When I go on trips to Manitoulin Island in Canada, it’s always great to have company.
For one trip, my potential company found that their passport was expired. I really want him to go, so I scoured the Internet to see if there was a way he would be able to cross the border. Over and over, I that you must be able to prove citizenship. Several sites said you must have a passport or one of several other documents. I found that you can get into Canada without a passport, but the US is a little stricter. It appears that there might be some other possibilities that will get the job done.
The bottom line is, it’s up to the US government and the Canadian government to determine requirements for entry. The boarder agent ultimately acts on the laws established. I read enough to take a chance and make the trip to the Soo with my passenger. The worst thing that could have happen is, we could have been turned away at the border and would have to try again after a passport was acquired. If we did get into Canada . . . then coming back to the US . . . well, he might just have to stay there. Oh well . . . I could get home.
Looking at that scenario, there was not much of a downside if we made the trip and were denied entry . . . However, that is not the case with regards to entrance into the eternal Kingdom of God. There is no second chance for entry. It’s critical that I get it right by the time I leave this earth. I’m always amazed when I hear people say, “Well, I think I will get to heaven if . . . “ and then, they fill in the blank. Just like a border crossing, it really doesn’t matter what anyone thinks. No one has the authority to make the rules but God.
Even though I believe God makes the rules, I sometimes try to fudge His requirements. If I have a friend or a family member who’s not living for Jesus but that person, at one time, has said “the prayer”, my tendency is to bend the standard a bit. I want them to make it, so I make excuses for them. “They’re backslidden.”
While the Bible says that entrance into God’s kingdom is completely based on the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross as payment for sins, it also says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” Proof of trusting in the payment of Jesus for my sin is demonstrated by the way I live my life. I don’t ever recall reading from the Bible the words, “Did you pray and invite Jesus into your life?” Instead, “Deny yourself and follow me.” “Sell all you have and follow me.” Etc.
In light of that, the most unloving thing I can do for people I come in contact with is, assure them that their entrance into the Kingdom is secure if their life isn’t consistent with God’s Word.
Well, I got word that my passenger was going to go to Canada with me. Yes! We blasted off with our fingers crossed. We hoped that we would make it. I don’t want to take that same risk with others when it comes to eternity. That is not a border that I want anyone to approach with crossed fingers.
Lord, help me to tell people the truth rather than what they want to hear or even what I want to believe of their destiny. Help me echo Your Word accurately, understanding that You set the rules.
Luke 9: 23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. (biblegateway.com, ESV)
More than just a BELIEVER in God, I need to be a FOLLOWER of Jesus!