George Bowers: Security checkpoint on Earth, heaven
I’m writing this article as I sit in Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport with passengers coming and going. Aside from listening to regular announcements for flights, changes, and gate assignments, I’m recovering from the humiliation of the Transportation Security Administration security screening process. In light of the recent terror attacks in Paris, however, I am somewhat thankful for the inconvenience of placing all liquids in plastic bags, removing my shoes and belt, and having a full body scan. The likelihood of anyone boarding our flight with any type of weapon or explosive is very small and all the people I now see around me are all considered “safe” since they too had to undergo the same thorough examination.
This experience reminds me of a future flight and security check we will all eventually face. Since heaven is the dwelling place of a holy God, no sin of any kind is tolerated within its borders. If we wish to experience the blessings of eternal pain-free living, we cannot carry any sin with us into this perfect environment. Living among unrepentant thieves, rapists and murderers would hardly allow us a peaceful existence.
While we recognize these more obvious sins, we may overlook our own pet shortcomings of pride, selfishness or unforgiveness. Just as the airport sensors detect even the smallest amount of metal, so too heaven cannot tolerate any size or shape of sin, no matter how hidden or tiny. This truth is indeed sobering as it eliminates every human being from entry since we all carry sinful baggage of some type or the other.
Some attempt to remove their sin through self-righteousness by obeying every moral law they know. Others try to eliminate their iniquity by penance or payment, while still others believe that good works will somehow outweigh their evil. While each of these is admirable, unfortunately none of them eliminate the sin that is already present. It may bury it more deeply or craftily camouflage it, but heaven’s detector will still alert loudly and prohibit our entrance. While we may be able to simply leave an unwanted pocket knife at an airport checkpoint, our sin is inseparable from our beings and must be dealt with.
The only way to make it through heaven’s security check is to invite Jesus to purify us from all our sin. Because of his sacrificial death on the cross, his blood can purge away and remove every trace of sin from our beings and allow us to freely enter the beautiful land of God. This is not an automatic event and each person must admit his or her own sin and ask God to forgive them in Jesus’ name. But when we do this, God has promised to accept Jesus’ holiness and righteousness on our behalf so that we can enter into his glory, and we don’t even have to remove our belt or shoes to do so! Since none of us know the date or time of our departing flight from this Earth, take the opportunity right now to remove the sin from your life that you may freely enter God’s heaven.
George Bowers Sr. is the pastor of Antioch Church of the Brethren in Woodstock and the author of four books, including his latest book of poetry, “Wit and Wisdom of the Woods.” He can be reached at email@example.com.