OK, so I looked like an idiot. I’ll admit it.
My wife and I had just finished our weekly lunch date and exited the restaurant. We nonchalantly strolled to our customary parking place and I proceeded to attempt to unlock her door. For some reason, my key wouldn’t work.
What was the problem? Could this be the wrong car? No, of course not. It was the same shape and color as mine, it was in “our” spot, and my subconscious mind noticed the ever-present child seat in the back. So, I tried again. Still nothing. So much for impressing her with my stunning display of chivalry.
Suddenly something caught my eye. In the next parking spot sat a car that looked exactly like the one I was trying to enter. Uh-oh. Sheepishly I glanced around to make sure that no one had witnessed my blunder. In my mind I envisioned “Local Pastor Arrested for Carjacking” emblazed across the headlines of the next day’s newspaper. Surely that would be detrimental to my legacy. Thankfully, we seemed to be all alone in the deserted parking lot. However, just as a sigh of relief was about to escape my lips, I caught a glimpse of two ladies standing just inside the restaurant window. It would have been bad enough if they had been annoyed that I was trying to steal their car, but it was worse. They were laughing. Whether they were laughing with me or at me I do not know. I did not stay around long enough to find out.
Attempting to enter a car with the wrong key just does not work. In fact, it is downright foolish. Regardless of how hard I tried, I could never be successful.
There is, however, something much more foolish than attempting to enter a car with the wrong key. It is attempting to enter Heaven without Jesus. If you have been around church for any length of time, that phrase may seem a little trite to you. However, it is worth contemplating again.
What is the key that you are using to open the door to God? It is possible to have many excellent keys available—such as being a good citizen, attending church, or donating to charity. These are all wonderful, but they cannot open the door. It takes faith in Jesus Christ whose death appeased God’s wrath for our sins.
John made it pretty clear when he wrote that “he who has the Son has life” but “he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (I John 5:12). There is no middle ground. There is no alternative. If you have the Son, you have life. If you do not have the Son, you do not have life.
As I humbly stood by that car holding the wrong key, I felt ashamed. However, when I stand before God one day, I will have confidence. My trust is in His Son, and He will accept me based on His merit.