Wow! Talk about so near and yet so far. Poor Desmond Bishop. He missed what could have been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go to the White House and meet the President of the United States! Actually it was a few years ago.

Desmond was a linebacker for then the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, and his team got to meet the President. Meanwhile, Desmond took a nap on the team bus. Why? All because he inadvertently left his I.D. on the plane, and the Secret Service wasn’t about to make any exceptions and let someone close to the President. You know how it goes, no ID, no White House, no President.

I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Stopped at the Gate.”

Listen, it could be a lot worse. I mean, there’s something really tragic, in fact nothing more tragic, than getting to the gates of heaven, expecting to get in with others who are going and being turned away. And that is not some imaginary scenario.

Actually, it’s in our word for today from the Word of God, Luke 13. I’ll begin reading in verse 24. Jesus said, “Many will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you’ll stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you.’ Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you and you taught in our streets.’ But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you. Depart from me’.”

That’s really disturbing. The folks who are shut out of heaven are apparently church folks, people who’ve been around Jesus, who know a lot about Jesus. They have Christianity, but they don’t have Christ.

Jesus made it really clear when He said, “I am the way…no man comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). The way. Because you can’t get into heaven with your sin, and your sin can only be forgiven by the One who paid the sin penalty that we deserve. The Bible says, “He carried our sins in His body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). No religion can die for your sins; no spirituality can die for your sins. Only God’s sinless Son could do that. So He’s the only “I.D.” that will get us into God’s heaven.

Actually I had a picture of that a while back. I was speaking at a large youth event in Canada, and the music was provided by one of North America’s most popular Christian bands. And I had a small group of young people who really wanted to meet them. (You know, meeting a speaker – who cares? Meet the band? Freak out!) Well they kept getting stopped by security, until I showed up. I pointed to the first one, and eventually to each of them, and I said the magic words that got them in. I just said, “He’s with me. She’s with me.”

You know, that’s the only way you and I are going to get into heaven? It takes Jesus saying, “He’s with Me. She’s with Me.” And 2 Timothy 2:19 says, “The Lord knows those who are His.” That would be those who at some point in their life have pinned all their hopes on Him and put their life in His hands.

Question: “Are you one of them?” I mean, can you remember that there was a time when you said to Jesus, “Jesus, I believe that some of those sins you died for on the cross were mine, and I want to make this personal. I want to pin all my hopes on You. I’m not driving my life any more. You’re going to drive from here on.” At that time you actually put your life, your eternity, your future, your soul and your hopes in the hands of Jesus.

If you don’t know you’ve done that, you probably haven’t, but today you could. Today could be your Jesus day, so that He will say, “She’s with me. He’s with me” when you get to the gate of heaven. It’s the only way you’re going to get in. If you’re not sure you’re with Him; if you’re not sure you belong to Him, get it settled today. Tell him, “Jesus, I’m Yours.”

Go to our website, will you? It’s really set up for the moment you want to be sure you belong to Him. It will help you get that done. The website is Go there today.

Because without Jesus…without Him saying, “He’s with Me. She’s with Me,” there’s just no getting in.