“Ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men”

"Ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men”

Matthew 23 v 13

The words of Jesus above were spoken to the religious leaders of the day who by their teaching and behaviour were preventing others from trusting in Christ for salvation. The very people who should have been telling of the need of faith in Christ were teaching salvation by our works. The very people who should have set a good spiritual example were doing the opposite. So, by their lives and teaching they were a hindrance to sinners coming to Jesus to save them, it's no surprise therefore that Jesus pronounces a series of woes upon them.

The words of Christ to religious men who had no faith in Him are a warning to us who profess faith in Christ Jesus. When the faith in Christ we profess isn't backed up by a life lived in obedience to Christ, then what a hindrance we are to others coming to faith in Christ Jesus. We as believers should be the very people who with our lips and by our lives are showing people the need they have to know Christ as their Saviour.

Our lack of compassion and sympathy for lost sinners is a hindrance to them ever coming to Christ. How can we expect them to come to Christ when we are living ungodly lives or not telling them about Him? Surely the ungodly world expects us to be seeking to live holy lives, praying for them and telling them about Christ if what we believe is true.

There is someone who lived, taught and died as you would expect if all are sinners facing the righteous eternal wrath of God, that person is Jesus Christ. Christ's life, teaching and death suffering for sins in the place of others showed His concern for sinners and their need of Him. Let's pray then that we will be more like our Saviour and not in any way be a hindrance to others coming to faith in Christ.