There are many important tasks to be done in preparing for summer vacations.
As our destination this year was the Bahamas, it was necessary for us to tackle
many tasks that we wouldn't ordinarily have had to tackle: Up-to-date passport,
immunization, plane tickets, and hotel lodging, to name a few. On the home
front, we had to find people to take care of our home, our animals, and our
ministry. It was hectic, but in the end, all of the preparation was worth it.
Just imagine if we hadn't taken all of those precautions:
"Welcome to Fort Lauderdale airport. May I see your passport?"
"Passport?" you sputter. "But I don't need a passport"
"Is that what you think?" asks the immigration officer, a slight smirk upon his lips.
"But, I've heard that the people in the Bahamas welcome anyone, no matter who they are!"
"Not without a passport!" he answers. "Take him away! Next?"
"Good morning officer. I am a respected citizen of the United States. I pay my taxes, I give to local charities, I have even donated funds to controversial democratic primaries. I am a swell of a guy, if you know what I mean…"
"Where's your passport?"
"Do I need a passport? I thought all my good deeds would count for something!"
"Another one of those! Haul him away!"
"But…but…You will regret this!"
"Here is my passport sir!"
"What's in that suitcase?"
"You are bringing a large suitcase of nothing with you? A bit suspicious, don't you think? Open it!"
"What's that woman doing in your suitcase? Don't you know everybody needs to pay their own fare?"
"I didn't want to be noticed with her in public… you see we are having an affair…"
"Lock these two up! Illegal human trafficking! Next! Open your suitcase ma'am … Why is it filled with anti-wrinkle lotion? You are not allowed to bring more than three ounces of liquid on the plane!"
"But people cannot see me with my wrinkles! I need to hide them!"
"If you don't want people to see you in public, stay home! Next! What's that barrel protruding from your bag sir…?"
I guess if you work for immigration, you never have a dull moment!
The same is true when one day we will meet our Maker face to face. A passport will be needed then, too, and that passport is Jesus Christ Himself!
"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12 NIV)
The only way for us to be assured of having such a passport is to have a personal, intimate relationship with the One named above. Otherwise… "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!" (Matt 7:23 NIV)
Many believers will insist they don't need this passport: "Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'" (Matt 7:22-23 NIV)
The same answer will be issued: without passport you cannot go in! "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!" (Matt 7:23 NIV)
Many believe a distorted kind of the gospel. Some hang on to their belief that God is love, and no matter what you do, you will be able to enter the Kingdom! "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!" (Matt 7:23 NIV)
Others work hard to earn heaven, and their religious activities are without bounds. They don't know their Maker personally, however: "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!" (Matt 7:23 NIV)
"But I believe in God, don't I! Why shouldn't I be able to enter heaven?"
"You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe - and tremble!" (James 2:19 NKJV)
Faith without a living personal and intimate relationship is nothing! Only through Jesus will anyone obtain their passport to heaven: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast." (Eph 2:8-9 NIV)
P. S. "Am I allowed to bring my baseball bats? I can't live without them!"
The Illustrator: This daily newsletter is dedicated to encouraging everyone to look towards Jesus as the source of all the solutions to our problems. It contains a daily inspirational story, a Bible verse and encouraging messages. HTML and plain text versions available.
The Nugget: Published three times a week, this newsletter features inspirational devotionals and mini-sermons dedicated to drawing mankind closer to each other and to Christ.