December 18, 2007
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24
We have people in our family who are hard to shop for. With the Christmas gift-giving deadline approaching, I’ve been searching for the perfect present.
Amazingly, I found a company that offers such a gift.
On the Internet, there is a company that will sell, for only $12.79, a kit that will enable people to add their names to the list of souls who are going to be checking into heaven. The company, believing people will want to make a reservation in heaven before the celestial city runs out of room, is offering a box which includes the following items:
* a heavenly issued certificate with an ID number
* a first-class ticket to heaven
* an official heaven identification card
* a heaven information guide
That’s right. You don’t have to believe in anything; you don’t have to trust in Anyone. All you have to do is pay your money up front, and you can do what you want and commit any sin you prefer.
And should you get to heaven and find the pearly gates are barred to you, don’t worry, the company is offering a money-back guarantee.
When I first came across the Web site, I thought, “Luther has to be rolling over in his grave. I’ve just come across the 21st century version of indulgences.” Then, after I had a laugh at the silliness of the offer, I realized, “There’s some people who are going to believe this.” I don’t know who could possibly be that gullible, but I’m absolutely sure somebody will think this is a legitimate offer.
This is why I’m not giving you the company name or the Web site. But I will give you this truth: If you want to go to heaven, Jesus Christ has made it possible. So you might have a reserved heavenly home, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. So you might be welcomed through the pearly gates, Jesus died on Calvary’s cross, and He rose from His borrowed tomb.
This is why this year, every year, I pray you, I, everyone, may know that Christ is the Father’s perfect free Gift.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for the gift of Yourself, I give grateful thanks. You are the Gift that I need. Now I pray, may You always be the Gift that I want. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries