Fatal entry plans
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
– Proverbs 14:12
WINDSOR, ONTARIO – In January 1985, a large suitcase, unmarked and unclaimed, was discovered at the customs office at Los Angeles International Airport. When U.S. Customs agents opened the suitcase, they found the curled-up body of an unidentified young woman.
She had been dead for a few days, according to the coroner. As the investigation continued, it was learned that the woman was the wife of a young Iranian living in the U.S. Unable to obtain a visa to enter legally and join her husband, she took matters into her own hands and attempted to smuggle herself into the United States in the airplane’s cargo bay. While her plan seemed to her simple though risky, officials were hard pressed to understand how such an attempt could ever succeed. Even if she survived the journey in the cargo bay, she would remain an illegal alien, having entered through improper channels.
This scene is eerily similar to the one in August 2021 at Kabul airport. Afghan citizens, desperate to escape the rule of the Taliban, clung to the sides and wings of a U.S. Air Force airplane as it taxied down the runway.
Some people believe they’ll enter the kingdom of God on their own; by their own devices and decisions. They reason that they have been good, law-abiding citizens who never cheated the government (too much) and never hurt anyone intentionally. They feed the hungry, support Little League Baseball, and oppose abortion. They care for failing grandparents in their own home rather than send them to hospice. They are good people with good intentions. Baptized, catechized, and confirmed, they have attended church at times and given money to support it. Striving and working hard to get to heaven, entry plans of their own design prove not only foolish but fatal.
The Bible says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 16:25).
Through the ages people have tried to become citizens of heaven through various means that seem right: good works, philosophy, morality, and even religion. But there is only one way to God, the rest lead to spiritual death and separation from God.
“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” (1 Pet. 3:18). Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
You and I have wonderful friends in our churches who no longer believe this. “Nearly 70% of born-again Christians disagree with the biblical position that Jesus is the only way to God, according to a new survey from Probe Ministries, a non-profit that seeks to help the Church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview” (christianpost.com/news, “Nearly 70% of born-again Christians say other religions can lead to Heaven: study,” Thursday, October 21, 2021). What will we do? Pastors are evangelizing their own church members!
Entry plans for the kingdom of God are understandable and direct, no matter how long you’ve “been in church” or sung in the choir. Admit you need a Savior. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Be willing to turn from your sins in repentance. Trust in Jesus, who lived the perfect life you and I could not live, and died the perfect death we could never die, and rose again from the grave to rescue us from a life of sin and disobedience to God.
The Bible says, “If you confess with your mouth the LORD Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
Enter through the proper channels and you will receive eternal life!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Garth Leno is the Pastor/Planter Care Specialist with the BSCM. He serves in a similar role with the Canadian National Baptist Convention, and he is the founding pastor of The Gathering Church in Windsor, Ontario, a church he planted with his wife, Patty, and a few of their friends.