“The gates will never be closed; and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

Who am I? I am a ruined man, a man of unclean lips. Who am I to say that certain people are allowed into God’s kingdom, that I am welcome because I said “Yes,” but another is rejected because he said “No”? Is this kind of kingdom reserved for men like me? Why would a man’s decision make up God’s mind or seem to change a choice he made quite willingly and confidently before the world existed? Didn’t he love me while I was sinning? Why would he set a deadline, a limit to love that I thought had no strings attached; this love sounds more like a threat and manipulation, a cause for more rebellion.

I see the gates are never closed, and if there were those who weren’t allowed in due being unclean (including me), He would have to keep them shut because the beauty and the glorious mercy of God would be too attractive for even the hardest heart to reject. Every outsider would be weeping at the walls for a healing drink.

It would be like a child throwing a tantrum, giving no ear to consolation, and the father holding tightly in an embrace that radiates steady compassion. A hug that says, “I’m so sorry you are in pain, but I am here now, and I won’t leave you.” A hug that holds on, until it melts all fire-rage into a soothing pool of water.

Is it possible that liars and thieves will not enter in because they will all have been washed clean by the hug of God until they have received what they’ve been longing for as children scared their whole lives of trying to survive on their own, crying out for a perfect Father who not only sees them but loves them and guides them into this kingdom of glory and honor. It fascinates me that God sees something glorious and honorable in humanity, and I’ve been quick to condemn it to the darkness outside. Everyone will spin and cry for joy because their names were never left out of the Lamb’s book of life.

Oh what a relief it is to know God’s heart is to reveal beauty and honor, that he invites inside a man of unclean lips like me.