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Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.
I did a word study on the word door as found in the Holy Bible. It was most rewarding, and I would like to share it with you. We'll see how this word symbolically reflects three different concepts (there are others - including literal, but I am focusing on these three.)
Before I start, I want you to know these are my impressions and evaluations. I may be wrong in my interpretations, so you should personally check everything against scripture and pray about it.
The Heart -
If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it. Genesis 4:7
Don't grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20
These all symbolically relate to the heart. Two of them, however, reflect a second meaning, that of the Rapture, as I'll explain later. In this context though, James says "the Judge is standing at the door", and Jesus again says in Revelation that he is standing at the door, both signifying your heart. If you have never given your life to Christ, you need to know that He is standing there at your door - right now - and knocking. He has made himself available to all mankind, to anyone who will acknowledge their sins, repent, and accept him as their Savior. This is a free gift. Take the time now to ask Christ into your heart. He will help you through the changes that need to be made!
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Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8
Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Luke 13:24
Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. John 10:7-9 (KJV)
Here is an interesting point on this subject. The Hebrew word for "Judah" has all the letters of the Tetragrammaton (YHWH) plus the letter "Dalet" between the third and forth letter of them. So Judah is the tribe from which came the "Door" - God Incarnate - who opened the way for us to again have fellowship with our Creator!
In these verses, we can see how Jesus is symbolically represented as the Door. Again and again he makes it known that he is the only way to salvation. There is no escaping this in his words and one who believes he is only one of many ways of obtaining eternal life has deluded himself. Make that leap of faith now - step through the Door into a new life in Christ!
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In the first verse, "Make a roof for it and finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks." Genesis 6:16, we see God instructing Noah to put a door in the side of the ark. This is their only means of salvation - a picture of Christ to come. By faith, Noah built this ark and stepped into it with 7 others. This happened just prior to the destruction of the flood. Then, in the book of James you see the comment "The Judge is standing at the door." - "Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near. Don't grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!" James 5:9. If we take this verse in symbolically, we can make a connection with our day and the coming destruction. He uses the comparison of a valuable crop (those saved by faith in Christ) and refers to the autumn and spring rains. After the destruction of Israel in 70AD, the land was desolate and the rains ceased their normal patterns. It stayed that way until the return of the Jews in 1948. Since then, they have planted countless trees. This has actually changed the weather pattern and is causing the rains to come twice a year again. I believe James' prophecy can be thus interpreted: The farmer (our Lord) is waiting for the full crop to yield. This will happen when the rains return to Israel (this generation). When you see this, know that the Lord's coming is near. And we know from scripture at that time will come destruction on the whole world, just as it did in Noah's day. - - - - Now is the time for accepting Jesus. I firmly believe we are right at the final hour.
The next passage is that of Sodom and Gomorrah's destruction in the time of Lot. Again, this is a picture of the rapture to come. "But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door." Genesis 19:10-11. To get a full appreciation of this story, you should read it in its entirety, but the passage I picked is where the angels of the Lord physically reached out to Lot and pulled him back through the door into safety. This was at a time of great wickedness abounding in the region - a very good parallel of our society - our world - today. The angels came to destroy the city, but to save any righteous persons first. This is a parallel with the rapture soon to come. After the angels pulled Lot to safety, it says they struck those outside the door with blindness so they could not find the door. Compare this to what Paul says after the antichrist is revealed:
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. 2 Thessalonians 9-12
Just as those left behind were physically blinded and could not find the door in Lot's time, there will be a spiritual blinding of those left behind after the rapture of the saved through the Door of Salvation - Jesus the Christ.
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Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. Matthew 24:33
In this passage, Jesus gives the parable of the fig tree - which is known to represent Israel. He makes it known here that when Israel is reborn (sprouts its leaves), you know his return and thus the rapture is right at the door.
The next four parables tell similar messages exhorting us to be ready for Christ's return at all times. In each of these lessons the term "door" is used. In each case, it is the link pointing toward the rapture.
But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut! Matthew 25:10-11
No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It's like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back--whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: Watch! Mark 13:32-37
Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. Luke 12:35-40
He said to them, "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Sir, open the door for us.'" Luke 13:24-25
Next, in Revelation 3:8, as Jesus speaks in the letters to the seven churches, he clearly says the door is now open and cannot be closed by any human force. He makes it clear again that it is a faith in him that will provide salvation from the great time of wrath: "I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. "
Finally, we read the words of the rapture in Revelation 4:1 - "Come up here."
