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I want you to open your Bibles with me

to the Book of Judges chapter 16 and

verse 3 and Samson lay low till midnight

then he arose at midnight took hold of

the doors of the Gate of the city notice

this and the two Gate Post and he pulled

them up bar and all

and he put them on his shoulders and he

carried them up to the top of the hill

that faces Hebron I want to talk to you

for a few moments this morning

about Gates about gates in the Bible

the Bible in Acts 4 talks about a

miracle that happened at a place called

a gate called Beautiful

there’s something about Gates that God


it’s called beautiful because it’s

indicative of the way God views Gates

God has a fondness for gates in Psalms

87 and verse 2 he said the lord loves

the gates of Zion more than all the

dwellings of Jacob his favorite part of

the temple his favorite part was the


the gates have a special place in God’s

heart more than he loves the foundations

of Zion or the church or the temple he

loved his favorite part was the gate

there’s a difference between a wall and

a gate a wall shuts people out but a

gate lets people in

and God says because the gate has a

hinge that swings both ways

people can enter and people can exit in

my presence if they want to I love that

in other words the hinge is an

illustration and the gate is an

illustration of divine choice

God likes the fact and has a fondness

and loves the idea that someone can


to worship Him

that someone can choose

to come into His presence that someone

can choose to serve him

he doesn’t want a robot he doesn’t want

the just created angels that do nothing

day and night they’re programmed to


but he loves the fact that we can have a

choice to serve in and live for him and

honor him or not live for him and honor


choose this day who you will serve the

Bible declares and Joshua said in one

place as for me and my house we will

serve the Lord God loves the gates of


when God created man from dust and he

breathed breath into the nostrils of man

he put Adam and Eve in a garden think

about this and he put the tree of the

knowledge of Good and Evil in that


and he said now I don’t want you to eat

of that fruit

and if he didn’t want him to eat of that

fruit why didn’t he put barbed wire

fence around it why didn’t he put it in

a desert somewhere why didn’t he put it

on the other end of the Earth why did he

put it in the garden where they were

because he wanted them to choose if they

would obey him or not

I love that about God

because God loves choice

God says I’m not I just don’t want

people worshiping me out of decree out

of legalism out of fear of going to hell

but I love it when people love me and

they choose to worship me God says the

angels are obligated to worship me but I

made you and even when we’ve got

problems I choose to worship I want to

declare today that I choose to be here

I’m not here because I have to be here

I’m not here because because somebody

makes me do it but I choose to lift my

hands not just when things are good but

when I’m going through trials and when

I’m going through hard times I’ve buried

people that I loved and I chose to

worship god I’ve had things happen that

I don’t understand and I can’t explain

and it looks like God should have done

something it should have intervened but

he didn’t and I still choose to honor

and serve him even when I don’t

understand him oh that brings joy to our


as a matter of fact why don’t we just

make a choice and take a praise break

and give God glory you don’t have to you

can sit there if you want to but he

deserves the praise and he deserves the

glory you couldn’t even catch your next

breath if he didn’t give it to you

there’s an amazing story in Numbers

chapter 35 God spoke to Moses and he

said I want you to set up

these cities that I want you to call

Cities of Refuge and here’s the

principle of the six Cities of Refuge

it’s a place where people can rush

through the gate of decision

it’s a place where you see in the Old

Testament it was eye for an eye it was

it was it was uh it was if you hurt

someone in my family I had legal right

under the law of Moses to do the same to


and there’s even a story in the Old

Testament and it tells about how that if

someone’s swinging an ax and the ax head

accidentally went off and hit someone in

the head around that there was something

known as the blood of injure and let’s

say that that you killed by accident you

killed someone and there was a blood

Avenger you had right as blood can to

follow that person and find that person

and kill the person who killed your


and so God told Moses to build six

cities and strategically place them all

over the nation of Israel so that if

someone got in trouble if someone was

being pursued by a blood Avenger if

someone had something in their past and

judgment was coming to get them for

something that they had done if they

could just run fast enough to get to the

City of Refuge there were Gates on the

City of Refuge can you imagine what that

must have been like every night they

would lay down and they would wonder is

this the night when the blood Avenger in

my past is going to catch up with me and

cut my throat while I sleep can you

imagine that if they couldn’t find the

person they could go to one of his

children and kill them this was how the

Old Testament was the laws of the old

Covenant and can you imagine the fear

for the whole family but if somehow that

man who had done something and was

