“a way that seems right”

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (Proverbs 16:25, ESV)

After church today, I was supposed to go out for pizza with a few of my friends.  I didn’t have my cell phone with me, so I asked for directions and figured I could get there myself.

That was a mistake.

I glanced at my GPS and thought I knew what I was doing.  I took a left turn on Lone Pine that seemed oh, so right.  I was so sure it was the correct turn.  I should have remembered that, in the Bible, the goats are on the left and the sheep are on the right.

As I traveled down the road, my GPS kept saying, WHEN POSSIBLE, MAKE A U-TURN.  I did not believe my GPS.  This looked oh so familiar.  I passed by the little ice cream shop, the veterinarian clinic, and the park.  I had been to each of them.  I knew where I was going.  I thought.

As time went by, and the road seemed to be parallel to an elevated highway, I began to wonder.  Was I really getting to Sunshine?  What was going on?  My GPS had said it was only 5 minutes away from my church.  But then, I hadn’t been going by what my GPS was saying since the left turn, so why start now?

I kept going, and sure enough, this was not looking right.  But I trusted myself.  (Why, I have no idea.  I have been known to get lost on my way to work, much less a pizza place I haven’t been to in at least a year.)

Then, startlingly, it looked at if the road was ending.  Ending?  Ending??  Lone Pine did not end!  How many times had I been on it as a child in the car with my family?  It must only look like it ends ahead, I thought.

Then, in what was a rather creepy moment even though it was the middle of the day, two things happened:

  • The road ahead clearly ended.
  • And the only place to go, other than the steel railing, was a graveyard.

I know it sounds like I probably made this up for point of illustration, but, really, I learned today that if you make a left turn off of Battlefield onto Lone Pine, you wind up either at a dead end or turning into a graveyard.  A graveyard.

Had I made a right off of Battlefield onto Lone Pine, the road would have intersected with Sunshine and I could have been at the pizza place at a table on the side of the pizza place with the glass roof edge and glass wall, where the sunlight streamed through.  I could have been looking over the menu by now.

But I was oh so not at the pizza place.  I had trusted my own instincts and ‘experience’ and pride rather than my GPS, and now I was at a graveyard.

I didn’t have to stay at the graveyard, and because God blesses me with gracious friends, they had waited for probably 20 minutes before ordering.  When I got there, I was able to sit with them at the table where the sunlight streamed through the roof’s edge and the wall, and I was able to order cheese pizza.  I got another chance.

In life, we can usually get more chances when we make wrong turns and make bad decisions.  Even after flunking a class, losing a job, wrecking a car, filing for bankruptcy, divorcing a spouse, or committing a crime, we usually get more chances. Even seniors in nursing homes and terminally ill patients and death-row prisoners can turn their life around.  Most of us get chance after chance after chance without even really realizing it.

But what we cannot get another chance at is life.

When we die, we do not get to come back and have another chance.

The idea of reincarnation is popular partly because there is no real accountability for anything.  Everything is fluid in the ‘karma’ world.  Even if you are the worst person on earth in one life, in five hundred lifetimes you might work your way up to being a hero.  Or, if you are a hero, in five hundred lifetimes you might lose ground until you’re the worst person on earth.

But God’s Word tells us that when we die, we do not get another chance.  There is no finding salvation after death.  There is no one more chance.

I drove the wrong way today and wound up at a graveyard.  I had started out so sure I was right, only to end up so sure I had been wrong.

If you have never asked Christ Jesus to save you, if you are not His child, why not?  Are you too proud to admit your need for a Savior?  Will you admit your need only when you have found yourself at the mouth of Hell?

We are saved through the work of Jesus Christ by faith.  Faith is not something that will be available after death.  We will see exactly how it really is, like the angels and demons do, and we will not have the ability to have faith anymore.

You can probably afford to make a wrong turn now and again here on earth.  But you cannot afford to make a wrong turn with your eternity.  Please, please, make sure that you are traveling the right direction.  You don’t want to end up in Hell instead of Heaven.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (Proverbs 16:25, ESV)

But here is what Scripture says “about God’s approval based on faith”.

Moses writes about receiving God’s approval by following his laws. He says, “The person who obeys laws will live because of the laws he obeys.” However, Scripture says about God’s approval which is based on faith, “Don’t ask yourself who will go up to heaven,” (that is, to bring Christ down). “Don’t ask who will go down into the depths,” (that is, to bring Christ back from the dead). However, what else does it say? “This message is near you. It’s in your mouth and in your heart.” This is the message of faith that we spread. If you declare that Jesus is Lord, and believe that God brought him back to life, you will be saved. By believing you receive God’s approval, and by declaring your faith you are saved. Scripture says, “Whoever believes in him will not be ashamed.” There is no difference between Jews and Greeks. They all have the same Lord, who gives his riches to everyone who calls on him. So then, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:5-13)

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