"After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this." Revelation 4:1.
This is believed by many to be the time for the Bride of Christ to be taken out of the coming troubles which take place immediately afterwards. The next 15 chapters of Revelation are concerned with the 7 years of anguish to come.
As you can see by the analysis above, I believe the signs are all there for the soon return of Christ. Israel is back in her land, the rains have returned, and the troubles discussed in Matthew 24 are coming upon us. I would hope you would seriously consider these things and make a decision to trust Christ now. I may be wrong on all these points, but the signs seem to say otherwise.
If you would like to do your own word study from the Holy Bible click here and follow the instructions on the site. Remember to return here later. God bless. Charlie.
Waiting for His Glorious Return
The timing of when the rapture of the Church of Jesus Christ is one of those issues that good people have great differences of opinion on. Only God knows what the appointed time of His return for the Church will be. "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Matthew 24:36. First, there are several beliefs I'd like to reiterate:
God created. He came to Earth physically in the person of Jesus. He was crucified. He was buried. He was resurrected. He will come again. There will be a rapture of the righteous. Who are the righteous -
All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away. Isaiah 64:6
The Holy Bible lets us know there are none righteous of their own accord. Rather, God's righteousness is imputed to us through faith in Christ. We receive his righteousness .
Do I really believe this - that there will be a rapture? If you've read some of my other articles, you already know the answer, but yes, Holy Scripture is clear that there will be one. The real differences in opinion come as to when this will occur. There is a time coming upon the Earth (and I believe soon) described: "For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now--and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened." Matthew 24:21. This dreadful time is known in the Old Testament as the time of Jacob's Trouble (KJV - Jeremiah 30:7) . In the New Testament it is called the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:15.) The three major views about the raptue revolve around this time: Pre-Tribulation, Mid-Tribulation, Post-Tribulation.
caMost people feel confidently that the rapture will occur Pre-Tribulation. This is my position as well. Although many passages can be confusing, you need to look at the pictures as presented in the Old Testament to get a clear picture of salvation/protection/judgement. The account of Noah is a picture of this. Not a drop of rain fell until the Lord closed the door and secured them away in the ark. Only then did the rains begin. Some argue that Noah was carried through the flood and not taken out of it. However, this is an incorrect analysis. He was given time to prepare the ship as we are given time to prepare our spiritual life. The bible says ...Then the LORD shut him in. Genesis 7:16. Once he was secreted away, the end me. Again, in the account of Lot and his family, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah did not come until they were safely removed from the wicked city. These instances are clear pictures of the coming rapture and point to a time when believers will be removed from the tribulation period, not kept safe in the midst of the destruction.
From the New Testament we have the confirmation that, although the church is mentioned many, many times from Revelation chapters 1 - 3, it's not mentioned again until the return of Christ. Clearly, the tribulation period is meant not for the church, but the unrepentant.
Once the church is taken out of the way in the rapture, the bible says those left behind will be deceived as to the nature of the rapture and the wickedness to come. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
This is the reason why it is so important to let others know about the savation of Christ now, while there's still a chance to clearly see. The Holy Bible does say there will be those who will come out of the tribulation having accepted Christ, but it also says those people will be martyred for their faith. It will be a terrible time for people who put eternal salvation ahead of this earthly life. Be ready now - at all times - to give an answer for your faith. Remember, the most important gift you can give is that which leads to eternal life. Nothing else has this importance and it needs to be your constant focus.
I've been asked to expand my thoughts on the rapture, but truthfully, there are so many websites dealing with this issue that I would just be repeating the same thing again. Rather, I put these ideas down just to let you know my position on the central issue of the rapture - that I believe it will be a pre-tribulation occurrence and that it will be extremely soon. If you have any specific question however, just email me and I'll tell you my thoughts. Keep looking up....not a bird, not a plane.... It's the Lord of Creation - Jesus, Highly Exalted and returning for His faithful.
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ ever be praised!
Photos of Mt. Fuji and of trees graciously provided by Photo Laboraratory and Gallery by Suzuki.
Photo of Bridge and Lagoon provided by Flowers Photo Gallery from Japan.