“Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through Me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pasture.” - John 10:9
It’s been over a year now of us being in this time of global pandemic.
Churches are still facing the challenge of not being able to meet in-person 100%. Our church services nowadays are defined by restrictions, precautions, and pre-registrations. Because of the pandemic, many church doors, if not all, were forced to close and limit the people who can come in. Gone were the days when anybody and everybody who wishes to go to church can come in anytime and just linger as long as they like, and we all badly miss those days of doing church freely.
The pandemic has locked us out where we were once allowed to enter freely. The enemy afflicts us with the message that we don’t have a place anymore, that we don’t belong. Yet while we all long for that day when we can have that open door policy again -- where there’s no need to wear masks, no need for social distancing, and no need to limit the church attendance, today, Jesus wants to remind and encourage us that He is our GATE, an open door for any who wishes to come and go freely and anyone who comes in finds abundant life in Jesus.
An Open Door to Green Pastures
In Psalm 23, we find David writing about God as our Good Shepherd who leads us into quiet waters and green pastures. We are being likened to sheep who are always in need of a Shepherd to guide and lead us lest we become stray and wander away. And in this Psalm, David describes how God takes care of us and all the benefits of being led by Him.
It’s amazing how Scripture always confirms Scripture, for here we see in the Old Testament that David portrayed God as a good shepherd and incredibly, John did the same in the New Testament in John 10. He’s still the same Good Shepherd who takes His sheep to green pastures.
John writes in John 10:9 that Jesus is a gate and an open door that leads to green pastures where there is no lack, no drought, and where there is rest. Jesus never closes His doors on us. The door of His gate is always open for anyone who wants to come in. And truth be told, every one of us is invited to come in. Everyone is welcome to enter in without restrictions and without conditions. We just have to come in through Jesus because Jesus is the ONLY way in. ( John 14:6)
What does this mean? If we want to experience the green pastures and the abundant life that Jesus promised in John 10:10, then we need Jesus -- we need to accept Him in our lives and come to the Father through Him. In other words, there is NO OTHER WAY to experience God’s Kingdom, Heaven, and the abundant life that we all long for without Jesus. He is the gate and the door. And the best part? Since Jesus has not returned yet, His door will always remain open to everyone who’s lost and in need of a Shepherd.
Don’t Wait for the Gate to Close
The affliction of being locked in leads to us trying to go our own way, to do self-preservation, to clutching what we have been holding on to, which then leads to anxiety, worry, stinginess, which in turn leads to loss -- even death of the soul. The good news is that God wants everyone to come to repent and be saved. He does not want anyone to perish. (2 Peter 3:9) And we know that it is only through Jesus that we can receive salvation and eternal life (John 3:16). No one else and nothing else.
However, though God has been so patient and gracious with us, waiting for every soul to come to Him, there will eventually come a time when the door will be closed, and only those who are ready and those who accepted the invitation to come in will be saved. Jesus will never force us to come inside the gate. Yes, He will lead us and guide us, but He will never force us. We have this freedom to choose whether to come in or not. We have this free will to listen to our Good Shepherd’s voice and stay close to Him or we could choose to go on our own ways and leave His side.
Jesus is coming back again, and soon the gate and the door will be closed. The question is: Where will you be?