Neilah

The closing service for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement is called, “Neilah.” It means closing and refers to the closing of the gates. The final service of Yom Kippur ends at sunset which is also the time the gates of Jerusalem used to close.

Since these were the closing minutes of Yom Kippur time was running out to convince God to forgive you of your sins. The rush was on to make sure you could get inside the gates of heaven.

The rabbis acknowledge that the gates of heaven never close. God is always willing to forgive people of their sins, so they could ultimately enter the gates of heaven when their time comes to leave this earth. But they realize that too often when we are not faced with a deadline, we keep putting things off, and never get around to doing what we want to do. Because of this reality, the rabbis created this service to give people a little push.

What do we need to do to be sure that we will enter the gates of heaven when we finally leave this earth? What does the Bible teach us about entering the gates of heaven?



(Matthew 7:13-14 TLB) “Heaven can be entered only through the narrow gate! The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide enough for all the multitudes who choose its easy way. But the Gateway to Life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.”

Yeshua told us that there are two gates; one leads to life and one leads to destruction. The gate that leads to death is wide so it is easy to follow and many people enter it. On the other hand, the gate to life is narrow and hard to follow so only a few people enter the gate of life.

Yeshua not only tells us that the gate to heaven is narrow, but that the road to get to this narrow gate is also narrow. We need to carefully live our lives according to the instructions of God’s Bible which provides limitations and restrictions. We need to be aware of God’s limitations and restrictions if we want to stay on the narrow road.

If you welcome God’s limitations and restrictions, you will remain on the narrow road and ultimately arrive at the narrow gates of heaven. Now that you know this, I need to share one more important thing about the narrow gates of heaven.

 


(John 10:7-10 NLT) “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before Me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through Me will be saved. ... My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

Yeshua is the gate. He invites and allows people to enter a land filled with good pastures. Yeshua must allow us to enter His presence or heaven.

(John 10:1 NLT) “I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber!

When we want to enter our home, we use our key to unlock the door. This is the proper way to enter our home, or any building. When you see someone put a key in a door you probably don’t think too much about it. But, if you see someone climbing over a fence or into a window of a home, what would you think? The first thought that should come to your mind is, “Is this person trying to break into the building or home?”

Yeshua is the gate; the legal and proper way to enter property or a home. If people try to enter the Kingdom of God any other way besides going through Yeshua: the gate, they are trying to enter a place they have no right to enter. If you want to experience a rich and satisfying life here on earth, and forever with God, Yeshua is the only gate into the presence of God.

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