Read thru the New Testament 2018
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids
Bible Reading: Matthew 7
In this chapter, Jesus tells His disciples that there is only one way to Heaven…Him. He uses 5 comparisons of different items to illustrate that although this is what God has determined…men are obstinate in their attempts to get to Heaven in a manner that they have determined. The thing to keep in mind was a common practice in Jesus’ day. When you wanted to make a point…you would make a statement…then you would make it a second time in a slightly different manner to reinforce its teaching and importance. Jesus makes the statement 5 times. I think He was telling us that this is a very serious matter of belief. He says that there are…
- Two Kinds of Roads (:13-14)—One that is the way to Heaven that God has determined. And another that includes all of the ways that men determine they will go to Heaven. The way to Heaven is like a narrow road…having only one lane. He tells that many people do not believe this. Instead, they believe that the way to Heaven is like a wide road…like a multi-lane highway on which people can choose which lane they wish to drive in.
- Two Kinds of Teachings (:15-16)—One kind of teaching is in agreement with what God has said. Then, there is teaching that is contrary to what God has said. Jesus says that people who teach this are “false prophets” (teachers). While their words may sound convincing and enticing…if you watch them long enough, their actions will betray their real intention. They are not trying to help people to Heaven…but to rob them on earth.
- Two Kinds of Trees (:17-20)—One produces good fruit and the other bad fruit. Neither can produce the other kind of fruit.
- Two Kinds of Professions (:21-23)—One kind that is based on the will of God. And the other kind of profession is based on man’s will. This one tries to tell God that their will is to be His will.
- Two Kinds of Builders (:24-27)—One that builds where the master builder tells him to build. And the other who builds where he wants to build.
The point of each illustration is to demonstrate that God has determined how people go to Heaven…and nothing that man determines will make any difference, or change the method.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
I am a native Floridian and from my early childhood I went diving with my father and friends. In 1974, when I was in college, I took a class in scuba diving to become certified. Our classes were held at one of the swimming pools on campus. However, there was one part of the class that required that we do what is called an “open water dive”. That is done in a natural area of water…not man-made. So, for that dive we went to Genie Spring, one of the many natural cold-water springs that are in central Florida. 35 million gallons of water a day flow up through the spring. This spring forms what is called a “chimney”, because it is in the shape of a round chimney that goes straight down. This chimney was about 20 feet deep. Then, at the bottom of the chimney, there was a large opening in one side. That opening was the beginning of an underground cave that led hundreds and sometimes thousands of yards away. The cave had many branches and connected with other caves. At different places, the caves went up to the surface and formed ground springs like the one we were diving in.
These underground caves were very intricate. Some led from one spring to another. Others came up through the ground. And others came up in the bottom of rivers and lakes. The amazing thing is that the water is incredibly clear…almost like looking through the air. This made them a very popular for scuba diving. It also made them very, very dangerous for two reasons. First, many of the divers were very inexperienced. They may have been diving out in the Gulf of Mexico, or the ocean. But they had never been in a cave. In the ocean, if you run out of air, you can simply go to the surface. But in a cave, it’s like being in a room and the only way out…is the way that you came in. If you run out of air…you can’t just go up. You’ve got to go all the way back the way you came in. There is a second problem with being in a cave. Going in, you are generally swimming against the current. The water from deep underground is flowing through the cave, up the chimney, and into the spring, or lake, or whatever. As you go in you pass many side caves. Sometimes they go a short distance and then just stop. But many of them go a long distance and then reconnect with the main cave. Going upstream it is generally easy to know which direction to go to get back to spring by just letting the current carry you. But here is where it becomes dangerous. When you turn around and head back…you can mistake one of those side caves for the main cave. The main cave sometimes becomes narrow and is hard to distinguish from a side cave. And, since you are going back towards the spring…the current is flowing through both of them. So, let’s say that a diver accidentally goes into a side cave. He swims for a while thinking that he is in the main cave. But then suddenly, the cave begins to get narrower and narrower, until finally, he cannot squeeze through. It is then that he realizes that he is not in the main cave because he had not had this trouble when he was coming in. So now, he has to turn around, go back, and try to find the main cave. That can be a problem. There are so many side caves that he could get lost and never find his way out. Plus, he only has enough oxygen in his tank to last about 1 hour. He had planned to stay down for 1 hour. He went upstream for 25 minutes. Being safe to leave himself 35 minutes to get back. But now, he’s lost. And he’s panicky, so he’s using more oxygen, than normal. You would think that this would be a rare occurrence. But unfortunately, it isn’t. In fact, records show that during a 15-year time span (1960-1975) that includes the year that I got certified, 150 divers drowned in the cave where I was diving. Today, to keep people from getting lost and panicking, inexperienced divers are only allowed to go about 50 feet back into the cave…where there is a steel gate installed that blocks off the cave. As another safety precaution, a thick, heavy-duty guideline (rope) is attached to the cave floor from the steel gate to the opening of the cave in the chimney. That way, there is never any doubt which way is out.
A year, or so, after I did my certification dive, I went back to the spring with some friends and we made a dive, together. We went down the chimney and into the cave. The cave made a sharp turn…but we could still see. Then, it made another sharp turn…but this time it became completely dark. I knew this was going to happen so I had borrowed an underwater light from a friend of mine. I reached forward with the light and turned it on. What I saw took my breath away (not a good thing to have happen underwater). There, right in front of us, was a tombstone. Not long after I had made my first dive there…three divers got lost in the cave and all drowned. Later, some friends put this tombstone there in their memory…and, as a warning to other divers. We didn’t go any further. Instead, we slowly backed out and spent our time diving in the spring.
One day, Jesus was speaking to a crowd. He told them that there will come a time for every single person that has ever lived…that they will stand before God. He will ask them why He should let them into Heaven. Some will say that they helped other people, others will say that they gave money, others will say that they attended church, and others will tell of other good things that they have done. To them, God will say, “Wrong answer.” They will not be allowed to enter into Heaven. Others will say that they accepted Jesus as their Savior. To them, God will say, “You may come into My Heaven.” This is the only acceptable answer. There is no other correct answer. Jesus says there is only one way to be allowed into Heaven…and that is by believing in Him.
It’s kind of like being in those caves. Many of the side caves look like the main cave. Some of them are very beautiful and interesting. They even have a current just like the main cave. But if you go off into one of the side caves…there is a good chance that you are not going to make it out, alive. The only way to be safe…is to follow the main cave. And Jesus is even more definite. He doesn’t say that you may make it…if you try to get into Heaven some other way. No. He says that there is absolutely no other way. The only way to go to Heaven…is to believe in Him.
Think about it. That makes going to Heaven very simple. You don’t have to figure out how to get there. You don’t have to work hard doing good things in order to get there. Jesus is the only way to Heaven. Believe in Him as your Savior…and you will go to Heaven.
Love you more than bunches and bunches,