“Getting There”


One afternoon, I turned a corner on the sidewalk.  I saw a great commotion.  The flavor of the people was excited and happy.  Curious, I ventured to the crowd.  I could see parts of a beautifully shiny convertible car sitting in the middle of the crowd.  Bold, as was my demeanor at the moment, I went through the crowd and asked the driver what all the hub bub was all about.  “I’m going to heaven!”  He answered.

It was a fast car, yes.  But tires need road.  In my perception, arrival in heaven needs more than a road and tires.  So I was curious about his means.  I didn’t say anything more.  I just stepped back to watch.

The driver waved at the crowd and started the engine.  The car purred with obvious power.  At the signal of his hand, eight strong men came toward the car.  Each one put his hands under the sides of the body and lifted the car.  They all turned their head toward the front of the car and began to carry the car!  All the while, the driver revved the engine up and down.  Everyone in the crowd was shouting with joy.  Applause went up from them like cracks from a large fire.

After a few steps, the men put the car back down.   The driver shut off the engine.  And stepped out of the car.  He was greeted with great enthusiasm.  The entire mass of men was full of great joy.

I was at a loss here.  My mind thought it must be some kind of circus act.  But they all looked to sincere.  I had to ask the driver what the deal was.

He looked at me with puzzling eyes.  “How is it that you don’t understand?  No one gets to heaven without friends to help him.   Accountability, boy!  It takes accountability to keep a man on the straight road.  These men carried me into dedication.  This is a sign of my vow to do what is good.  And by their testimony, I will be accounted as one who has faith.”

I just stood there speechless.  He was as serious as a spider bite.

Isn’t this what the social gospel promotes?  “If we just all get along, God will recognize our righteous intent.   If we do good for one another, God will surely praise our hearts.”  Yep.  That’s what it says.

“Wazzam Shazzam!”  We don’t need Jesus!”

It’s just too bad that Jesus was so amazingly mistaken.  He didn’t need to die on a cross to save our souls.  He didn’t need to suffer at the hands of men.  All he needed to do was praise our intentions.

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