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Do you have your personal passport?
June 28, 2010
by Dr. Tom Rakow, pastor; Grace Bible Church, Silver Lake

Today, most people realize that to travel to Canada from the US, one must have a personal passport.

No one in their right mind would plan a trip across the border by using their parent’s passport, their neighbor’s passport, their spouse’s passport, or even their pastor’s passport. To cross our northern border, one must have their own personal passport.

There are many people who are planning on going to heaven, but don’t have the foggiest idea of what they need in order to enter. Some think that because they grew up in a religious home, or went through some religious trainig or ritual, they will be allowed into heaven. Others are resting in the spiritual commitment of some family member, such as a parent or a spouse.

A few years ago, I went to Canada for a speaking engagement. Just prior to leaving the US, going through Canadian customs, there was a toll booth where I was required to pay $6. On the way back into the US, although I was going through a different entry point, I assumed that I would probably need to pay the same $6 toll.

As I approached the booth, I made the miserable mistake of holding out a $10 bill with my passport. The immigration officer interpreted my actions as some sort of low-budget bribe. I tried to explain my wrong assumption, but soon found myself being frisked and having an immigration officer going through my entire vehicle.

There are those who try to combine their own efforts with what Christ has already done at Calvary. Many think that if they keep most of the Ten Commandments, most of the time, it will get them through the pearly gates. However, the Bible teaches exactly the opposite.

The apostle Paul said, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) If we could get into heaven by what we do, why did Jesus die on the cross?

Again, the Bible states, “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” (Titus 3:5) If we depend on what we have done, or hope to do, in order to get into heaven, we are not depending upon what Jesus Christ has already done on the cross.

We often assume that most people will make it to heaven. Nevertheless, Christ made it clear that few will enter into paradise. Jesus was once asked, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” (Luke 13:23) Jesus’ response made it clear that most people won’t. He said, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.” (Luke 13:24)

It’s amazing how some will thoroughly research what they can and can’t take with them for a few days of vacation, but refuse, or fail to research the requirements for spending an eternity in heaven.

How about you? Have you received the free gift of eternal life? The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

Friend, have you received your personal passport? Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? The Bible says, “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:12)