Have you ever had a friend get you into some place special, but the only way in was through the back door? When I was in high school, one of my friends worked at the local theater and the manager would let him bring a few friends in for the final movie of the night if there were empty seats. We had to come in through the back door. It was a great feeling to have a friend who could get us into the movies for free. Now, as “awesome” as that was for us kids, I want to tell you about something that is truly awesome: in the Body of Christ, there are no “back door believers.”
There are those in the church today who are convinced that if they make it into heaven at all, it will be by the way of the back door. They mistakenly believe that the spiritual superstars will be ushered in the front door, to enter into the joy of their Master’s happiness. The believers who lived a pretty good life might slip in through the side door. But for those who struggled and stumbled through the Christian life, the back door is the only possible way of getting in. Do you subscribe to this kind of thinking? Well, fasten your seat belt and get ready to have your world rocked!
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
(2 Peter 1:10-11)
You ought to read that passage again. Notice the kind of welcome every believer will receive on that day they are received into glory: A RICH WELCOME! There will be no easing in the side door or creeping in through the back door. A “rich welcome” presupposes that we will be received with a great celebration as we enter into our eternal rest . . . through the front doorway of heaven.
Every believer who has been on the receiving end of God’s calling and election will receive a rich welcome, not because of anything they have done, but because of everything Jesus has done for them. Jesus will say to us, “’Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34). What a welcome God has planned for all those who are in Christ! The angels will be singing as we enter through the front door and begin dancing on streets of gold. We have been given a living hope because of what Jesus has secured for us through His life, death, and resurrection.
Don’t misunderstand the words, “Make every effort to confirm your calling and election . . . [by doing] these things” as something we must do in order to receive our rich welcome. That is not what Peter is teaching here. The things we are to be doing do not earn our rich welcome; they prove it is already prepared for us! 1 John 3:10 explains, “By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil; whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” And remember, the first fruit of our union with Jesus is a change in the desire of our heart. When we desire to do what Jesus wants us to do, we can be assured we are His, and when we are His we can rest in the knowledge that our welcome is assured because of what He has already done for us.
- Not our work . . . His work
- Not our effort . . . His effort
- Not our righteousness . . . His righteousness
- Not our goodness . . . His goodness
- Not our strength . . . His strength
- Not our love . . . His love
- Not our commitment . . . His commitment
The rich welcome that awaits every believer is dependent upon all that Jesus has done for the believer . . . not what the believer has done for Jesus.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!