Mars Hill Church of Christ
The Destination Before the Journey
It had been many years since James visited his aunt and uncle in Manhattan. He remembered as a teenager being amazed at all the tall buildings and big city lights. After much consideration, James and his wife decided to take their family on a summer trip to see his beloved aunt and uncle.
James and his wife started preparing for the trip several weeks before their departure date. They wanted their children to ride the subway, walk through Times Square, travel to Staten Island, see The Statue of Liberty, and of course, spend time with relatives. Tickets were purchased online, bags were packed, the car was loaded, and excitement filled the air.
The family happily traveled to the airport, checked in, received their boarding passes, and loaded the plane. Everything was perfect. After a couple of hours, the captain could be heard on the intercom saying they were almost to their destination and were beginning their final descent. James was so excited to show the children all the tall skyscrapers from the window of the plane. Maybe they would even fly over the statue of liberty!
As the minutes ticked by, James grew more and more confused. All he could see from the air was pasture and farmland. Keeping silent, he thought to himself; something is very wrong. Noticing the perplexed look on James’ face, his wife quietly asked him if he was okay. Reluctantly, James slowly removes his ticket from his jacket pocket. An overwhelming mix of emotions flooded his mind and heart as he read: Destination… Manhattan, Kansas. When James purchased the family’s tickets online, he chose the wrong destination. James did not take time to make sure their destination was certain with all the excitement and the hustle and bustle at the airport.
We must make sure we choose the right destination before we begin our journey. Many believe they are headed in the right direction but are on a path that only leads to destruction (Matthew 7:21; Romans 2:13; Titus 1:16; Matthew 7:13-14).
The Bible clarifies that there is only one way to the Father; through Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Ephesians 2:18; Hebrews 7:25). There is only one way to obtain eternal life; through Jesus Christ (John 10:27-28; John 17:3; 1 John 5:20).
Is it possible to believe you have both but have neither? Yes. Paul warns the church at Corinth, “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). Paul himself admits, “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:27). Peter tells us to “be even more diligent to make your call and election sure…” (2 Peter 1:10). Paul again warns, “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2).
I implore you, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure you have not only chosen the right destination and the correct path to get there but that you are constantly aware of every step along the way, lest you should become disqualified.