In John 14:6, Jesus says:[quote style=”2″]”I am the way and the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me.”[/quote]
So that is a little narrow, you might argue. I might agree with you on that, but it is not My world – it is God’s so He gets to make all the rules.
Let’s look at this based on how things happen here on earth. My husband and I live in South Florida – the land of gated communities. This is how a gated community works should you want to visit someone who lives in one. The gate remains down at all times in the hope of keeping the riff raff out. There is a uniformed security guard at the gate. You drive up and he asks you who you want to visit. He then checks the book to see if the guard station has been notified that you are permitted entry. If your name is not in the book, he might call the homeowner and verify authorization to allow you in. If the homeowner does not answer, the guard will simply not allow you to enter. In order to get into heaven, the word says that your name must be written in “The Lambs Book of Life.”
It is dark, and you are traveling home. You see police siren lights blazing and realize they are for you. You get pulled over, and the officer says “you were going 45 in a 30 mile zone.” “But officer, I did not know that.” “Well the signs are clearly posted.” “I was in a rush to get home and watch my favorite show.” “Tell that to the Judge.”
The Judge might remind you when you arrive in Court, that you were traveling 45 miles per hour in a 30 mile an hour zone. You realize you should say something better than you were traveling too fast because your favorite show was about to begin and you didn’t want to miss any of it. “What do you have to say for yourself.” “Well your Honor, I disagree with the fact that the speed limit on that stretch of road should only be 30. I think it should be 45. “Well, this isn’t your town. You don’t get to make the rules in this town. Create your own town, and set the speed limits anyway you want!” “But your Honor, I didn’t see the speed limit signs.” “The signs were posted to give sufficient notice.” “I was busy. I had pressing matters and on and on and on you droll.” I will tell you that this is not going to end well for you.
The college professor announces to the class.”I am going to read the names of the following students who are not on course for graduating in June. I know that each one of you is well aware of the requirements for graduation. If you do not meet these requirements, you will simply not be awarded a diploma nor will you have access to the benefits enjoyed by the graduates.
You are meeting with an Administrator with the Social Security Administration. “I have lived with John Brown for the past forty years. I loved him very much. We shared the same home all these years. I lay next to him every single night for all those years. We never spent a night apart,.Aren’t I entitled to receive his death benefits under those circumstances?” “Nope. I am sorry. You were never legally married. You can’t receive his death benefits. “But we were kind of like married.””So why didn’t you get married?” “We were busy, afraid of the commitment, didn’t take the time, didn’t realize there were consequences.”
Many people will say, “well, of course, I believe in Jesus.” The fact is, the devil believes in Jesus. A man and woman can date for ten years but that does not make them married. The act of marriage requires two steps. The man must ask the woman to become his wife and then the woman must accept his proposal. Without the man asking and the woman accepting,a legal marriage can never take place.
When Jesus died on the cross, it was His the act of proposal. It was the invitation for everyone to live with his Heavenly Father for all eternity. But the second part that MUST be completed, it our formal acceptance of this invitation.
This is another simple analogy. If you were a foster parent, you would love that child, care for that child and want what was best for that child. But you would have no legal rights with respect to that child. In order to have those legal rights, the adoption process would have to take place. Few would argue that this is, in fact, true.
Unless the “adoption process” has taken place, you are God’s foster child. Yes, He loves you. Yes, He cares for you. Yes, He wants what is best for you. But He will not usurp the free will He has given you. He will not force His acceptance on anyone. He runs after us. He chases after us. He yearns for a relationship with us. Why, is sometimes a question that seems hard to comprehend. But He loves us unconditionally. When we don’t feel lovable. When we hate Him. When we screw up. When we sin. When we sin some more. When we disgust ourselves. There He is waiting for us to turn to Him.
So how difficult is the adoption process you might inquire. Do I have to get my act together first? No, that is the point. We can’t get our act together without the Father. Well, what about the sin in my life? Surely, that disqualifies me. I will tell you nothing that we can do on this earth disqualifies us from eternal life. Not cheating on your wife, having an abortion or two, stealing from your boss. God knew when He created this earth that we would mess us. That we would fall short.
It is like being on line at the State Fair and the person in front of you says to the cashier, here is the money to pay for the ticket for the person behind me. You got in free. Your ticket was paid for. You are waved in. Bet you would be happy!
At Christmas time, I heard of instances where people went to the local Walmart and Target and asked to pay off several layaway orders. Can you imagine the tears and joy of someone who was struggling to give their children a nice Christmas, to find out that their order was paid in full.
But I go to church and really haven’t committed any great sin, so why do I need a savior you may ask. So let’s look at this scenario. Say, you are, in fact, a basically good person. You claim you haven’t really blown it. Say,you only commit one sin a day. One little misstep. Over the course of a year, that is 365 sins. Over the course of twenty years, that is 7,300 sins.
The fact is that God is Holy. He can’t be surrounded by anything but Holiness. We can’t be Holy on our own.
You bring home a bushel of tomatoes. Everything is going great. The tomatoes are delicious. You are enjoying them. Then one tomato starts to rot. You separate that rotten tomato from the bunch. If you don’t, the others will also rot. Jesus came so that we don’t have to be separated from God.
I am not convinced that Jesus is, in fact, the son of God you might say. I am not going to even attempt to win that argument. I will simply say that if you sit down and read the entire Old Testament, you will believe in the New Testament. There are over 630 prophesies that Jesus fulfilled! Do the math yourself. Can’t be. Why did God put that many prophesies in the Old Testament and fulfill them all? Because, he knows our nature. Why did God just give us big enough brains to understand Him. Because He wants us to live by faith.
After just finishing the section about Heaven is Real, a woman from my church had commented that her four year old grandson also has talked about going to heaven. Why would God use four year old children to teach adults about such a place?Probably because four year old children can communicate clearly and still are blessed with the pure uncorrupted fearless faith of a child.
Are you ready?Jesus is knocking on the door to your heart. You have heard the knocks before. You felt disqualified and have refused to answer. Nothing disqualifies you. You have heard the knocks before. You were afraid to answer because you don’t have your act together. None of us can until we answer.
Well, if that is the case. Yes, I want to answer. Yes, I want to be adopted. I am sick of doing this myself. I am sick of trying to do this alone. I need Jesus’ strength, His power, His love, His companionship, so how do I do this?
It is so simple. The invitation was extended when Jesus went to the cross for each and every one of us. Just accept the invitation.
Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and need a Savior. I wish for you to come into my heart and cleanse me of my sins. I want to live for eternity with my Heavenly Father. I lay before you my hurts, my shortcomings, my gifts and talents, my very life. Make my life count for something. Amen.
If you have prayed that prayer, congratulations. Your name is now forever written in The Lambs Books of Life. My prayer for you is for God’s perfect divine plan for your life. My best advice is to find yourself a bible believing church that teaches the word of God. Get connected. Continue to ask for guidance. And hang on tight. If you submit to God’s perfect divine plan for your life, I promise you it will be a ride you could never dream or imagine!