Jesus said, “If anyone enters by me, he will be saved” (John 10:9). Here lies an ironclad guarantee. The door to eternal life is not locked; it is not even closed. It is wide open for all who would dare to come. That is the beauty of the gospel. God opens the door of salvation for any who will believe to enter in.
Yet, one must go through the door. It is an expansive offer for everyone, but it means nothing to the individual unless he goes through. One must cross the threshold. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones had a wonderful illustration of this truth: he likened Jesus to the door to a turnstile at a stadium.
For a recent birthday, my family of four went to a Chicago Cubs baseball game. I wanted to watch my beloved Cubs play a game during the season they finally won (so I hoped at the time) a World Series title after 108 years of futility. We arrived at the game a little late and missed the National Anthem and the first pitch.
There we stood outside Wrigley Field with a mass of humanity between us and the entrance. I had my eleven-year-old daughter by the hand and my wife had our eight-year-old son in tow. My wife’s spare hand gripped the back of my shirt, and I used my free hand to part the sea of people in front of us. Finally, we made our way through the crowd and approached the entrance to the stadium. However, at the entrance we found a long line to enter. There was a bottleneck, for every individual had to enter through a turnstile and metal detector. And the turnstile admitted only one person at a time. We simply had to go through one by one.
I loved entering Wrigley Field, sauntering up the ramp, and finally walking down the corridor that leads to the field itself. When I emerged from the corridor into the light of the stadium, it took my breath away. Perfectly green grass filled my view, ivy-covered walls decorated the outfield, and the crowd in the stadium buzzed with excitement—so many people that they almost seemed countless. Yet, they all entered one by one. And so it is with the kingdom of God.
Have you crossed the threshold? Have you entered through the narrow door? As one theologian said, “Every person must believe for himself because every person dies by himself.” “If anyone enters by me, he will be saved,” Jesus said. Anyone, but you must enter through Christ.
When we arrive in heaven, I think we will stand amazed at the diversity in that gathering. We have read about it in Scripture and sung about it in our songs, but I think we will still be shocked. We will gaze at the gathering of people and notice individuals from every tribe, tongue, and nation. In the crowd of the redeemed, there will be those with different colors of skin, backgrounds, ethnicities, and ages, and from every time period in history—such a heterogeneous group. Yet, it will also be the most homogeneous of groups. Though all will look different, make no mistake, all will be marked by one thing—all will have been sinners who turned to Jesus in faith and entered through Him.