FENTON, MI – A few years ago I was in the Trauma Center at University Hospital in Jacksonville, FL. A member of our church family was there with her father who was involved in a serious automobile accident. People were running everywhere and it seemed like mass chaos. One group of people were huddled in the corner, clinging to each other as tears rolled down their faces, and open sobs were heard throughout the waiting area. Nurses and technicians were scurrying about trying to meet the needs of so many hurting people. It was not unlike some scene from a television program like E.R. or New Amsterdam.
I am not a stranger to these situations or places, but this time there seemed to be a more intense atmosphere that filled the corridors. I needed to be with my friends and their father, but others needed more immediate attention. I tried to get someone to help me, but they were busy with more important matters. The actual treatment areas where the patients were cared for were separated from the waiting and admission area by a large double door.
I knew I needed to be on the other side of that door, but I was not allowed. The sign over it clearly stated that absolutely no one was to be admitted without proper clearance. I did not have that clearance, and only someone with such authorization could get me in. This one door kept me from where I needed to be. But something fascinated me about this door, and it was the fact that it did not have a conventional lock and key system or a push button lock activation pad.
The entrance locking mechanism was controlled by a biometrics security system. I had seen these devices in various places in my travels, but I had not seen one of these in use at a hospital before, so it did catch my attention. A biometrics security system is a system that scans fingerprints, palm prints, voice and facial patterns, or even the retinal structures of the eye, and then compares what it "sees" with data stored in a digitized memory bank. At this particular door a palm print scan was used, and all that was necessary to open the door was “yourself” --as long as you had your hand with you and you were on record.
After finally getting the attention of one of the trauma nurses and explaining my situation she simply placed her hand on the scanner and in less than two seconds the door opened. No fuss and no problem. I was in. No worrying with keys or numbers that could be stolen, lost or forgotten, all one need do is lightly place their hand on the scanner. If I had tried to enter through that door by placing my hand on the scanner it would have denied me entrance. No matter how much I needed to be on the other side of those doors, and no matter how much I desired to be given entrance, it would still be denied me because I was not on record with the data bank.
One day we will all stand before the gates of heaven. They won't be controlled by some biometrics security system, but one fact will still be the same, unless you and I are found in the "Heavenly Data Bank", (The Book Of Life) no matter how important it is for us to enter in or how much we desire to be on the other side of the Gates of Heaven, we will be denied entrance. No good works, no church membership, not ritual or deed will let us in.
What is required is for you and me to be sure the right information is in the right book? Is your name there? I know mine is and I want you to know yours is as well. Read, John 3:16-18. Cry out to God for His forgiveness and believe. You will be saved! May I encourage you to begin this year knowing your eternal information is recorded in the Book of Life. Don’t be denied entrance into heaven. If you have questions or want to talk to someone about this, call me! (904) 408-9521 is my direct number, and I am always eager to talk about the love of Jesus.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tim Patterson is Executive Director/Treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Elected unanimously in May of 2015, Patterson formerly served for 9 years as pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla. He also served as trustee chair and national mobilizer for the North American Mission Board.