How Pastors Open The Door of Heaven
The 21st Century Christian ought to understand that the vigorous preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ is not purposeless. Trained medical doctors, lawyers, architects, journalists, farmers and educationists do not abandon their noble professions and take up the Bible to preach and teach the Word of God for fun. They have seen something with the eyes of their hearts which the reprobate do not see.
After years of encounters with God through the preaching of the gospel, one can only be persuaded that the Christian ministry is not a joke and Christ is not a myth but a mystery. Mockers, scoffers and false ministers have always been in the world to blaspheme God and ridicule the church and its scriptures. They do this ignorantly as a result of the depravity that is in their minds.
But Jesus Christ is true and living. He is the reigning Lord with thousands of genuine ministers being used to save souls from the clutches of sins and eternal death by the power of His shed blood. Those who genuinely believe in Him soon realize the controlling power of sins is broken off their souls and made right with God the Father.
Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers play crucial roles in the salvation and spiritual development of all believers. Christ Jesus Himself led the way by shepherding the foundational apostles for their spiritual equipment and subsequent work of ministry.
Now, as there were false preachers and teachers in the days of the apostles so there are many in our day. It is, therefore, necessary that Christians carefully examine the conducts, ministrations and teachings of the ministers they follow. Do not just follow any pastor. Be guided by wisdom, knowledge and discernment.
In one of my recent articles, I explained how many people follow pastors without adequate knowledge. You can follow a false pastor without knowing it. Today, a counterfeit bishop can be found in an Orthodox, Protestant, Pentecostal or Charismatic church. You can only identify a true servant of Christ if you have studied the Bible to uncover how the biblical servants of God were uniquely called, prepared/trained, commissioned, ministered and lived by godly character and aim.
In that recent article, I stated that it was not proper to follow a pastor merely because of his stature, oratory skills, seminary training, priestly garment or ecclesiastical titles. Many are influenced by the factors aforementioned, but these do not necessarily make anyone a true servant of Christ. One important way you can determine the genuineness of your pastor as a servant of Christ is his ability to demonstrate that he holds the keys of the door of the kingdom of heaven.
There are many apostles, prophets, evangelists, bishops and teachers of the gospel, but not all of them have the keys of the kingdom of heaven to open the door of heaven to believers. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only way and the door to heaven (John 14:6; John 10:1-9). And He is also the only possessor of the keys of the kingdom of heaven.
However, when the creator Son of God calls, prepares, anoints and sends His ministers to represent Him in the world to preach and teach the Word of truth, the gospel of salvation, He gives them the keys of the kingdom of heaven to function effectively in the performance of their duties. In Matthew 16:19, we read about our glorious Saviour giving the keys to Simon Peter and all His appointed ambassadors in the world.
The keys of the kingdom of heaven simply refer to the divine authority and knowledge Christ gives to His ministers for effective Christian ministry. Now, as I pointed out earlier, Christ Jesus is the way and the door to heaven. And your pastor is the one who has been given the keys to the door. In fact, he has been given the keys not only for decoration but also for the declaration of the truths of gospel to open the door.
But the major concern is how he opens the door. A pastor opens the door of the kingdom of heaven, which is Jesus Christ, if he preaches and teaches about Him. Thus to open the door of heaven is to make Christ known for people to believe in Him for the salvation of their souls. But if a pastor is led astray and abandons Christ to preach and teach about other things, then he is actually closing the door and denying the believers under his care access to heaven.
A student of the Bible understands that the kingdom of heaven points to Christ Jesus. And genuine men of God blessed with the keys of the kingdom of heaven preach and teach nothing except the crucified Christ. That is why the foundational apostles faithfully and efficaciously preached Christ in every village, town and city they journeyed. In Colossians 1:28, the apostle Paul wrote: “Him we preach…”
And then, in Acts Chapter 8, Philip preached the Good News about Jesus Christ to the Ethiopian eunuch. All the foundational apostles and the other true ministers appointed after them preached Christ and taught about Him to open the door of heaven to the believers. Believer, in this generation, it is time for you to critically examine the messages your pastor preaches or teaches to see if he is really opening the door of heaven to you or not.
By James Quansah
Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."
Reproduction is authorised provided the author's permission is granted.