Sometimes I’m not sure that the things that pop into my head while I’m praying are really from the Lord. Friday, while I was driving to work and praying, I received a strong message that said ‘St. Peter is not the keeper of the gates to heaven.’ I wondered why the Lord said that and, although it’s obviously true, why would He would say it to me. Then, thoughts of all of the stupid jokes I’ve heard in the past, about St. Peter and the pearly gates, came to mind. In all of the jokes, St. Peter is meeting various people at the gates of heaven, to make a judgement call as to whether they were going to be allowed to enter or were going to be sent to hell. I quickly decided that it really was from the Lord and not my own thought so I said ‘OK Lord, I’ll write about this topic.’ The second I said that, a torrent of additional related points I was to make literally poured out on me. I know this is intended for someone out there, so here’s God’s word.
Jesus Christ will say one of two things to every man woman and child when they pass from the earthly existence to the spiritual realm, finally meeting Him face to face. Hopefully, He will say ‘Well done my good and faithful servant.’ But God’s word also says that He will say ‘I never knew you depart from me’ to many people.’ One of those two spoken phrases will determine where your soul will spend eternity. Which one will it be? In either case, it will not be St. Peter that makes the decision. No, the most important decision ever rendered regarding your life will be made by the one who provided salvation and redemption through His willing death on the cross and His resurrection. It will be made by Jesus Christ of Nazareth. And His irrevocable decision will be based on your personal agreement to change your mind.
His decision won’t be based on you being sprinkled with water as a baby or any other thing that someone else did for you or taught to you. Christianity is up close and personal – you have to make the decision and do it yourself. If you haven’t already changed your mind, please understand that the lack of a decision for Christ is automatically a decision for Satan resulting in eternity in hell. Don’t argue with me, argue with God. Jesus said in Luke 11:23 ‘He that is not with me is against me.’ Satan wants to kill and destroy you but Jesus wants you to have eternal security and salvation in Him.
But Satan has, yet again, led many people astray through a childish and seemingly benign belief. He has taken people’s focus away from the Savior, Jesus Christ, and pointed them in a different and incorrect direction. When you consider the truth, that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself will make the final determination of your fate, it throws a different light on the need to have a close and personal two-way relationship with Him. For as Ephesians 2:8-9 says, ‘For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God – not by works, lest any man should boast.’ Jesus told us in John 14:6 ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life no man cometh to the Father but by me.’ St. Peter’s name isn’t mentioned anywhere in this passage, friends. So you need to get right with Jesus, not Saint Peter.
God’s word says that there are none righteous. In Romans 3:23 He says ‘For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Then, in Romans 5:8 ‘But God commendeth His love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ The way we obtain salvation is, as is shown in Romans 10:9 ‘That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, though shalt be saved.’
We all know about famous people. We may even know some of the intimate details of their lives. But if we stood before them in a crowd of thousands of people would they look out into the crowd, see us and say ‘My best friend. How are you doing? I have missed you so much! It’s wonderful to see you again. Remember all the things we did together?’ That’s the kind of relationship you have to have with Jesus Christ. If you don’t, then He’s not going to recognize you as one of His own when you come face to face with Him. There’s a big difference between knowing about Him and KNOWING Him.
If it’s time to change your mind and make your decision to know Him personally, please pray with me.
Dear Lord Jesus, I know, that no matter how good I’ve tried to be, I’ve sinned during my life and I’m not worthy of going to heaven on my own. I believe that you died on the cross so that God could take His wrath out on you instead of me. I also believe that you were resurrected and now sit at the Father’s right hand – alive and awaiting His word to come back for your Church. Father, I ask you to make me one of your children. I give you my life and accept you as my Lord and Savior. I pray that when we finally meet, face to face, that you will recognize me as one of your own and welcome me home. I ask you to deliver me from the things that influence my life. I pray in the precious and holy name of Jesus Christ. Amen