Susan Beckett | The Dwelling Place City Church
A man once died and appeared at the gates of heaven. St. Peter told the man that in order to get into heaven he had to accumulate 100 points based on how he had lived his life. St. Peter asked the man to begin describing his time on earth.
The man said, “Well, I’ve been faithful to my wife for forty years and I pastored faithfully for forty-five years.” St. Peter said, “That’s great, that will give you one point, what else did you do?” He said, “Well, I worked with the homeless for about ten years and lead over one thousand people to Christ.” St. Peter said, “That’s really good – that will give you two points, what else did you do?” The man responded, “Well, I tithed 20% all my life and taught Sunday school for thirty years.” St. Peter replied, “That’s good too, and that will give you one more point.”
The man responded, “One point!!! Man, but by the grace of God, nobody is going to get into heaven!!!” St. Peter countered, “You’re exactly right – and that will give you one hundred points!” There’s only one way to get into heaven and that is by the saving grace of Jesus Christ and that’s why it’s so important to plug into the real thing.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of fakes out there! Actually, there are a lot of fake “everything’s’ out there – fake news, fake jewelry, fake drugs, fake perfumes…the list is endless. And the reason there are so many fake products is because the originals are so valuable!
If you ever saw the movie, Multiplicity, the 1996 science fiction comedy film starring Michael Keaton and Andie MacDowell, you may remember that Keaton made two clones of himself and then the clones made another clone. It got complicated! But trust me, a copy of a copy is never a good thing and creating fake people was a down-graded mess.
But it’s the same with everything fake. They are never as good as the original, be it watches, purses, electronics, money… or even God. There are many fake “gods” in the world today but only the God of the Bible offers authentic, substantive life!
Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the path, the truth, and the energy of life.” I love that translation – “the energy of life!” He also tells us that He gives true peace – badly needed in these troubling times and unlike anything the world has to offer – “The peace I give isn’t fragile like the (fake) peace the world gives.”
The Jews called this “shalom” but it means much much more. It includes justice, compassion, material prosperity, and all-around well being, plus it affects the entire community, not just the individual. The ‘world’ offers a fake peace, but the peace and values of God’s kingdom are the real McCoy!
Back in Biblical days, Rome touted the “Pax Romana” (The Peace of Rome) but Rome’s peace wasn’t so peaceful. If you didn’t go with the flow (their sovereignty & their fake deities) you were a goner. It was their way or the highway! The literal highway as evidenced by Roman roads lined with crucifixions and coliseums filled with dead men. Fake peace!
Fake stuff. It’s everywhere really! Think you have ever passed a fake five dollar bill? According to the United States Treasury Department, you may have. One of the reasons is because of a counterfeiter named Blinky, maybe the greatest counterfeiter of all times. He made fake five dollar bills that defied detection. It was impossible, even for the experts, to identify the real bills from his fake ones. It’s estimated that hundreds, if not thousands, of the Blinky-made five dollar bills are still in circulation.
A bizarre set of circumstances finally led to Blinky’s downfall. He decided to expand his operation and started printing fake twenty dollar bills. He was arrested when trying to pass one of his phony twenties. In court, his lawyer challenged the experts to identify the fake bill from the real one. Immediately, they did so. Later, Blinky discovered where he had made his fateful mistake. The bill he had used to copy his fake twenty was itself a fake! A copy of a copy. Again – never a good thing!
Someone once said that we need to mock false gods publicly. I agree. But then, we need to honor the real thing. So – To the King of Ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. And this is eternal life, that they know You – the only true God – and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes on Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Amen!
Bob and Susan Beckett pastor The Dwelling Place City Church at 27100 Girard Street in Hemet, CA. For more information, you may contact them at DPCitychurch.org
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