Locked Out

by: Rick Walter

Have you ever been locked out of your house? Have you ever tried to unlock a door only to find out that you have the wrong key in your hand? Perhaps you have walked out of Wal-Mart and accidentally tried to get into the wrong vehicle in the parking lot. The only thing that kept you from becoming a felon was the fact that you had the wrong key for the car. There is a group of people in the Bible that had a similar problem.

In Luke 11:52 Jesus Christ is addressing a group of lawyers. “Woe unto you, lawyers! For ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.” Jesus told this group of lawyers that they had “taken away the key of knowledge” and because of that, they have “entered not in.” Not only were the lawyers left standing at the door, but they also caused others who were trying to gain entrance to be left outside. Picture the scene with me.

The lawyers are standing at a door. Behind the lawyers stands a line of people waiting for the lawyers to open the door so that they can also enter in. As the first lawyer in line tries the doorknob, he finds it to be locked. Naturally, he pulls out his key-ring and begins to fish for the right key to open the door. He tries the first key, but the door is still locked. He moves to the second key and then the third, but still nothing happens. As he continues to try and fail, frustration begins to mount. Those standing in line behind him begin to wonder if the door will ever be opened. Some get discouraged and get out of line for they have better things to do. Finally, after exhausting all of his keys, someone suggests a certain key. The lawyers all look at each other in disdain. They say among themselves, “If none of these keys will open the door, surely that key will not work either.” You see, they had discussed this key before arriving at the door and found that it did not meet their criterion, and they discarded it somewhere along the trail. Now, to their chagrin, they realize that it is the only key that will open the door, but they do not have it. The absence of that one key has kept them and everyone else who was depending upon them locked out.

That, my friend, is the scenario today. All around us there are people standing at the door of Heaven trying to open the door, but it is locked to them. Person after person walks up and tries his keys in the door, but it remains locked. These dear, sincere people are simply using the wrong keys to try to gain entrance. If they could just find the right key and gain entrance they would lead the way for many others.

One day, I stood at that door as a ten year old boy. I had no keys but those that had been given me by my Catholic church and my Catholic school. I had heard the preacher preach and so badly wanted to go through that door, but I did not have the right key. My Uncle Bob came and showed me the key from the Scriptures. That day, the door opened to me, and though I did not know it then, there was a line of people waiting behind me. Because I gained entrance into that door, my six children have also gained entrance. Not only have my children gained access, but hundreds of others that I have been able to lead to Christ have gained access. These will all be in Heaven because someone showed me the right key.

Heaven is the destination for where people are longing. Nobody wants to go to Hell. Many people may joke about it, but in their hearts they want to go to Heaven. In their defense, they are standing at the door just like I was as a ten year old boy. They are trying all of the keys that they know to use, but they are getting frustrated because they have the wrong key.

Jesus Christ is the door. John 10:9 says, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” There is only one way into Heaven, and that is through the door, Jesus Christ.

In essence, these people are standing in front of Christ trying to convince Him to let them into Heaven. They are trying the key of baptism to open that door. Some try the key of church membership in order to persuade the door to open. Still others are using the key of a good life, but in each and every case the door remains locked. Those keys will not unlock the door into Heaven because that door is a door of faith. Acts 14:27 says, “And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.”

Paul and Barnabas had just returned from one of their missionary journeys, and they gathered the church together to tell of the wonderful things that God did on that trip. They told the church that God had “opened the door of faith” to the Gentiles. The door that leads to Heaven is a door of faith. That means faith is the key that unlocks the door. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) Faith is the key that unlocks Heaven’s door. Acts 15:9 puts it this way, “And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” We are “sanctified by faith” according to Acts 26:18.

All over this world there are people standing in line in front of Jesus Christ doing all that they can do to gain entrance into Heaven. What they do not know is that the keys they are trying to use will not work. Faith is the key that persuades that door, Jesus Christ, to open unto them.

One key is all that it takes to open a door. One key called faith is all it takes to open the door of salvation. On my personal key-ring there are many keys. I have church keys, house keys and car keys on that ring. Only one key opens the door to my home. I do not need to get a new key-ring and fill that ring with house keys. I just need for one of those keys to be the house key. A person does not need a key-ring full of faith. That person simply needs one small key of faith to be on that ring somewhere. Jesus spoke of “faith as a grain of mustard seed.” He said that a little faith could cause a mountain to move. If it only takes a little faith to move a mountain, I would say that it must only take a little faith to open the door of Heaven. A person does not need to have faith in the entire Bible. He does not need to believe every doctrine of Scripture in order to be saved. No, that person just needs to have faith in Jesus Christ.

The sad thing is that God’s people have the right key. We know which key will open the door of salvation to those who are standing there in frustration, but many of God’s people will not stop and point out the proper key on the key-ring so that a person can gain entrance into Heaven. If you and I will take the time to show someone the right key, that person will be able to unlock the door and get in. Not only will that individual be able to get in, but now the door is open for others who were standing in line behind him.

One day a little boy named Jack Hyles stood at that door, but he did not have the appropriate key to unlock the door. Someone saw him standing there and took enough interest in his soul to point out the key of faith. Jack Hyles used that key to unlock the door of salvation and gained access to Heaven. That in turn enabled over one million others who were waiting in line behind him to also be able to go in. Somewhere out there today is a daddy who longs to be saved. If someone were to care enough to show him which key to use, that man’s wife and children could also be saved. Somewhere out there is a little boy who wants to be saved, and if someone cared about his soul, many others could be saved through his preaching.

All around us there are people struggling to get in that door, but they are trying all of the wrong keys. Unless they find the right key they cannot enter in. If they do not gain entrance, then those waiting in line depending upon them cannot get in either. It is your job and mine to go find that person and point out the appropriate key for them. If one person finds the right key and trusts Christ today, it will open the door to countless others and change eternity for many. Please do not leave them locked out.

Rick Walter
Victory Baptist Church
Winthrop, ME

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