The Journey

Posted on Feb 13, 2015

There once was a man, Earnest, who sincerely wanted to work for a well-reputed company in a distant country that his friend, Greasy Grace (who had more than earned his nickname), had told him about. This appeared to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity replete with excellent benefits and an amazing retirement package. Greasy sat down with him and told him how he should prepare. It seemed pretty straightforward, and Earnest took the necessary steps for the journey. He was getting more excited with each passing day!

 

Finally, the day had come, and Earnest jubilantly boarded the ship. After a few days on the seas, it came time to disembark. He strolled off the pier towards the representative who was ready to look at the young man’s documents and grant passage into the new land.

 

Earnest reached into his waistcoat, pulled out his passport, and handed it to the patient agent. “Okay, this all looks in order, Sir, now how about your visa and shot records”? Feeling a constricting band of nervousness begin to form around his neck, the young man told the representative that he did not know he had to have those!

 

“Well, of course, you need to have a visa and the required shots, Sir! You will need to get right back on that boat and leave this country at once; as of this moment, you are here illegally!” Earnest attempted to tell the now toe-tapping agent that he simply didn’t know of these additional items needed and would take care of all those things right away if he would only allow him temporary entrance into his promising new future.

 

The man behind the podium signaled behind him for someone to escort Earnest off the dock. The security guard grabbed his arm and roughly led him towards a lone boat waiting in the murky mist and said, “This is the only one going out for days. It’s either this or the ocean, my friend.” Earnest’s mind was reeling as his once “golden opportunity” was turning into a dramatic nightmare at an alarming and escalating speed.

 

Captain Beezle E. Bubb greedily looked at the newbie being pushed his direction and declared, “Now, there’s no need to harm the lad. I’ll take him off your hands fer ya!” Earnest felt a strong shove, and there he was . . . on the boat’s deck with the scroungy, makeshift Captain with eyes so dark you felt like you just might fall inside and never come out if you dared look too long.

 

Captain Bubb came and put his arm around Earnest’s shoulders and said with a terrifyingly low voice, “Now, now, son, you’ll always have a home with me. I promise to take care of you.” Shivers went down his spine as he was being led down farther and farther into the ship’s hull. Waves of heat were bearing down on him, and he began to feel a terror creep up that seemed to know no bounds. “What is happening?” he cried out within himself. “How could my beautiful future be crumbling so quickly before me?”

 

At last a door was opened to a boiler room and with a rough push, Earnest found himself squarely planted in the midst of thousands who were nothing but mere skin and bones chained to their seats of torture. The smell was acidic and the heat so overbearing that he repeatedly thought he was going to faint. The looks of anguish on each face told the story of their fate without one word being spoken. A gory-looking taskmaster came and with no small amount of gentleness grabbed Earnest’s wrists and chained them to an oar. Next came his ankles which were claimed by lower circles of scorching metal that seemed to sear his skin to the bone.

 

In an instant, Earnest knew that he was to never escape this torturous hell that he found himself in. How did this happen??? His mind wanted to scream, “This isn’t fair,” but he knew that anything he said would be swallowed by the heaving waves of heat that were burning his throat and eyes.

 

That’s the end of the allegory for now. I sat down to write a blog this morning, and instead I was inspired to illustrate with the above story. My hope is that it captures  . . . for lack of better words . . . the “greasy grace” approach that we oftentimes take as believers when it comes to guiding others in the things of God or even as applied to our own lives.

 

My own salvation experience began when I was eleven years old, and I found myself at a Billy Graham Crusade in Albuquerque, NM. As Billy Graham stood before thousands of people in that auditorium, I desperately began to want to know this Jesus who could save me from a very real hell. Yes, I was scared into heaven, so to speak. I truly didn’t want to live an eternal death, and I equally as much wanted to experience heaven one day, and the path was laid out oh so clearly for my youthful heart. Since then, my relationship with God has grown and grown.

 

My concern today is that it appears that there’s a great campaign going on to catatonically lull many into a false sense of security by promises of a grand future, but the truth not necessarily emphasized. Passages such as the following are loudly trying to get attention, but the “grace” factor seems to be gaining ALL the fame without the balance of relationship and holiness. While God is a merciful God, we must also recognize that He is also a righteous judge.

 

14Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. 15Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying (Revelation 22:14-15).

 

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command (John 15:9-14).

 

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

 

“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ 12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ 13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour (Matthew 25:1-13).

 

10Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more (John 8:10-11).

 

What’s the problem then, and why am I even bringing this up? Similar to the allegory above, how many people are headed to a certain doom because Christians were afraid to delve into and address another’s walk with the Lord? I’ve heard the lament, “Well, we have to get them into church and then we don’t want to scare them away after they get here!” True . . . but how much better would it be for someone to fully know what God desires out of a relationship (love, obedience, faith, repentance, change, etc.) than to one day reach the end of their life and hear the words, “Depart from Me for I never knew you”?

 

How is it that loving correction has now gained the title of “hate speech”? Last I knew, when my parents corrected me, it was because they were upright, responsible, loving parents and didn’t want to see me go in the wrong direction!

 

So, dear fellow believer, when faced with the decision as to what to say to the person who has committed their life to the Lord and is still fornicating, habitually lying, doing ill against their neighbor, etc., etc., etc., sway towards the side that this might be our last day on earth. We may meet the Lord tonight!

 

19 My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, 20 you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back from wandering will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins (James 5:19).
Remember, the goal is not only to get someone to stay inside the church doors . . . the ultimate goal is to encourage and provoke each other to run their race well so when we stand before the Lord, we’ll hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant”!

 

In His love,

lisa 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Excellent and well said Lisa. This is the fear of the Lord that Jesus delighted in. Is.11:3… and so should we!!!

  2. Lisa so beautiful and so true. This is our journey and we must really adhere to His Way Isaiah 30:21 Walk in His Way. I love to read from people who are very learned and I feel very comforted by their knowledge. Thank you so much.

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