Covid-19 Devotionals

Shut Out

I needed to have a pre-marital course manual printed because my printer seems to have finally decided it “ain’t gonna work no more”. I firstly went to a stationary shop but they do not do printing. Then I visited a PostNet Shop and had the printing done there.

Because there is a “plastic store” in the mall I decided to stop there to see if they could give me something close to communion glasses as the last time we had communion we used glasses and the content look so measly. The closet they could do was “shot glasses”. Well, it’s far better than glasses for communion (Fortunately we only use red grape juice).

Then I decided to get a small bite for Jenny and myself at Woolworths but they had nothing we fancied. But wait … there is a pizza place, and I thought I’ll spoil Jenny with a Sweet ‘n Sour Chicken Sub … only to be told they no longer have that on the menu. Oh well, off I went. As I travelled home, I remembered a place called Jaffels and even though we never bought anything there before I decided to stop by and check out their menu. They closed down! (I checked their webpage and see they moved to the East.)

The sandwich I made did the job perfectly. Just consider this … the one place had nothing to suit our fancy, the next place no longer stocked what we like and the last place are closed. At two places I could not get what I wanted and the third place was totally shut closed for business. Now, being a Gospel preacher for 40 years, the concept of not getting what you want and being shut closed … caused me to think of the spiritual realm.

The story of the Ten Virgins remains a dramatic indication of being shut out! Five were fully prepared with lamps and oil, five were unprepared with lamps without oil. In thinking the Bridegroom would still take ages to arrive, they went off shopping for oil. Without them knowing, the Bridegroom arrives:

Mt 25:10 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.

Who was to blame? Not the virgins who were ready. The blame was the unready ones’ alone, for if five were prepared and ready, all knew what was expected of them. “And the door was shut” informs us that one day the door of heaven will be shut to all who have not prepared themselves through faith in Jesus, confession of sin, repentance and proof of the new life. Paul writes something so similar to the Church at Thessalonica:

2Th 1:5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed.

Those who are ready and prepared are counted worthy of the Kingdom of God and given relief … but those who rebel (trouble you), will not only be punished with everlasting destruction. They will “shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power”. There we have the concept of “shut out” again!

There is a cultic, unbiblical teaching that promotes the idea of “annihilation” as opposed to the Biblical teaching of hell. The first form of annihilation taught is that when humans die they all go out of existence immediately. The second is that when unbelievers are resurrected they will all be given a second chance to believe. Those who do not will be annihilated. The third form says that after the final judgment all unbelievers are annihilated. (Remember, annihilation promoters mean that the unbeliever ceases to exist after a second chance or after the final judgment.) All this is far from Biblical Truth!

Note the words in 2 Thessalonians 1:9:

2Thess 1:9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and being shut out of the Lord’s presence and away from the majesty of His power.”

“Everlasting”, meaning eternal, forever! “Destruction”, meaning loss of all quality of life. “Shut Out”, meaning a total lasting ban from the presence of the Lord. And again, “Shut Out”, meaning forever removed from the majesty of His power.

Anyone can easily see right here that annihilation (the ceasing to exist) carries no merit. The result of unbelief will be “everlasting destruction and being shut out of the Lord’s presence and away from the majesty of His power.”

Often the passage in Revelation 3:20 is used evangelistically … where in fact Jesus is issuing an invitation to backslidden believers to return to Him.

Rev 3:19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20 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.

Verse 19 sets the tone for verse 20 … “those whom I love I rebuke and discipline” precedes the call to the repentance of the loved. Jesus says He is standing at the door knocking. Knocking through the conscience; knocking through the Gospel and knocking through the continual devastation happening across the planet. Not everyone can hear the knocking because some are so caught up in their rebellion and sin … the spiritual ears are shut; the spiritual eyes are closed; the conscience is dead … but to those who can hear and open the door of their heart … Jesus promises … “I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” The places I visited either did not have or were closed permanently. Right now heaven’s door is open. If you have wandered and strayed … please hear, please open the door to your heart. Let Jesus in!

Dear Jesus, my heart is open, come in, forgive and cleanse and fellowship with me today and always. Amen.

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