Suppose you had just boarded an airplane that was soon to depart. Perhaps you were going to a distant city to see relatives or old friends. Maybe you and your family were leaving to begin a much deserved vacation trip, or you might be a sales person going out to close a major business deal. Whatever the reason, everyone was settled in their seats and all were ready to go.
Moments before the door closed, airline officials with somber looks on their faces boarded the aircraft. They immediately went to the public address system and began to speak. “Ladies and Gentlemen, we must inform you that this airplane has a serious built-in defect and we know for certain there is a 20% chance it will crash and burn during this very trip. Of course, when it does crash, all on board will surely die.” They went on to say, “However, we have a different plane available and waiting at the next gate. It’s mechanically perfect, it will depart at the same time going to the same city, and there’s plenty of room on board for any of you who would choose to change flights. However, if you choose to stay on this plane, you know our warning has been made very clear and the choice to stay is yours.”
Although you might have safely traveled on this flight dozens of times in the past, you are now aware there’s a one in five chance it would crash on this trip. No rational person would ever accept those odds with their life when a totally safe alternative was readily available. Because of that, it's very likely this potentially doomed plane would soon be completely vacated, maybe even before the officials had finished speaking. No one would want to risk his life in that situation.
However, millions of people today are ignoring another certain probability that will impact their eternal future. The Bible clearly warns us that if we have not invited Jesus into our heart as our Savior and Lord of our life, then there is a 100% sure chance that we will face God’s wrath, His judgment, and then eternal separation from Him. There simply are no other odds here. Either we choose to follow Jesus, or we lose it all. Rejecting or ignoring the message of the gospel is much like playing Russian roulette with a fully loaded gun. They are both a 100% guarantee for disaster. As in our airplane story, people will act quickly when a 20% probability threatens their life. But ironically, those same people will reject or ignore the sure 100% probability of losing their eternal life by failing to respond to the gospel message.
Just as that airplane had a serious built-in defect, the entire human race has a fatal flaw. That flaw is called sin. The Bible teaches in Rom. 5:12 that after Adam and Eve were tempted in the Garden of Eden and made the choice to disobey God, all of future mankind would be born with a sin nature. As a result, we are not worthy of the glory of God within ourselves and are deserving of eternal death. Rom. 3:23 tells us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Also, in Gal. 3:22 we learn that the whole world is a prisoner of sin.
God loves us, His creation, so much that He provided a plan of salvation for all who would choose to accept it. In John 3:16, we learn that God sent His Son Jesus to shed His blood on the cross in our place so that whoever believes might have eternal life. He paid the full penalty for our sins on that cross. You see, our God is a Holy, righteous God and He cannot look upon sin. All of our sins will bring God’s judgment and everlasting punishment unless we become born again through Christ’s finished work on the cross. Heb. 9:22 clearly says that without Jesus shedding His blood on the cross there can be no remission of sin. Rom. 6:23 explains that the wages of sin is death, but eternal life is God’s gift in Christ Jesus.
All of us can receive God’s free gift of salvation if we only choose to accept it. His gift is offered to us, but it will not be ours until we reach out in faith to receive it. To claim that gift, we must realize we are lost sinners and need the Savior in our life. We must understand what He did for us and humbly confess our sins before Him. We must ask His forgiveness for our sins and truly repent of our sinful ways. Then, we need to invite Jesus into our heart and life as our Savior and Lord. That is the born again message Jesus spoke of in John 3:3.
God’s Word is infallible and we must simply accept His promises by faith. Eph. 2:8,9 explains that it’s by grace we are saved through faith and not a result of any works we might try to do by ourselves to merit our salvation. Rom. 10:9,10 promises that if we confess with our mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved. These promises are clearly available to all because Rom. 10:13 says that whoever will call on the Name of the Lord will be saved. That promise includes you and me.
The very moment we become born again, scripture tells us we become a new creature in Christ and all things become as new. We have His promise that all our sins will be forgiven and remembered no more. We will learn to pray and find comfort in His Word. He will be our strength and shield as well as our friend forever when we put our complete faith and trust in Him. The promises in God’s Word give us absolute assurance of our eternal salvation through Him. Praise God for His amazing grace!
If we are truly living for Him and He lives in our heart, then our ‘ticket to fly’ is 100% confirmed and ready for the day God calls our name. Odds just never get any better than that! Is He truly the Lord and Master of your life? Do you know where your ticket will take you? Are you absolutely certain where you will spend all eternity?
If you can’t answer ‘yes’ to those questions with total confidence and 100% certainty, then I urge you to get on your knees before God in humble submission and repentance, and then invite Him into your life. He’s waiting patiently for you to call on Him. Please do it today!
During retirement, my prayer is that I might serve the Lord by sharing the Gospel through my writing. As the Lord leads, my work will inform, challenge and encourage. I also enjoy Biblical theme woodcarving, Bible studies and Christian music. Watch, pray and keep looking up!
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