“When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door…”– Luke 13:25
It would appear that “and” is the critical word in Jesus’ decree. The Master of the house, Jesus Christ, has undoubtedly “risen up.” For when Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would come and baptize the saints, He was received up in a cloud as the disciples stood watching (Acts 1:9). Our Lord died on the Cross for our sins, was buried, resurrected on the third day, and ascended, sitting now at the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:32-33). However, the Lord has not completed the entire sentence for those still walking on earth. The narrow gate remains open for those striving to enter!
Dives, as the rich man’s title in Latin, sought the kingdom, so he thought. He was one who ate and drank in intimate settings with Christ. He was there when Jesus taught in the streets. He had many opportunities to accept Jesus as the Messiah, but he never did. Dives became “one surprised to find himself in hell.” It would be the recollection of these occasions in his mind that would cause him the most torment in Hades. He claimed his heritage by calling out to Father Abraham yet quickly discovered that customs and cultures do not carry the promise of heaven into the afterlife. It is God’s gift that is eternal life and that only through Jesus Christ, our Lord (Romans 6:23).
Jesus’ words are unambiguous, dying without Him will “shut the door.” As Father Abraham exclaimed, “there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us” (Luke 17:26). In the afterlife, there is no holding area for souls waiting for heaven. Only lost souls awaiting final judgment (Revelation 20:15). Our Lord and Savior has risen. However, He still knocks on that door of hearts. We can open the door to Him in this life or shut on us in the afterlife.
“…there is nothing you could do which would gladden the heart of God more than to say, ‘I receive Thy Son; I trust Him now as my Saviour; I own Him as my Lord.’ It is written, ‘That if though shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.'”– H. A. Ironside