“To God be the Glory”
Several weeks ago our pastor began to sing this hymn toward the end of his sermon and the phrase “opened the Life-Gate that all may go in” caught my imagination. I knew I had to share this hymn with you as the last in this series because it tells us how we can know we will spend eternity with God in heaven.
This hymn was written by the famous blind hymn-writer, Fanny Crosby in 1872. I am going to share the words of the first verse and chorus with you, because they are so powerful – but, I will change some of them to be easier to understand than the Old English it was written in. I want to then focus on the phrase I referred to at the beginning: because it will encourage and enrich your life, in a way nothing else can, IF you take it to heart and act on it.
To God be the glory, great things He has done,
God so loved the world that He gave us His son (Jesus).
Jesus gave up his life on the cross as an payment for sin – mine and yours,
…and with his death and resurrection he opened the LIFE-GATE that all can enter in.
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord – let the earth hear God’s voice.
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord – let the people rejoice.
Oh, won’t you believe in God the father and Jesus God’s son
And then you can give God glory – for the great things He has done.
Have you ever heard the word “gospel”? Do you know what it means? It refers to the “good news” – the Biblical account of Jesus coming to earth – born of a virgin, living a perfect life and then being killed and buried…only to rise from the dead in order to pay for your sins once and for all. The Bible says that if you believe the gospel you have salvation (saving faith from your sins and the consequence which is eternal death).
If you are a sci-fi fan you may watch Stargate. For those of you who have never watched the show, let me explain that there is a “gate” that opens up and allows people to travel from one galaxy to another or one time-continuum to another. It is a very ethereal gate through which you pass from somewhere else in time and space back to the present time on earth – or vice versa. (For those of you who are hard-core sci-fi fans, I apologize if I have described this “gate” in a less than adequate way.)
Picture with me a gate that is not hard to open in one direction…yet impossible to open the other. This Life-Gate is exactly like that. Unlike the Stargate, the Life Gate is a one-way gate. If we believe the gospel we walk through the gate to forgiveness of sin and eternal life. The gate never opens back up the other direction, no matter what we do. AND, it is yours to walk through by simply believing the Biblical message about Easter.
The movie “Son of God” has been in the theaters for several weeks now. If you have had a chance to see it, or possibly “The Passion of the Christ” that Mel Gibson produced a number of years ago – you are familiar with the story/plot. This story/plot is this gospel message I keep referring to.
If you have already believed and walked through the Life-Gate I know you are praying for others who haven’t, to do so when they read this. If you have not believed before, for whatever reason; put your disbelief aside – believe – and walk through the Life Gate. Come…join me and millions of others who, over the course of history, have believed the gospel.
The Bible says that when someone walks through the Life Gate the angels rejoice. As humans, rejoicing often leads to singing. Perhaps it is so with the angels, too.
…and so, we end this series “on a good note”!