The Heavens Opened

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 6
On a beautiful afternoon in late summer I went to pay a visit at a little cottage. I had frequently been there and had enjoyed the company of the man and his wife, both now past the meridian of life. The husband had been recently converted while attending the open air meetings on the village square. He was now happy in the knowledge of Christ as his Savior, having received the truth in much simplicity. The wife was still unsaved; and, knowing that her husband-blind and very dependent on her-had something which she had not, made her resentful, and stirred in her the natural enmity of the human heart to Christ. Since this feeling often hardens into bitterness unless God's grace is acknowledged and the heart melted under its softening influence, I was even more earnest in desiring her salvation.
The sun's rays were still streaming into the cottage through the wide open door as I entered, and I greeted her with the remark: "Mrs. Smith, your door reminds me of heaven's door. It always stands wide open."
She answered quickly, and with something of defiance in her tone: "May be for you, but not for me."
"What!" I replied; "heaven's door stands wide open for me, and not for you? What do you mean?"
As she did not answer, I said again: "Don't you know what opened the door of heaven?"
She stood quite silent, evidently not wishing to reply. I turned to her husband, who was sitting by the fire in his armchair, listening quietly. As if speaking to him, I said: "Your husband can tell you what opened heaven's door.”
He replied solemnly: "It was the death of Christ that opened the door of heaven, and I believe it!" Then, sorrowfully, he added: "But she won't."
"Yes, Mrs. Smith, your husband knows. Christ has died for us and for the glory of God, and heaven's door stands wide open now for perishing sinners. There is no barrier for anyone. The grace of God is flowing freely, and all are invited to enter. Won't you come in too? Your husband believes it, and is happy; why should not you believe, and be happy too?"
She was evidently affected and her heart softened. We sat down, and I spoke to her of God's wondrous love. I told her of His sending His Son to die, and shed His precious blood, that such as we might be made fit for heaven. "But," I said, "there will come a day, when the door of heaven will be shut. You would not like to be outside, and hear the Lord Jesus utter these solemn words, 'Verily, I say unto you, I know you not.' There will be no hope then! Oh, come to Him now while the door stands open. Soon it will be closed forever, and then—too late!"
A couple of weeks after this, as I was passing the cottage, I stopped to say that I would drop in on my return, as I had some other places to visit first. I was delayed in the village, and night had begun to fall ere I reached her door.
I sought to hurry on, saying that I had a long way to go, and that it was almost dark. The dear woman begged me to come in for just a minute or two, to hear something she wished very much to tell me.
Struck by her voice and manner, I stepped inside the cottage and she quickly began her story. She told me that after I had left, the last time I was there, she had thought a great deal about what I had said, and during the night she thought of herself as standing before the throne of God's judgment. If judged for her sins, what would be her terror when brought into the presence of the awful majesty of God! She knew there would be no hope for her, and that she would be condemned forever.
Her husband awoke, and tried to comfort her, reminding her that Jesus could save her. He, the Lamb of God, had died for her. Gradually she lost her fear, and, with a deep sense of security, she became quiet and fell asleep. When she awoke in the morning her dreadful terror was gone. She believed that Jesus had died for her, and that now she could never come into that awful judgment. "And," she said, "I have been happy ever since. I wanted to tell you about it, and that I know that heaven's door is wide open for me."
I saw them often afterward, happy and rejoicing in the Savior's love; and when their allotted years had passed away, He took them both to Himself, to be with Him in heaven forever.
God in the fiches of His grace is still calling sinners to Himself that they may be saved. The veil of eternity has been lifted, and He has told us what is beyond. There is coming judgment. "After death the judgment." "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."
Oh, come to Him today that you may know His love, and the salvation he freely gives. The door to heaven is open wide for all who believe in Him. And "now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation"!
"The heavens are opened wide,
Sound it through earth abroad,
And we by faith in heaven behold
Jesus, the Christ, our Lord."