I heard the late Adrian Rogers once describe a young man that was trying to find a bar in Chicago. It was called “The Gates of Hell.” Yes, there was an actually a bar called The Gates of Hell. I am not sure if it is still there or not. This is certainly not a place you would want to visit but someone had asked a man on the street where it was at. The man happened to be a pastor. He understood what the place was like that the man had been asking about.
He simply told him where it was. He didn’t try to share the gospel with him, he didn’t try to tell him about Jesus even though he perceived that they young man was not saved. He simply told the man how to get to this bar called The Gates of Hell.
The young man may have not know that the man giving him directions was a pastor and it seems certain that the young man didn‘t realize he was asking a pastor for directions there. He simply told this young man how to get to The Gates of Hell. Here is how he described it. Listen to the irony of his directions:
The pastor said to the young man, “you are already pretty close to it.” “Just walk down this street and turn the corner and you will find it half way down the block. Go down this street and turn right and go past Calvary. Once you go past Calvary, you can‘t miss it.” The church at the corner was called Calvary Baptist church and the young man was told, “If you want to get to The Gates of Hell, just walk right past Calvary and you will find it.”
No one knows if this man went to The Gates of Hell or not but anyone without Christ is headed there. Rob Bell aside, there are only two destinations for people; heaven or hell. The way to get to the real gates of hell is truly to walk past Calvary. But if you go to Calvary first, the gates of hell will not prevail against you nor will it ever prevail against the church; the Body of Christ. You see, Jesus went through it for this young man, He went through it for me, and He went through it for you. But we can not pass by Calvary. We must stop at its foot. Pass by Calvary and you pass by your only way out of the gates of hell.
As a pastor, I don't think I could have kept my mouth shut. I am not judging the young pastor, I am only saying that we have divine opportunities placed before us everday. We must be in the business of snatching people out of the path to hell. I pray I would have been faithful enough to witness to this young man although I can not say with certainty I would have been.
I hope it is not, or was not too late for the young man headed to The Gates of Hell.