condemned and to death and judgment was

coming after him and seeking him and

hunting him if he could run fast enough

and get through the gates of the City of

Refuge he could find a place of safety

it was there if he entered in to that

place that he was protected he was there

in comfort and protection and safety you

see it reminds me of Psalms 91 he that

dwells in the secret place of the most

high shall abide under the shadow of the

Almighty I will say of the Lord he is my

refuge and my strength and when that man

would run and maybe the blood Avenger

was close on his Trail coming fast with

the Sword of Justice but the moment that

he made the decision to bust through

those Gates and enter in the gates would

close behind him and the Avenger of

blood could only come so far and he

would stop at those States and he would

have to say he’s saved he made it into

the City of Refuge I want to preach

today that when you come into Christ

when you come into Jesus when you come

in by his wounded side when the past and

the condemnation and the Judgment of

what you’ve done in the past is trying

to come and and make you pay the price

that you deserve the pay God says enter

into Christ enter into church enter into

the kingdom of God and I can shut the

gates and I can pronounce you clean and

I can pronounce you protected and I can

announce you safe and I can announce you

blessed when you come in hear those hear

the the trampoline of feed of the

Avenger of blood

and he cannot touch me

he cannot harm me he cannot hold me to

what I did when I was out there now that

I’m in Christ I am forgiven I am

protected I am shielded I am guarded

what must it have felt like when he

entered in not looking over his shoulder

not wondering if he was going to die and

face judgment

but there is a powerful thing that

happens when you when you give your life

to Jesus the sins of the past are held

at Bay

but there was one disadvantage to the

City of Refuge

and it was this it still had a gate

and that gate swung open both ways

and by the same gate of choice that a

person made to enter into Christ

a person can exit by choice if they

choose if they chose to enter the City

of Refuge as a type of Christ they could

choose to go back to what they were

running from

how many times I’ve watched people

run into the City of Refuge run into the

forgiving arms of Christ run into the


there’s actually a story in second

Samuel chapter 3 about a man by the name

of Abner and the Bible said he died as a

fool dies why

because he did the very thing I was

preaching he killed a man’s brother and

the Man’s brother was a man named joab

he was the commander of the armies of

Israel he was a killer and he was

chasing this man named Abner and Abner

ran and as he was just about to kill him

he ran through the gate of the City of

Refuge and having her was free and Joe

Adams sat outside the gate and he was so

Furious but joab said I’m just going to

wait here I’m just going to stay here if

you read the story in second Samuel 3 it

said he would go up to the gate and he

would call every so often it’s like your

past calling you back come on back come

on back that’s how the enemy does oh

it’s not so bad you can handle it I know

it almost killed you I know it almost

destroyed you but come on back to it the

Bible said when a person enters into

Christ and God sets you free from from

alcoholism and all the things that Satan

wants to use to destroy you you know

what the Bible said it said if you go

back to it this is a Bible verse it said

it’s like a dog going back to his vomit

and can you see joab as he would come up

to the gate and he would say come on

come on come on I miss you we’re having

a party come on come on come on

you know what one day

Abner as long as he stayed in the City

of Refuge he was safe

but something happened to him the Bible

said he had to stay there until the high

priest died and if and if the high

priest died he and his family could

leave and nobody could touch him well

the Bible tells us that Jesus was our

high priest at Calvary

but when you enter into that here’s the

thing Abner the Bible said one day

listen to Joanne and as soon as he

stepped through the gate and started

going back to what God had delivered him

from the scripture said that joab slew

him and the and the and the

summary of his life

was he died as a fool to us

what I’m preaching to you today is you

better stay in the house of God you

better stay in the presence of God you

better stay around people who love the

city of God you better make sure that

you don’t go back to what God has set

you free from you cannot offend me

enough to make me leave this church

you cannot gossip about me enough you

cannot talk about me and make me feel

bad nobody can offend me out I’ll come

right down here and I’ll throw my hands

up and I’ll worship him I’m never going

to leave God’s house I’m not leaving I’m

not backsliding I’m not going back to

the man I used to be Hallelujah I have

made up my mind I’m gonna live free I

have made up my mind I’d Rather Have

Jesus I’d rather have his grace and his

goodness because he takes good care of



how many of you know what I’m preaching


anything beyond your walk with God is

beyond the borders of his protection

and I’m not going to stay out there


I’m coming back

the Bible said that the angels of the

Lord encamped round about with

protection to them who fear Him

not everybody has Angelic Guardians

it’s to those who fear Him

but when you begin to go back when you

