Jesus is the gateway to heaven. As He told Nathaniel, He’s the conduit between heaven and earth (John 1:51). But this doesn’t just mean that He saved us so we can go to heaven when we die. He’s also the means by which we step into heaven now. Because, the reality is, you’re already in heaven with Christ in God. Because of what Christ has done, heaven is continually open to you and me right now.
The problem we have with this has to do with “framing” (see post on framing, “Introduction to the Three Realms.”) For instance, if we think heaven is only for when we die, we won’t go there now, even though we’re seated there with Christ (Eph.2:6). We will practice religion instead, where it’s about “not yet” and “not you.” In other words, heaven is relegated to the next life and we don’t identify ourselves with Christ, as if it wasn’t true that “as He is, so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17)
This is what empty religion does: it evacuates the gospel of all its power so that it fits into our naturalistic thinking. But this kind of religion cannot produce the life Christ has given us in Him.
On the other hand, if we’re going to believe Jesus (and the rest of the New Testament), then we must go beyond the echo of our own thoughts and learn how to walk by faith into this wholly other-worldly realm.
Here’s what Jesus told us about this gateway:
9 I am the Gateway. To enter through me is to experience life, freedom, and satisfaction. 10 A thief has only one thing in mind—he wants to steal, slaughter, and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect—life in its fullness until you overflow! (John 10:9-10 TPT*)
Obviously, Jesus is talking about going through this this gate in this life, for He’s talking about a quality of life where we experience freedom and satisfaction, contrasted with one of loss and destruction.
Jesus wants our life—this life—to overflow!
And how we do this? We do so by walking through the gate. The New King James Bible makes this heavenly activity even clearer….
9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. (John 10:9 NKJV*)
We are to go “in and out” and find this life—His life—which means it’s for now, in this life on earth. And, as I said last time, this life is found by experiencing God in Christ:
3 Eternal life means to know and experience you
as the only true God,
and to know and experience Jesus Christ,
as the Son whom you have sent. (John 17:3 TPT*)
This is the covenant we have through Christ! As I said in “How God Fulfills His Promise to Abraham,” while Abraham’s covenant was one of pedigree (biologically related to Abraham and Sarah), and Moses’ covenant was one of performance (obedience to the Law), our covenant in Christ is based on placement. You were placed in Christ in God!
- When Christ was crucified, you were crucified.
- When Christ died, your sin was buried forever with Him.
- When Christ rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, you ascended with Him!
It’s not just what Christ did for you, or even what He did as you, but what Christ did to you. And it’s also even more crazy glorious than that!
22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:22-23 NIV*)
What this means is, whatever Jesus has, you have.
His relationship in the Trinitarian life of God is your relationship in this life of God.
His glory is your glory.
Don’t analyse it with your head into unbelief…believe it with your heart! (Rom.10:10) And this is not just for your sake, but also so that the whole world will know about His great love! This is why this understanding of who we are, and where we are, in Christ, is critical. Everything hinges on us believing and walking in this heavenly reality.
Beloved, this is the Gospel. This is the good news that brings great joy! You died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God (Col.3:3).
So, when we “go in and out” of the heavenly realm and find “pasture” in Christ, what we are doing is giving our soul permission to go where our spirit already resides. Don’t be like what my friend Jon Claussen said about a lot of the church today:
“Jesus is the Door and the Way, that is true…but the Door and Way to to what?”….The Church today has been dancing at the door, but Jesus is standing there saying, ‘Come in!’ We need to go through the Door because that’s where the Father’s kingdom is.”*
As I said in “Our Confidence for Intimacy With God,” it’s from this heavenly place, abiding in His love, where we actuate all the promises of God as we participate in the divine nature (2 Pet.1:4). In fact, this is the only place where you will find it. So, don’t just dance at the doorway, go in and experience the freedom, satisfaction, and overflowing life that is yours!
20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. (2 Cor.1:20 NKJV*)