Better Than I Deserve
5/10/13 at 03:38 PM 2 Comments

The Gates of Hell

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The Italian proverb is true: After the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box. I heard a true story about a young man that was trying to find a bar in Chicago. It was called The Gates of Hell. Yes, there was an actually a bar called The Gates of Hell. I am not sure if it is still there or not. This is certainly not a place you would want to visit but someone had asked a man on the street where it was at. The man happened to be a pastor. He simply told him where it was. He didn’t try to share the gospel with him, he didn’t try to tell him about Jesus even though he perceived that the young man was not saved. He simply told the man how to get to this bar called The Gates of Hell.

The young man may have not known that the man giving him directions was a pastor and it seems certain that the young man didn‘t realize that he was asking a pastor for directions. The young pastor simply told him how to get to The Gates of Hell. Here is how he described it. Listen to the irony of his directions to The Gates of Hell:

You are already pretty close to it. Go down this street and turn right and you‘ll see Calvary church. Go right past Calvary and you‘ll find The Gates of Hell.” This pastor was more right than he realized because he essentially saying that “If you want to get to the Gates of Hell, just walk right past Calvary and you’ll find it.”

The pastor never knew if the young man went to The Gates of Hell or not but anyone who walks past Calvary is headed there. Rob Bell aside, there are only two destinations for people; heaven or hell. Truly, the way to get to the real gates of hell is to walk right past Calvary and the work there that was finished by Jesus Christ, however if you go to Calvary first, the gates of hell will not prevail against you. You see, Jesus went through a living hell for this young man, He went through it for me, and He went through it for you if you have placed your trust in Him. We must not pass by Calvary. We must stop at the foot of the cross. If you do pass by Calvary you are on your way to the very real gates of hell. Whether you believe in hell or not doesn’t change the reality of it. What we believe does not impact whether something is true or not.

Maybe this is what Jude was talking about when he wrote that we are to “save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh” (Jude 1:23). As a pastor, I don't think I could have kept my mouth shut. I am not judging this young pastor, I am only saying that we have divine opportunities placed before us everyday. Isn’t it true that “You were like a burning stick snatched from the fire” (Amos 4:11)? This is the very reason that we are commanded to “try to persuade others” (2 Cor 5:11). We must be in the business of snatching people out of the mouth of hell. I pray I would have been faithful enough to witness to this young man although I can not say with certainty I would have. What about you? Where are you headed? Where are your friends headed? Where is your family headed? What about your co-workers? Don’t you want to warn them about the gates of hell? My prayer is that you do want to “save others by snatching them out of the fire.”

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Jack Wellman is Senior Writer at What Christians Want to Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible.

CP Blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).