begin to get involved in things and what

happens is people start running back and

forth back and forth that’s no life

there’s no joy in that yes God will

always forgive you but there’s a greater

place that you can get where he can set

you so free from some things you don’t

ever have to go back to it you don’t

ever have to pick it up again you don’t

ever have to be that man or that woman


If any man be in Christ he’s a new

creation the old things pass away the

old life passes away and behold All

Things become new

don’t go out of the city

there’s no guaranteed protection beyond

the border of his will

God loves Gates

that’s why the Bible said that he put a

gate in front of hell

the Bible said in Mark 16 the gates of

hell hell has gates the gates of hell

shall not Prevail what does that mean

that means that if you go to hell God

didn’t send you there you chose to go


nobody goes to hell because their sin is

too bad that the blood of Jesus can’t

forgive your pride was too great that

you would not humble yourself and bow

your knee and confess him as the Lord

and the Bible said that heaven has Gates

he carried me away to the holy city New

Jerusalem and I saw 12 gates around that

City if you want to go to heaven you’ve

got a choice you are choosing Jews today

to go to heaven or you’re choosing to go

to hell and if you stay neutral you have

made your choice there is no neutrality

with Jesus Christ you either serve him

and you love him or you miss it

hell has Gates Heaven has Gates and it’s

your decision which one you go to and by

the way

it’s not just you but you’re that you’re

going to lead others with you

to one of those two Eternal destinations

his presence has Gates

did you know that just because you come

to church you don’t get into God’s


the Bible said enter into his courts

with praise and enter his gates with


in other words he’s he’s hemmed off his

real great presence from people who just

come to church and sit

but boy when you begin to worship Him

you say well I got so many sins in my

life I don’t know if I’d feel like a

hypocrite if I raise my hands well let

me tell you there was a man in the Bible

in Mark chapter five that had six

thousand demons and all he did was fall

at the feet of Jesus and started

worshiping and Jesus sent all the demons

out of him I don’t care how messed up

you are if you’ll throw a hand up and

say Jesus I worship you he’ll open up

the gate to Freedom he’ll open up the

gate to a new life and a new beginning

but I’ll tell you

I know it’s dark I know this nation and

what we’ve been seeing in in every area

of this nation it feels like we’re in

the craziest time we’ve ever been but

I’m so glad my children are in a city of

refuge and that we’re in the church and

he said the Gates of Hell will not

Prevail against my church I want some

parent I want some Mom some dad some

granddaddy who still believes there’s

power in the blood of Jesus even on your

family he can keep them on a college

campus he can keep them when everybody

else is doing it they don’t have to do


come on Praise Him the Lord is in this

place Praise Him

and I’m going to tell you those of you

in the church you better stay in the

church you better quit dabbling with

crazy stuff you better quit running you

can’t you can’t be going back and forth

on stuff if the Bible’s Rock Solid on it

but as a matter of fact I’ve read

something this week that blessed my

socks off

you know what I read I read about Coach

Kennedy do you all remember coach

Kennedy he was a high school coach and

you know what he would go out after

every game that they won and he would

kneel down on the 50-yard line on his

own time with about his own he didn’t do

take a microphone just get down on his

knee and bow his head and give God the


and they the woke Board of Education

said you’re fired

but the Supreme Court said they were

wrong you were right and you have a

right to Bow your knee

and he said I’m gonna have vow the knee

day Across the Nation I believe that

there are young men and young women who

are ready to say I bow my knee to the

king of kings and to the Lord of lords

and I’m not confused


I’m never going back to the things god

Set Me Free I want everybody in this

room to say I’m never going back

make it a bone decoration over every

addiction I’m never going back make it a

bold declaration over the old you I’m

never going back

I made a decision

whatever it is that gives you entrance

back into the world of sin rip it up

rip up the gates and say I’m never going


if it’s the music you’re listening to

remove that gate

if it’s websites remove that gate if

it’s deceit sexual sin peer pressure

crowds that you’re running with remove

that gate and watch what God will do you

have to surrender you have to take this

isn’t a religion this is a relationship

with Jesus and you have to take up your

cross but it’s a joyful powerful thing

because God begins to order your steps

enter into Christ

goodness and his forgiveness and His

Grace Grace is the ability to climb out

Grace is the ability to climb out

when God came to Peter in prison the

Bible said that that the prison door

busts wide open

but then he had to get up

he stood up and he walked out I’m here

preaching this morning the prison house

some addiction that has held you Grace

has busted the door wide open all you’ve

got to do

let’s get up

and walk out

and enter in

to the City of Refuge

his name is Jesus

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