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LOCKED OUT!

Pastor T. Michael Eccleston

"I'll start the car and warm it up for you," I said to my wife on a very cold Florida morning. Going outside I did exactly what I said I would, and then inadvertently I locked all the doors as I got out. When she went to the car to leave for work some ten minutes later she found it locked. There was no second key available. The engine was running with the heater on. She was locked out thanks to me. Eventually however, she took the other vehicle to work and I had to get a locksmith to open the car so that I could shut it off.

Perhaps you've never done that to yourself - been locked out - but one day you just might, and in a way you never thought possible - spiritually, and that, without any possibility of reversal.

In the story of the ten virgins (Matthew 25), we see that five were wise and five were foolish; five went in to be with the bridegroom through the door and five were locked out. Note carefully the words of Scripture:

".the bridegroom came: and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

"Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

"But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not." -Matt.25:10-12

Five were locked out and five entered. But both had identical knowledge of what was required to be admitted, as well as the time and ability to prepare. However, in this situation, five decided that they could wait. They even thought that, if need be, they could borrow of what the others had and still be admitted. They were wrong. Even if some or all of them were sincere, they were wrong, and they were still locked out. There was no locksmith on the face of the earth then, nor is there now, who could open that locked door.

The salvation of a soul is the most important thing in the world, for it cost Almighty God His only Begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to give His life as a substitutionary blood atonement for our debt of sin that we legitimately owed, but could never repay. God required the blood of an innocent substitute be shed to atone for sin. The difference however, between the sacrifices of atonement in the Old Testament, even on the Day of Atonement, and what Christ accomplished on the cross of Calvary in our behalf is profound - for He not only paid the complete wages of my sin, He not only made a blood atonement for my sin to satisfy a Holy God, but He did it for more than a single sin, and He did it for more than a year, for there on that cross He took away my sin forever (Heb.10:10-12).

The Bible leaves no room for error in the salvation of mankind. It leaves no possibility for any other saviors, for none but Jesus Christ were willing, able, or had the means to secure man's redemption from the marketplace of sin. Jesus Christ truly 'Paid it All.' We are saved, not by any church or religion say-so, nor by our works of any kind, nor do we merit to be saved: we are saved only through the finished work of Jesus Christ, in His death, burial, and resurrection for us, as we appropriate His blood to our lost, unredeemed souls through faith alone in Him and His work. There are so many passages of Scripture which affirm this, it would seem as though it would be impossible for anyone to believe otherwise. However, the master counterfeiter, Satan, has used men and women throughout history to devise cults, religions and other ways. Sadly and tragically, all those ways face a locked door and a similar future as the five foolish virgins.

All of you who come in contact with this article and read it now have the same knowledge of what is required of you to be saved. John 3:16, summarizes it in a nutshell, but is too often misunderstood or misused. All of you have the identical time and ability to prepare yourselves for eternity: Today! Some of you who are lost, will, and will find the Bridegroom and Door of your souls, the Lord Jesus Christ there to welcome you one day into heaven. Many of you who are lost will not avail yourself of your time or ability, though you know the truth and one day might hope to be saved and enter heaven. You will find a locked door, and no amount of pleading or wailing will open it. You will stand before the Great White Throne in judgment for refusing the Lord Jesus Christ in your lifetime, and hear these words, "Verily I say unto you, I know you not." It won't be that He once knew you, but that He never knew you (Matt.7:21-23). The Lake of Fire waits for all who face the locked door. Please, don't lock yourself out!

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