Dick Hunt's Blog

March 2, 2012

Headlines Are Attention Grabbers

Filed under: Current — Tags: — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 8:39 pm
Headlines Are Attention Grabbers.
by Dick Hunt, March 2nd, 2012.
And here is one which caught my attention this morning.  It came in a national newspaper and was at the top of one section of letters to the Editor.  It reads, “People of all faiths should be given entry to Heaven.”  A question immediately came to me; “Who opens the gate of heaven to let us in?”  The primary subject in debate was political and had to do mostly with the Republical Nomination campaign in the United States.
In the catalogue of jokes and cartoons, we might be led to think that Moses with the long white beard has that erroneus responsibility, as he sits at the gate of heaven in cloud country. Or nearer at hand, leaders of a great variety of religious (or non religeous groups) claim to have the power to open up the gate and let us in. Or to keep us out in hope of using their clout to gather their votes instead of their opponents.
Are there rules of entry that can be trusted? And are there hopes for anyone to”beat the odds and make it through the Gate? Some yeas ago in a town in the Cariboo, I was asked by one of the Doctors if I would visit a patient of his who had terminal cancer. I did so and he told me his story. He had been raised up in a certain Church, had been somewhat careless of his activities as a member.  His wife had died.  He was alone in the world. He knew he had not long to live. Basically, he had one question.  Did I think he had been good enough to go to Heaven. The question was easy to answer. I told him he hadn’t. Then I reached my hand to him and said, “shake the hand of another who has not been good enough.
He blinked at that and obviously wanted to pursue the matter further. I explained that there was no one in all history who was good enough to enter God’s Kingdom in heaven.  I told him about the birth, life, ministry, suffering on the cross in crucifixion, death, rising again…in short the Good News of Jesus Christ.  He listened with wrapped attention, asked few questions, nodded frequently as he recalled what he had been taught as a chld and had learned since.  He lay there with a broadening smile and the sparkle in his eyes increased until he lay back in his bed with peace in his soul. I said that if the thief on the cross on Golgotha could receive forgiveness and promised entry to heaven by Christ himself, there is hope for all, ALL who trust in him for salvation and entry into heaven. He died in peace.
The only one who can open the gate of heaven is he who came to share our human life, to show us the Father, to lead us gently home, to bring us reconciliation with the Father and ultimately to open the gate of heaven and let us in.  There are no shortcuts, there will be no bargaining, no “specials” on certain days. We will not be able to take with us any baggage, any hatred, any hostility or unforgiveness. There is only love and praise for God in heaven, with our Saviour Christ and the awesome Spirit who wants to live in us and show us the way home. If any filth or unbelief or sin (which means rebellion or  behaviour which is contrary to the will of God of any description) was allowed to enter heaven it would no longer be heaven.  When Jesus comes again to judge the world, there will be great joy among all who have accepted his claim on our lives.  Who are those who accept his claim on us? Just those who have accepted the Salvation he won for each of us who call upon his name  and say yes to him.

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