Gates in the Bible: Gates of Jerusalem, Part 12: The Inspection Gate -- By Sue Ramsey and Lyn Chaffart
In last week's lesson on the gates of Jerusalem, we saw that the return of the Lord Jesus Christ is very near. We must live with this hope. We should long for His return and live our lives for eternity! Today's lesson takes us to the last gate mentioned in the series: The Inspection Gate.

"Next to him, Malkijah, one of the goldsmiths, made repairs as far as the house of the temple servants and the merchants, opposite the Inspection Gate, and as far as the room above the corner"
(Neh 3:31 NIV)

The last gate mentioned in the series was known as the Inspection Gate. As with the East Gate, very little known about it. In fact, this particular gate isn't mentioned anywhere else in the Bible. Based on the description, it is surmised that the Inspection Gate must have been on the in the east or northeast wall, a little to the south of the sheep-gate. [1]

What does this Inspection Gate signify for us today?

The answer to this question can be found in Matt 25:31: "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. ALL THE NATIONS will be GATHERED BEFORE HIM . . ."

Friends, we must all go before an "inspection station", better known as the Judgment seat of Christ!

But what is involved with this judgment, this "inspection?"

". . . As a shepherd separates THE SHEEP FROM THE GOATS . . . He will put the SHEEP on his RIGHT and the GOATS on his LEFT." (Matt 25:31-33 NIV).

The judgment will be a separation of mankind into two categories, differentiated by Jesus as the "sheep" and the "goats"!

But for what purpose? What happens to each of these groups?

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world." (Matt 25:34-35 NIV). "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'" (Matt 25:41-42 NIV)

Why would God see the significance of reminding us of the final judgment?

Because He hopes it will motivate us to desire the label "sheep"! Remember: "He is patient with you, not WANTING ANYONE TO PERISH, BUT EVERYONE TO COME TO REPENTANCE." (2 Peter 3:9 NIV)

We are told that the Kingdom of Heaven should be looked at like a treasure: "The kingdom of heaven is like TREASURE hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then IN HIS JOY WENT AND SOLD ALL HE HAD AND BOUGHT THAT FIELD. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine PEARLS. When he found one of great value, HE WENT AWAY AND SOLD EVERYTHING HE HAD AND BOUGHT IT." (Matt 13:44-46).

Jesus later admonishes us to store up our treasures in Heaven, not on Earth: "Sell your possessions and give to the poor. PROVIDE PURSES FOR YOURSELVES THAT WILL NOT WEAR OUT, a TREASURE IN HEAVEN that will NOT BE EXHAUSTED, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE YOUR HEART WILL BE ALSO."
(Luke 12:33-34 NIV)

This theme is further carried by Paul in his letter to Timothy: "Command them to DO GOOD, to BE RICH in GOOD DEEDS, and to BE GEMEROUS and WILLING TO SHARE. In this way they will LAY UP TREASURE for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may TAKE HOLD OF THE LIFE THAT IS TRULY LIFE." (1 Tim 6:18-19 NIV)

Friends, this last gate in the series, this Inspection Gate, once again calls us to live our lives with eternity in view. Isn't it interesting that this is also the theme of the last two gates as well? The entire Christian walk, starting with Salvation, all leads up to one cumulative point: We must learn to care more for the things of eternity than for the temporal things that we see around us!

Enough to ponder, friends, but do ponder this: The Inspection Gate reminds us that we are called to live our lives with eternity in view, for in so doing, we lay up our treasure in Heaven where NO THIEF COMES NEAR AND NO MOTH DESTROYS.

This concludes the series on Gates, and it is fitting at this time to quickly review all of the gates and their significance: In our Christian walks, we must first enter the Sheep Gate, signifying Salvation. Next comes the Fish Gate: Remember, new believers bring more people to the Lord than anyone else! Then comes the Old Gate, where we are instructed in the ways of Truth; after this, the Valley Gate, which signifies the trials that come our way and form us into images of Christ. This usually involves the uprooting of our human nature, which we will need to do away with: thus the Dung Gate! After this, we come to the Fountain Gate, which represents the outpouring of the Holy Spirit; and the Water Gate, which brings cleansing and encouragement and direction to our lives. Next is the Horse Gate, which speaks of the spiritual warfare that all Christians must pass through. But it also, along with the East Gate and the Inspection Gate, reminds us of the soon coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and the final judgment, so that we will remember to live our lives with Eternity in view!

Friends, it is our wish that each of you will take these lessons to heart. Wherever you find yourself in your Christian walk, there is something beyond! Keep your eyes fixed upon Jesus, and no matter what comes your way, you will stand!

God bless each of you abundantly.

Sue Ramsey & Lyn Chaffart Volunteers, Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org

[1] from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft on Nehemiah 3:31

(To access the entire "Gates in the Bible" mini-series, please click here.)