Monday, August 13, 2012

If Heaven was Like American Idol

Last week, we went to see American Idol here in Charleston as a family. It was our first concert together, and I enjoyed the production and the young people who sang their hearts out. I especially loved the range of ages I saw in the audience from 6 to 96!

So it got me thinking about all those fans. What if I spent more time watching and voting for American Idol than I did with God? What it I felt like I knew Randy and Stephen and J.Lo better than I felt like I knew God--how might that skew my theology and understanding of God and Heaven? So here goes. A quick cartoon.



“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."  - Matthew 7:13-14

Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ - Matthew 7:22
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. - Matthew7:21

So I realize the cartoon is a little goofy (or a lot), but I think it speaks the truth. Whether we like it or not, getting into Heaven is very different than getting on American Idol. The one the world cheers for most tends to get on American Idol, but the one scorned by the world, the one who chooses the narrow gate - Jesus -  gets into Heaven. There's nothing "popular" about this. It offends many. It ilicits many "boos" from the crowd.

But the Bible is clear. Only children of God will enter the gates of Heaven. To God, "family" means everything, and everyone is invited to choose to be a part of that family.

My son and husband went to the PGA golf tournament this weekend, and when my husband was showing me photos on the PGA web site of Tiger teeing off, he pointed out my son...or who he thought to be my son. Yes, the person did have a white and blue striped shirt on, a hat, and was about the same size as my son. But it wasn't my son.

"He wasn't wearing sunglasses, was he?" I said.
"I think that's just a shadow."
"And I think that's just a man on his knees."

Admittedly, I have much better eyesight than my husband, so he did his best, but I said, "That's not my son. I know my son." Then I looked around the photo, saw only the leg and part of the upper body of a boy behind Tiger and said, "THAT is my son." It was obvious.

"Oh yeah," my husband said. It was easy to recognize our son even with his face covered up. Why? A parent knows his/her child. Intimately. That love relationship is a KNOWing relationship. A parent KNOWs his child and the child KNOWs the parent. How? They spend time together, invest in one another.

So ask yourself: DO YOU KNOW GOD? The Bible says the way to know God is to know and love his son, Jesus, who died for our sins. WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW HIM MORE? There are many places to start. Here's a pretty cool one.

Grab a Bible. Find a loving church that teaches the Bible. Pray every day, never ceasing, or as my grandmother used to say, "Always go First Class!"

Blessings on your journey!

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