The Closed Door – Part 4

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Luke 13 verses 28-30. “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

 

Our Lord uses figurative language in these verses to describe the bitter disappointment and the frustration of those who refused to enter while the door was open. If they were able to peep through the closed door or a chink in the window in some way they would have been shocked indeed.

 

Remember Jesus was addressing Jews at this time and they were of the opinion that the glories of Heaven were reserved for them. But who, in fact, gets to share in the coming glory? Jesus gives us a word picture of the guests arriving at the heavenly banquet. Banquets are often used as pictures of the privileges and the glory of the world to come.

 

Who arrives for the feast? Firstly there are people from every period of history – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the prophets. The patriarchs and the prophets lived at different times in history and indicate that in all ages people were welcome to come through the narrow door.

 

But notice they come not only from the Jewish nation but also from the “east and the west and the north and the south” (v 29). This is a vast assemblage of people of true faith who come from every part of the globe. What a wonderful picture of heaven – people from every nation, tribe, language and culture – all bringing their redeemed differences to enrich others in that great assembly. What do all these people have in common? They all came through the narrow door. They heard God’s Word and believed it and they were saved.

 

Notice how Jesus describes those who were left out – those who tried to get in when the door was closed, “There will be weeping there and gnashing of teeth …..” This is a picture of the overwhelming frustration of the eternally lost.

 

Then what about our Lord’s words, “…. you yourselves thrown out’? Here is a reference to the great final judgement of God, when people are finally affirmed forever in the choice they made about Christ. One aspect of the eternal separation from Christ that the lost will experience is that their characters which took truth and opportunity so lightly and ended up rejecting Christ, will forever be settled in that attitude of rejection and for them eternity will be a for-ever experience of “weeping and gnashing of teeth”.

 

How awful! How unnecessary!

 

How blessed to walk through the narrow door!

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