This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:3-4
Another story begins with a lady who died and found herself outside of paradise. Soon an angel showed up and said, “Hello, Virginia (Virginia was her name), we’ve been waiting for you.” The lady inquired, “What do I have to do to gain admittance?” The angel said, “The doors will open for you if you can correctly spell one word.” She asked, “And that word would be?” The angel replied: “Spell love.” Very carefully Virginia spelled, “L-O-V-E.” Although Christians know it is only through the merit and blood of Jesus that we get into heaven, in this story, the doors slowly opened and the lady was in.
Although heaven doesn’t have time, about three years later—by earth’s calendar—Virginia was on duty at that same gate when her earthly husband show up. With an official tone, she asked, “Hello, dear, how have things been going?” He confessed, with a pretty big smile, “Well, things have been going famously. Do you recall that attractive nurse who was taking care of you just before you died? We fell in love and got married a couple of months after you died. Then I found I was holding the only winning ticket to a $75,000,000 lottery. We moved into a mansion, I quit my job, and we traveled all over the globe. The last thing I remember is that we were skiing in the Swiss Alps and I tried to outrun an avalanche.” Then he asked, “So, how can I get in?” His ex-wife replied, “To get in, all you need do is spell one word correctly." “And what’s the word?” he asked. She smiled and said, “Czechoslovakia.”
I imagine that if God were to ask us to decide whether certain people we know should make it into heaven, we’d end up saying “no” to more than one. Thankfully, God reserves the right to judge human souls for Himself. Being a loving God, and beyond any human understanding, He desires that all men be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.
Even more than hoping we are saved, God has provided a way for that salvation to become a reality. God’s plan, begun and ended in His own Son, Jesus Christ, is the way into heaven. To be saved we don’t have to do anything, not even learn to spell Czechoslovakia. All we need is Jesus as our Savior. If we do, heaven’s gates are open.
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on October 3, 2004
THE PRAYER: Gracious God, You are the giver of all good things. Open my eyes to all of your blessings today, so that my heart may overflow with thanksgiving. Thank you for opening heaven's gates to those who believe in You as their Savior. Amen.
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