My “day job” currently requires that I work inside a secure facility. The ID badge I am required to wear at all times inside the facility also serves as an electronic key. It opens every door I am authorized to pass through. Conversely, there are doors it will not open for me, because I do not have the proper authority or clearance.
During the several years I worked in Israel, one of the facilities in which I worked required TWO separate keys. One of them was a physical metal key, albeit a very different type of key from any I had seen before. The second key was an electronic key. The procedure was to enter the location, take the elevator to the proper floor, and then use the keys in sequence. First you needed to unlock the thick, metal access door with the metal key. Using this key retracted the ten half-inch metal bars locking the door into the door jamb. Only after you’d unlocked the door could you place the electronic key next to the reader. Once the security indicator light turned green, you had about seven seconds to open the door and pass through. The entire process was monitored by security cameras. And that was only the beginning! There were additional security requirements inside, including knowing a current password.
If you think THAT sounds like a tough place to get into without the right key, try getting into heaven without the the key Jesus gives you. It will make entering the Israeli office look like a walk in the park.
The beginning of knowing Jesus has two keys, as well. You need them both.
The first key is RESPECT, which is an acknowledgement of His position and His authority. It is essential. without it you are NOT getting any farther. It is like the metal key that unlocked the ten bars in the door. There are many who respect Jesus. They say He’s a good teacher, or that He was holy. Even the Muslims admit that he is a prophet. How much you respect Jesus will impact what you choose to believe about Him. The more you respect Him, the more you will choose to believe His words, even if you do not fully understand all of them. (None of us FULLY understand them, by the way; so don’t let that hold you back.)
But even though a proper respect will lead to proper belief — THAT IS INSUFFICIENT. You truly do need TWO KEYS.
In order for the door to be opened to you, you need the key of respect AND the key of OBEDIENCE. If the truth you comprehend in your mind and heart is not reflected in the decisions you make as you live your life it matters not how much or how deeply you claim to respect Christ. James, the Lord’s brother who became one of His followers, led the church in Jerusalem and wrote the book of the bible that bears his name. In his arguments about a living faith versus a dead faith, James makes it plain and clear that belief alone is not enough. James reminds us that even demons, who are certainly not going to receive eternal life with Christ, believe in God.
Without the key of OBEDIENCE, the “big metal door” of heaven will remain locked to you. There are two keys to the Kingdom – RESPECT and OBEDIENCE. These are the beginning of knowledge. These will open the door.
Once inside the Kingdom, there is more to learn and more to do. For these two are the BEGINNING of knowledge.
But the beginning is a very good place to begin.
Do you hold the keys yet?