Summary: There are "iron gates" that confront both the saved and the sinner but God provides safe passage through them if we turn to Him.
“And when they had passed the first and second guard, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city, which opened for them by itself; and they went out and went along one street; and immediately the angel departed from him.” Acts 12:10
I. “Iron gates” that imprison the unbeliever:
1. Self-righteousness: “And He spake this parable unto certain
who trusted in themselves that they were righteous.” Luke 18:9. These feel no need to repent and thus do not seek God’s forgiveness.
2. Pride: “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18
3. Misplaced priorities: Worldly pleasure:“lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” Material gain: “what shall it profit a man if he should gain the whole world and lose his own soul.” The approval of the world: “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men?” Galatians 1:10 NASB. “Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?” James 4:4
II. “Iron gates” that hinder the Christian:
1. Doubt: “And John (the Baptist) called two of his disciples and sent them to Jesus saying: ‘Art Thou He who should come? or look we for another?” Luke 7:19
2. Weariness in our labor for Christ: “But ye, brethren, be not
weary in well doing.” II Thessalonians 3:13.
3. Discouragement: “And Israel journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.” Numbers 21:4
III. How to get past the “iron gates” in your life:
1. First you must keep in mind that no problem in your life is so small that you don’t need the Lord’s help in overcoming it. “For without Me, you can do nothing.” John 15:5 “Wherefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” I Corinthians 10:12
2. Keep in mind that no problem in your life is so great that you cannot overcome it with God’s help. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
3. God will open “iron gates” but we must walk through them. “And the angel said to Peter...’follow me’. And Peter went out, and followed him.” Acts 12:8b-9a.