The Mystery of the Gates of Heaven
The mystery of the gates of heaven. It has been a part of Christian belief and practice since the days of the great Apostle Paul. I find it rather amazing that a concept that is introduced to us in 1st century CE could have so much ancient baggage. I also find it strange that so many people don’t know the full meaning of this term. Let’s have a closer look.
Gate – a division separating two bodies or boundaries, often physical: a wall, a gate. In the context of a building or home, a gate separates a room or areas within a building from the outside. The gates of heaven are the doors of the spiritual world. God wants his people to enter into the gates of heaven. This is the highest holy place and the seat of power.
The term – gates was referred to in the Bible in reference to the gates of the prison. Joseph was sold into slavery to a wealthy man. He was allowed one of the gates to be opened for him so he could go out to pasture; but this gate was locked. As a result, he had to use the other entrance – the top gate – to go out to pasture.
The Bible also says that when King Israel went up into the land, he took not his goods with him, but sent his slave, Barnabas, with his possessions. Barnabas was a close relative of the Beloved Lord, Jesus. Therefore, we have the reference to the sheepfold, which is another form of the gates of heaven. These gates have to be strong and high; otherwise, no man can enter. The strength of these gates is depicted by the solidity of their structure.
The mystery here is that the gates of heaven were shut for our salvation and entrance
The reason being, is that God is not like the people of the earth; we are not to open the gates for Him. God is absolutely sure that we will in time perish and burn up; that we will eventually be consumed (we do know this); and that through His Son Jesus Christ, we will be saved from His fires. This saving will be done by Him through the blood of His life. So when God locks the gates, He is sealing it from our sin and death. The gates of heaven are to keep out people who do not deserve to enter.
The second mystery is also related to the first – that is, how the gates work. It is as a result of the workings of nature and the laws of physics that the gates of heaven do indeed stand. The gates are nothing more than the doors of a house. Nature is so full of gravity and air resistance that the doors cannot simply swing open and shut. They must be forced open and shut by the weight of the earth and the movement of the clouds.
When the thief comes seeking entrance into a house the gardener is not likely to let him in – not if he feels the house is guarded. And when the enemy is defeated in battle the gatecrasher is not likely to enter either, if he believes the walls are strong. We are not without these natural laws. We are protected by the same gates that protect our physical world from invaders.
The third secret is a matter of faith for some
It is not as secret as the secrets of the other two – but it is just as real. Believing that there is a gate between the human kingdom and the God realm gives you a kind of spiritual protection from the atheistic tendencies of your life and from the tempestuous heathenishness of the world. The more ardent you are in your faith, the more storm-resistant your gate is. It is the best insurance you can have for your physical life here on earth. So the secret of the gates of heaven is a real one, even if you don’t know where it is.