To open a combination lock, not only are all the right numbers needed, but they must be entered in the order and manner specified by the lock manufacturer.
Nobody but the maker gets to determine how to open the lock.
If we never read the instructions and try and open the lock our own way, it won't work.
What would lead us to believe following the instructions will open the lock? Perhaps we have seen others use locks from the same maker and they have been successful. If they were not, the lock maker would be out of business. So we have an expectation of success.
If we are given instructions but ignore them, we will fail to open the lock.
I emphasize 'correctly'. If we try picking our own numbers, perhaps ones that we like better, or use the right numbers but in the wrong order, the lock still remains closed.
Like the lock, heaven is opened when we do things as specified by the creator.
God, being the creator of Heaven, specifies what needs to be done and how it is to be done. Let's see what He has to say.
I Corinthians 1:21 - "it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."
Romans 10:17 tells us hear that hearing God's word will lead to faith. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
John 8:24 Jesus says, "for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins."
Luke 13:3 instructs, "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."
Romans 10:10, "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
Acts 2:38, "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
Acts 2:47, "the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."
However, to keep Heaven open to us, we must remain faithful or, like a lock clicking shut, Heaven will become closed. Should we allow that to happen, God shows us in Acts 8:22 that repentance and prayer are required to return unto him.
Can we help you follow God's instructions?
-- Zachary Van Tassel, May 2002 --