"…for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her." (Proverbs 8:11)
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What’s Your Exit Strategy?

If you were sitting in a movie theater and somebody yelled “Fire!”, would you run into the bathroom? Would you run into the projector room? Would you head for the supply closet? Probably not. My guess is, if someone sounded the alarm and you smelled smoke, you would run toward the EXIT sign. There’s usually a door right next to the screen, and the answer to your prayers is spelled out for you clear as day: E-X-I-T. This is the way out. This is the way to safety.

Now, what if the person you are with really, really wants you to run toward the bathroom? What if they believe, with all passion and conviction, that the door to the bathroom is the door to safety? “Here’s the a door!” they exclaim. “This is the way out!”

If you knew that the bathroom had no windows or other means of egress, would you follow them in? Again, probably not. Regardless of the person’s passion, regardless of their conviction, that door just ain’t gonna get you to safety. Quite the opposite. Sure, you’ll leave the theater, but you will be trapped in another place and will likely burn to death. Not pretty.

It’s nice to think that every door will get us to where we want to go. But, just because it’s a door doesn’t mean it’s the right door. Sadly, this analogy illustrates the backward thinking of millions of Americans. In fact, a recent survey of more than 35,000 adults found that the majority believe more than one religion can lead to heaven. Remarkably, of those participants who attend an evangelical Christian church, more than half stated that belief in Christ is not the only way to eternal life.

Y’all, let me spell it out to you in Scripture: Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 6:14)

The EXIT sign in the theater leads you outside to safety. No one gets out of the building except through the exit. (I know, at this point, some readers are starting to construct detailed arguments about how the movie-goer could make their escape through an alternate route. Maybe they could go back into the main lobby and out the front entrance. Maybe there’s a door to the back alley just for deliveries. For the purpose of this analogy, let’s say you’re in a small indie film house, and there’s only one freakin’ door. I don’t want to belabor the point.)

Just because you might think it’s not fair that some people don’t get to go to heaven doesn’t mean that it’s not the truth. Heck, sometimes I think gravity is unfair. I wish I could levitate. That would be cool. I wish I could step off the side of a building and not go ‘splat’ on the pavement below. It worked in The Matrix, why not in real life?

Because, the laws of physics aren’t necessarily “fair”. But, they are what they are. And, guess what? When we abide by the laws of physics, they work in our favor. We can even cooperate with the laws of physics, and achieve things we wouldn’t have thought possible. Who knew you could build a big metal bus with wings and fly across the Atlantic in a matter of hours? That’s working with the laws, not against them.

Look, it’s one thing to be tolerant and politically correct, it’s another to lack conviction or be feeble-minded when it comes to declaring your beliefs. If you state that you believe in something, know WHY you believe it. Be able to make your case succinctly and back it up, either with factual data or at least with personal experience. If you’re not sure what you believe, for heaven’s sake, do some research.

I know that Jesus is my personal savior because he saved me. I was born again on July 16, 2003, and my life changed. My personality changed. My desires and my tastes changed. Not because I willed it, or because someone else convinced me, but because God changed me on the inside—as soon as I started to cooperate. As soon as I submitted to His will instead of mine, I was able to experience things I never knew were possible. I became better than I was before—I had more integrity, more character, and more conviction. I still fall far short of God’s glory, but when I operate outside of his design…let’s just say I’m a hot mess.

I also believe that the Bible is factually accurate. Yes, you need to consider much of its content in a historical context. Yes, Jesus spoke in parables, which weren’t meant to be taken literally. Like the analogy above, they illustrate a point. But, the long and short of it is, early on in our history, we were duped by Satan. That broke God’s heart. He chose to redeem us by sacrificing His own son, who carried the burden for all our sins, past, present and future. Everyone say it with me now: For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Is it fair that Jesus is the only exit strategy for eternal life? It depends on your perspective. If you recognize that everything God does is born out of his infinite and unfailing love for us, then no, it’s not fair. Because we don’t deserve his mercy. We all have sin in our lives, which is why it’s all the more important that we understand, acknowledge and accept the redemption offered through Jesus Christ. He is our doorway to true freedom.

And, when you recognize the truth, you can really soar.

 

2 comments

1 Katie { 06.23.08 at 9:36 pm }

God is so good… this is just the thing I was speaking about a couple weeks ago! Thank yoiu for blessing me with this amazing tool of TRUTH!

2 Lori { 06.23.08 at 10:09 pm }

Ok, that’s just stronger than cat food! By that I mean, way to go sister! You nailed it – and I will definitely be passing this along. So glad I get to call you my friend!

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