Summary: Jesus gives us simple instructions for entering life. These are plainly written so that all who are willing to follow Him may enjoy eternal life in Him. He is the one and only way.
When I first moved here almost everyone who came to church entered through the front door. How many of you here today came through the front door into the lobby? Then when we started our addition in 2007 and built the parking lot on the north end of the building about half of us parked up there and came in through that north door. How many of you came in that way today? Then when we finished the new addition in 2008 and reopened the parking lot down on the south end that enters the fellowship hall, lots of us began parking there and entering the church building through those doors. How many of us came in through that way today? Finally, there are at least four other entrances to our building that get at least some use from time to time. These are in no particular order: 1. The third floor stair way. 2&3. The two doors under the driveway in back that are sheltered with a roof. 4. The side door just down those stairs at the back of the annex that’s in the lower front and accesses the old fellowship hall next to the new bathrooms. Did anyone use any of those doors to get in here today?
We have a church building with seven doors from which to come in or go out. We have seven points of entry or exit. I don’t think anyone has come in through a window yet. And for the kids, let me say that even if you want to, you really shouldn’t. Ok?
Doors are important. They are the way in and the way out.
We’ve been doing a series on the church. What is the door into the church? Are their lots of doors or just one? Do they open automatically, or are they locked?
Jesus spoke of this in John 10, didn’t he? Look at verse 7 again. Jesus tells us that He is the door. Now look at verse 9 and let this sink in: I am the door; (you may have the word gate). If anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and go in and out and find pasture.
Jesus is talking about how shepherds take care of their sheep and using it to help us understand how He treats us and how we should follow Him. Listen to verse 10: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly!
From these words of Christ we learn several things:
1. Jesus is the door or gate.
2. When we enter through Him we are saved.
3. He came to give us abundant life.
Imagine a door that opened into another dimension. Remember C.S. Lewis’s the Chronicles of Narnia? Lucy Pevency went through the doors of the wardrobe and entered another world. She could even stand in Narnia and look back through the wardrobe door into the room of the house! That’s all just imaginary and clever, but what if there were a real door or gate that could take us out of this world of change and decay and into a world of eternal glory and life? Is that just childish dreaming and wishful thinking? Or is there actually a door into God’s presence?
The Bible says that there is. It’s not the fountain of youth. It’s not a clever invention of some fertile fanciful mind. It’s not even a physical door. The way into glory is through a person. Jesus is the door of the church. His body. His Spirit. Jesus says here in verse 7: Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. Later in chapter 14:6 Jesus explains to his disciples: I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.
There is only one door by which we may enter life and it has Jesus name on it. The apostles, Peter and John are confronted by the High court of the Jews in Acts 4, after they had preached the gospel of Jesus to crowds that gathered to hear them. Peter had healed a lame beggar in the name of Jesus Christ, and then told the crowds that they were guilty of putting Jesus to death, but that God had raised Jesus to life. Look at Acts 3:11-20. Many believed in Jesus, but the Jewish leaders arrested Peter and John and wanted to silence them. Look at 4:1-12.
Jesus is the door into God’s presence. Jesus is the way to eternal life. There is NO OTHER WAY.
The church Christ built has only one door, and it has the name Jesus on it.
Discovering the door is one thing. Entering it is another. I don’t want to just believe that there is a door to glory. I don’t want to just admire others who have entered through it. I want to go in too! Don’t you?