"Not Even A Nice Place To Visit"
April 23, 2009
And he said, "No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent." Luke 16:30
Forbes Traveler, a respected name for people who love to hit the road and see the Lord's wonderful world, has come up with a list.
The list is composed of the world's top tourist traps.
You know, the kind of "must-see" destinations where you pay five times what you should for a souvenir that has been made elsewhere, where you see crowds of tourists, not natives, where billboards cover anything that is sight-worthy.
When I read that story I said to myself, "Ah, ha! Wall Drug, South Dakota." Now, please don't get upset. I love Wall Drug; I always stop there when I'm traveling across that beautiful state. Mostly, I love Wall Drug because it pretty much admits to being a tourist trap.
But Wall Drug did not appear on Forbes' list. Instead, they had places like Fisherman's Wharf and the Great Pyramid in Egypt. Forbes listed locations like Times Square, Blarney Castle, the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and St. Mark's Square in Venice. I was shocked, because, with the exception of one or two of those places, I have been to them all.
Although everybody has a different list of places to avoid, there is one location that ought to be on everyone's list. No, it's not the local shopping mall the day after Thanksgiving. I'm talking about hell. Hell is the place we should avoid. True, it's got a good, wide road leading there, and the attractions that line the route are tempting to the eye and enticing to the soul. Even so, anyone who has gone there has been disappointed -- really disappointed.
That certainly was the case for the rich man in Jesus' parable. He was so sad he had gone to hell, he asked for a living-dead person to be sent to warn his brothers.
You would think a resurrected individual would detour folks from hell to heaven. You'd think so, but that isn't always the case. Jesus, God's perfect Son, was crucified and has returned to warn us. In spite of Jesus being the Conqueror over death, people continue to doubt and disbelieve. They prefer to go to the devil's ultimate tourist trap.
This is why we Christians must continue to share the Savior who is the only Guide and the exclusive Giver of heaven. We want to help them avoid the tourist trap where no one ever leaves.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, may I do all I can to help people avoid the devil's tourist trap of hell. Make me Your witness. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries