It had been an unusually hectic Friday morning. My wife Sue and I were finishing the final stages of packing for a month in Johannesburg, South Africa. When the car was finally packed, we left for the funeral home. I had been honored with a request to preach the funeral of a dear friend. After the funeral service and interment, we had to go promptly to the airport to catch the first section of our flight. With but a few minutes to spare, we made the first connection and flew to Atlanta. Wheelchair assist moved us quickly to the departure gate for our South Africa flight. The boarding process began, and Miss Sue was just ahead of me. The agent checked her passport and waved her through. He took my passport and with a troubled look said, “Mr. Lauter, I can’t let you on this plane”. To my shock and dismay, there was a problem with the number of pages in the back of the document.
No amount of my pleading or tears from my wife would avail. I was not allowed to board. The problems continued to mount. The passport office in Atlanta would not open until Monday morning and that by appointment only. Miss Sue would have to go on ahead on this flight because the Monday flight was overbooked. I was stopped at the gate and sadly watched her disappear down the boarding walk.
What a life lesson was impressed on me that day! I assume that all of us want heaven to be our final destination. But we must know, like my flight to South Africa, there is a ‘valid passport’ requirement to gain entry. Our passport is the new birth.
Jesus shared with Nicodemus, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). The Apostle Paul gives this advice to those seeking entrance into heaven: “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?-unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
As an experienced traveler, I should have checked my passport more carefully. Rest assured that if you are not qualified, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Pleading and tears will not avail. Matthew 25:30: “And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Do not wait until the time of your departure is at hand. Be prepared. “Prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve Him only” (1 Samuel 7:3). Be ready to meet the gatekeeper of heaven. Because the spirit of Christ dwells in us, “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment” (1 John 4:17).
“Enter In Through The Gates Into The City” (Revelation 22:14)
~ Brother Roy