Parable of One Way of Salvation

Posted by Matt Postiff July 1, 2013 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Death  Theology 

For the occasion of our joint Singspiration Worship Service with Hiawatha Bible Church, I wrote the following parable. I hope it may be a help to someone who may be trusting the wrong thing for their salvation.

A man maybe about your age was resting in his recliner Sunday afternoon. He dozed off and as he was sleeping, he dreamed about the time when Jesus would come back to the earth. The thought he had in his mind had to do with how it would go with him when it came time to be examined to see if he were fit to enter the kingdom of heaven.

There was a long line of souls in front of an immense and beautiful throne, upon which sat One he was sure was the Lord.

He heard a few people ahead of him in line call out the name of the Lord and tell Jesus how they had done some spectacular things in His name. The man then heard Jesus reply that he never knew those people, and he threw them out and prohibited them from entering the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 7:21-23).

The sight was very troubling to the man in his dream, because he realized those people were finished. They had no hope.

He also heard some others tell Jesus that they had done their best to keep the 10 commandments. "Did you keep all of them?" Jesus asked them. "No," they replied, "not quite. We messed up on a few things, but for the most part we are good people." Then the man heard Jesus say these words, "as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them" (Gal 3:10).

These poor souls had not kept the law that they had professed to keep, so it made some sense that they would not make it into the kingdom. It was still troubling though, because they had falsely thought they were OK when they were not. The man began to wonder, as he watched the scene continue, if he himself was deceived about some things.

Then there were those who didn't at first speak to the Lord on His throne. So He broke the silence and asked them, "Who is it who was in charge of your life before you came here? Whose instructions did you follow or whose name did you respect?" As I listened in to their conversations, there were many different answers to that question. Some said that they themselves were in charge of their life; or some other historical religious figure or prophet. Jesus quickly dismissed all of these people.

To the question of who had been in charge of their lives, others replied that Jesus was. But the man who was dreaming all this got the feeling that they were confused a bit, because the expression on their faces indicated that the answer they gave did not match up to the person they were looking at. They almost had a question mark at the end of "Jesus" when they said it. This elicited a further question from the Lord on the throne. He asked, "Which Jesus are you talking about?" Some wrongly identified Jesus as one of the angels; some began talking about His mother in a way that seemed to deflect attention from the question; others said that it was the Jesus who was the first of God's creation; yet others emphasized it was the Jesus who sought to pour out life's material blessings on their lives. Once again, Jesus dismissed all of the people who answered in these various ways by saying, "If you do not honor the Son as you honor God the Father, you do not honor God the Father."

There were a few who said that they were talking about the Jesus who is Lord, the creator of all things and the Son of God, who offered Himself as a sacrifice for their souls. They didn't seem to have a question mark in their voices when they said the name of the Lord. These the Lord permitted to pass the throne and enter a small doorway to the right side.

There were more people in line than the man could count. It was a very emotional experience to see so many people going the one way, and so few the other way. There were a whole bunch of people standing in line who, as their turn came, explained to Jesus that they had done a lot of good things that they expected would be added to what Jesus did to pay for their entrance ticket to the kingdom when He lived on the earth Himself so many years ago; some told Jesus that they thought He had not resurrected from the dead; some, surprisingly, openly admitted they were sure He would not be coming back to the earth again--but of course, here He was. The man dreamed that Jesus told these people to depart too. There was an air of hopelessness surrounding such folks, because it was pretty obvious that there were no second chances.

Occasionally, there were those who said something different. When the Lord asked what they had done to enter the kingdom of heaven, they said, "Nothing, Lord. I believed that on my behalf you did everything Yourself to make it possible for me to enter the kingdom heaven. My sins were many but your righteousness was greater than my sins. You and your action on my behalf is the only way to enter here." Jesus replied in an affirming tone, "Whoever believes on [me] will not be put to shame" (Romans 10:11). These were ushered past the throne and into the kingdom like a few of the people earlier.

The man had not gotten to the front of the line by the time he awoke. He breathed a sigh of relief that it was only a dream, but he felt as if he had learned a valuable lesson. "Time to break out my Bible and make sure I know the right way to enter the kingdom of heaven" (Romans 10:17, John 3). [June 30, 2013--MAP]

If you are visiting tonight, we want to thank you for attending our singspiration worship service. We are a group of Christians who delight in knowing the Jesus that the books of the Bible describe. He is our Lord, the Son of God, the perfect man, who died in our place, who rose again from the grave, who ascended into heaven. He is our LORD. Because of our gratefulness to Him, we sing tonight. He has put a new song in our mouths--even praise to our God; we pray that many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD (Psalm 40:3).

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