statement…He’s saying you can’t sneak in…There’s no back door…or side door…Just one door…“I AM that one door.”
I. JESUS IS THE ONLY ENTRANCE TO SALVATION
We live in a world that hates exclusiveness. In America one of the most explosive words is “intolerance.”
We live in a society that frowns upon anyone saying “My door is better than your door.” “My way is the right way and your way is the wrong way.” It’s tempting to say “All doors are equally valuable…all doors lead to heaven…your door is just as valid as my door.”
The problem with this is…“It’s a lie!!!”
When it comes to salvation…the most important issue that any one of us will ever have to address…the only door that really matters…Jesus was completely intolerant of other doors.
“The one who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber.” (v. 1)
When talking to Thomas, one of His followers about entering heaven (the Father’s house), Jesus says, “I AM the Way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:7)
“Except through me.” That’s as exclusive and narrow of a statement as you can make…one door…one gate into the Father’s house…I’m it.
Let me show you something…
VIDEO OF CHRISTIANITY’S DECLINE IN AMERICA
Why is Christianity at it’s lowest popularity in American history…and according to the pew research group it doesn’t matter whether you’re black, white or purple…rich or poor, educated or uneducated…young or old.
No one has really asked me what has caused this drastic decline, but I thought I’d let you know what I believe.
The Church…big C not little c…has become afraid to present Jesus Christ as the only door of salvation…the world sees many of us being a part of a religious community…declaring with righteous indignation what we believe is right and what is wrong…Instead of rejoicing in our salvation and the amazing grace that saved us…and can save others, we’ve become a “gated community” that’s only open for the privileged.
The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy and said, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and people, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all.” (1 Timothy 2:5-6)
Jesus is the only door into eternal life…
He opened a new and living way, through His death burial and resurrection. He gave Himself to pay for us all.
II. EVERYONE IS WELCOME TO ENTER IN
Jesus is “exclusively” the only way in…but those who are invited are totally “inclusive.”
“All” “Anyone” “Whosoever”
That’s about as inclusive as it gets!!!
[I have a book that Clara Fields gave me that was written by her two sons…Jeff and Roger…it’s called “Breaking the Hex.” The subtitle says, “It’s about life with God after the cross killed religion.” It’s really good…In Chapter 33 Roger calls it “Kickball” and writes Ephesians 1:4 declares “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.”
In my elementary school kickball was king.