Take the Loophole!

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I’m sure most of you who drive have taken a wrong turn now and then – turning right when you should have gone left. It’s usually a pretty easy fix. But not so easy if you get on the wrong road and don’t realize it for awhile, if ever!

Just over a year ago, we added a new dog person {Boogie} to our family. (I call them “dog persons” because they really think they are us. Hard to explain if you’ve never owned a dog!) We drove to north Temecula to pick up our new guy and my husband decided he would check his car GPS on the way home for a shortcut. Our “shortcut” took us over hill and dale, all the while with me holding our new puppy, and him – being a bit nervous – drooling and throwing up the entire time. Wrong road? Oh yeah!

Taking the wrong road may not be a big deal when simply driving around town or even on a long road trip, but it’s an especially weighty matter when you are talking about life’s final destination. Matthew 7:13-14 gives us this explanation: “You can enter God’s kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to Hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow…and only a few ever find it.”

The images are pretty clear and Jesus makes sure we understand the destinations: the road which is broad – and easily traveled – leads to Hell. The second road, the narrow one, is the road that leads to life (heaven). Notice the road to life has a narrow gateway. There is only one way into heaven – that’s why the Bible calls it a narrow way. Outside of receiving Jesus as your savior, there is no other way to salvation, as Jesus is the only one who substituted His life for ours!

Proverbs 14:12 put it this way: “There is a way (another road) that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” As Augustine (354-430 AD) so apply put it: “A man may lose the good things of this life against his will; but if he loses the eternal blessings, he does so with his own consent.” Thankfully, in this life, it’s never too late to get yourself on the road that leads to eternal life. As someone once said, “Only fools and dead men don’t change their minds. Fools won’t. Dead men can’t.” We only have this life to choose which eternal course we want to take.

The fact is, the claims of Jesus are so astronomical, that if true, I’m compelled to spend the rest of my life spreading the message of that truth. However, if it’s all a lie, it affects so much of humanity, I would feel personally obligated to spend the rest of my life disproving it. What’s my point? There’s no neutral ground here. Either Jesus is God or He is a liar! Either heaven is a gift offered to us or it’s not.

So let’s say I arrive home one evening to find my neighbors’ house going up in flames. The fire is intense and the smoke is thick, but I do everything I can to rescue those trapped inside! Just how different is that from a Christ-follower sharing the way of salvation with those same neighbors – or with a friend or relative?! Not much. William Barclay nailed it when he said, “The awful importance of this life is that it determines eternity.” So why in the world would a believer not share this critical information?!

I love how Billy Graham put it to people: “You’re born. You suffer. You die. Fortunately, there’s a loophole.” You see, Jesus is not one of many ways to God; neither is He the best of multiple ways; He’s the only way! Quoting Augustine one more time: “He who created us without our help will not save us without our consent.” So go ahead – take the loophole!

Bob and Susan Beckett pastor The Dwelling Place City Church at 27100 Girard Street in Hemet, CA. For more information, you can visit them at DPCityChurch.com.

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