Risky Business!

Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand

Matthew 4:17
Isaiah 8:23-9:3; Psalms 27:1,4,13-14; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13,17; Matthew 4:12-23

“Repentance” is the title of a short story by the Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy. It’s the tale of a repentant sinner and the difficulties he encounters as he attempts to enter Heaven. Having never done a good deed in his entire life, the old man’s last words are an appeal to God as he begs, “Lord forgive me!” The man dies and arrives at the gates of Heaven, only to find they are locked. He knocks repeatedly in a futile attempt to gain entry but his knocks go unanswered. And then a voice speaks to him from within the gate: “Who is this man that knocks at the gates of Paradise, and what deeds did he do during his life?”

The voice of his Accuser answers, reciting all of the man’s evil deeds, and not even a single good one. And the voice from within the gates replies, “Sinners cannot enter into the kingdom of Heaven.” So the man says, “Lord, I hear your voice…

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