It seems no matter where I go throughout the beautiful city of Las Vegas or anywhere else, there is a burning question which everyone seems to ask. Well, maybe they don’t ask it but then again maybe they should. It seems to be the quest of Christians and non-Christians alike. The question transcends gender, race, ethnicity, denomination, and faith. It is an unspoken question that all seem to need to know but no one wants to ask. It swirls about interrupting the best prayer time and the deepest Christian conversation, mealtimes and study time. It is a question which begs an answer with the weightiest of consequences – eternal consequences. It is a disturbing question given the sacrifice of our Lord. It’s worth addressing as my “view from the pew.”
The question is profound and dynamic: is there a shortcut to heaven?
There is nothing I’ve heard preached or read in my ventures through the entire Bible (several times), daily Bible study or preached messages (I’ve heard countless!) that leads me to answer anything but this – No. That’s right no – there is no shortcut to heaven. We cannot short circuit the process in anyway. You and I have to get there the same way as the Apostle Paul and all the early disciples. We have to take the same road of trials and tests which led the Apostle John – the Beloved Disciple – to the Isle of Patmos. Our Lord said it best seven times in the book of Revelation: we have to be overcomers. We will have pain, heartbreak and suffering but we must endure to the end no matter what.
We have to do what Jesus preached in the Sermon on the Mount. We must take up our cross daily and follow Him. Ah, that’s the rub. The old hymn says it best, “Shall Jesus bear the cross alone and all the world go free?/NO! There’s a cross for Jesus and there’s a cross for me.” In a world of “give me, give me, give me and now, now, now,”, we no longer take up our cross to remember the sacrifice of our Lord. The Church of our Lord in the 21st century is not a church of suffering. It is thoroughly disconnected from the early church in commitment and dedication. In fact, those are not words I hear from churchgoers as I go about the city.
The good news is this, there may not be any shortcut but the way to salvation is a beautiful adventure for the true soldier who is “…more than a conqueror through Him that loved us as we remember that we can do “…all things through Christ Who strengthens us.” Don’t miss one step of it!