Renee and I were at the airport on our way to a conference. We had just checked our bags with the agent. As she handed us our baggage checks, she said, “Mr. Burt, just go out that exit, down the escalator, take a left, and back up the next escalator to security.” I heard her and her instructions clearly. As Renee and I walked out of the area, the escalators were straight ahead as she said, but, there were about a dozen people who also were leaving the baggage area walking directly in front of us. They all headed up the escalator. Now I knew she had said down but because I was in an area unfamiliar to me, I looked at Renee and said, “They are all headed up the escalator. Maybe they know something we don’t.” So we followed them. They all went up and got to a hallway that was a dead-end. We all got back on the escalator and went to where the agent told us to go to begin with. Just because it was a large crowd of people who ‘looked’ like they knew where they were going, we followed them. That was on me! I knew what the agent had told me and I didn’t follow her instructions.
That made me think about how many people are on a misguided spiritual journey. For people outside of Jesus Christ,
it is ‘the blind leading the blind.’ People follow the crowd to all the wrong places and have too much pride to admit that they really don’t know where they are going while living with doubts about where it will take them.
Many people get angry when someone like me says, “The only way of salvation and the only way to Heaven is through Jesus Christ.” Mohammad won’t get you there. Buddha won’t get you there. Transcendental Meditation won’t get you there. All the false religions – and that is what they are – will not get you there. And let’s be clear, there is a there – a place after death. Jesus died on a cross to take upon Himself, the punishment we deserved for our sins. Out of His love for mankind, He came to earth to do that. He died between two criminals also being hanged for a punishment they did deserve. One was too prideful to recognize Jesus for who He was, but the other one wasn’t. And because he wasn’t, and because he acknowledged Jesus for whom He was, and because he was willing to admit his need for a Savior, his death would bring him to ‘there’ – to paradise with Jesus.
Luke 23:39-43 (NLT) One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!” But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Jesus made it very clear that there was no other way to enter into His kingdom except through Him. John 14:6 (NLT) “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. NO ONE can come to the Father except through me.” Jesus is proclaimed by the world as one of the greatest men that ever lived. He is worshipped worldwide as God and as Savior and respected as a prophet by those that don’t believe him to be the Messiah. But the truth is, He either is who he says He is, or He was the greatest liar and con man to ever live – because He claimed to be God and Messiah! You cannot be a liar and be great. And there is too much evidence to prove of Jesus’ life, miracles, and fulfillment of prophecy to deny His existence and life. All this is to say, there is a world of people blindly following other misguided people up the wrong escalator, only to one day find themselves in a dead-end.
Hell was never created for man. It was created to contain a rebellion of angels who were deceived by Satan. He and the rebellious angels will be punished by God. God does not offer punishment but forgiveness through Jesus Christ to mankind. Satan is out to deceive anyone who will follow him to Hell. As the old adage goes, “misery loves company.” Satan hates God and all of God’s creation. He is out to do as much damage as possible before his time comes. Jesus revealed this saying, “The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 (NIV)
Jesus gives us a path to eternal life and a path to navigate this sin contaminated world. He tells us the escalator to take – the path of blessing, showing us what to give ourselves over to, and what to avoid. The world thinks there are many paths to God but it’s not so. Proverbs 14:12 (NLT) reveals, “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.” God’s word guides us to salvation and down a path of peace and blessing in the midst of any trial and storm. He’ll always lead you in His plan and you’ll be so very glad. Receive Jesus as your personal Savior into your heart and receive His gift of eternal life. When you do His Holy Spirit will come to live within you and your life will never be the same. You’ll begin to see the world through God’s eyes and His Holy Spirit will lead you as Proverbs reveals below!
Proverbs 3:4-12 (MSG) “Earn a reputation for living well in God’s eyes and the eyes of the people. Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over. But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline; don’t sulk under his loving correction. It’s the child he loves that God corrects; a father’s delight is behind all this.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2012 All rights reserved