I love red doors. For me, there’s just something right about a house with a red door. And as it turns out, I'm not the only one who thinks so.
There’s no mistaking the way into the home when it’s red. The entry becomes the centre of attention. Yes, a red door on a house is a beautiful thing, so it’s no surprise really that heaven has a red door.
Unlike most houses though, there’s only one way into heaven: one door. Heaven's not the unrestricted cloud-land that some might imagine. Instead it has but a solitary door by which we may enter: one that is painted red.
Now, you may remember your mother’s insistence on keeping a tidy room, but that’s nothing compared to the King of Heaven. Not one speck of dust is allowed! You see, if there was any dirt or mess in heaven, it would no longer be the perfect place that heaven – by definition – must be.
There lies the problem for us. Each of us have thought, said and done things that exclude us from heaven’s guest list. We’d leave mud all over the carpet!
The door was locked to us. Until that is, the day God painted the door red.
A Scottish tradition
In Scotland, there is a tradition of painting the front door red once the mortgage has been fully paid off. Heaven's door is red. The debt has been completely covered.
Though our muck would make heaven’s security turn us out, grace has bought us admittance. The red blood of Jesus flowed to purchase our passage into paradise. Admittance is a priceless gift.
Smashing through a window won't work
The Bible makes it clear that it is only the name of Jesus that can save us. Why is it then, that we so often look for another way in? Our own efforts to gate crash the party will only prove futile.
Have you ever locked yourself out of your own house? A friend was telling me this week, how he, after forgetting the key, was forced to throw a brick through the window of his own house in order to ‘break-in’.
When it comes to heaven’s door, we are locked out because of our sin. Only the owner of the house has the key, and only He can let us in. We must enter with Jesus, or not at all.
The red door that stands out
One of the greatest intellects of recent memory painted the door of his house red. It's believed that Albert Einstein did this so that he'd remember which house was his. He was someone who knew that a red door doesn't blend in.
Just like a red door, the death of Christ stands out in history amongst all other great acts. It points us to what is really important, and tells us that restoration of the God-human relationship was more important to God than anything else. He was willing to sacrifice his Son to have us in Heaven.
Red is my favourite colour, but I would never paint a whole house red. Red is a colour made to draw attention to details, to draw the eye to something important. Think stop signs, fire engines and post boxes.
Death is something we try not to dwell on, but something none of us can avoid. It’s a heavy reality that our hearts will one day cease to beat. The Son of God spilling his blood and returning from death deals directly with our finiteness and gives us hope like nothing else can.
No other door, whether it be religion, wealth, insurance, family or fame deals with the issue of our dying. Jesus dying in our place is a red door that stands unique amongst the competition, no matter how much it may try to distract us in the here and now.
The red door of passion
Red is the colour of love. It is the colour of determined passion. Red is the colour that reminds us of the sacrificial love of God.
There is no half-heartedness in the way God feels about you. He doesn’t try to avoid disappointment like we might, by thinking, “if he does he does, but if he doesn’t, well, okay.”
No, His love is all or nothing. It pursues us to the end of the earth. The cross proves that there is no length that God would not go to, to have you with Him in heaven.
Heaven’s door is red. He wants you to come in, and he wants it desperately. Heaven’s door is red. It is the only way in.
Next time you see a house with a red door, remind yourself of Heaven, and the blood of the One who made it your home.
Tom Anderson is 29 years old and has one wife, two kids, three hobbies, and four jobs, though he is only paid for one. He has lived in one state, two towns (and a city), visited three countries, and writes for fun.
You can find Tom’s other articles at
Tom Anderson is pioneering www.haventogether.com, an online church plant supported by his in-person church, Catalyst, Ipswich. He has a young, growing family and enjoys playing backyard sport. Tom is a keen long-distance runner, averaging 21km each day last year. He has worked as a teacher for eleven years and enjoys perfecting a flat white on his home espresso machine. Tom would welcome a visit for a coffee some time… or an online catch-up via Zoom. See the Haven Together website to get in touch.