“I’m going to ask for directions,” my uncle said when we were traveling to Florida back in 1986. My uncle Mike taught me that as soon as he realized he did not know how to get where we were going it was important to ask for directions. He said that it did no good to waste time trying to bluff your way somewhere out of some prideful need to refuse to admit you were lost. More time and frustration are saved by seeking help as soon as you need it than if you think you’re too smart to be lost. The smart person proves his/her intelligence by taking corrective action sooner rather than after proving that they weren’t as smart as she/he believed him/herself to be by getting thoroughly lost.

Many years ago, I discovered a very witty poet named Ogden Nash. I read his collection of poems titled, “You Can’t Get There from Here.” The title conjures up the image of someone asking for directions from someone with no idea of how to reach the destination. Could anything be less helpful than getting navigational counsel from someone who has never been where you want to go nor has any idea where your destination even is? Good directions are critical if you want to get safely to the right place.

Many people want to go to heaven but they, too frequently, seek directions from the wrong sources. Only Jesus Christ can tell us the way to heaven because He came from there and He returned there after He rose from the dead. Jesus has told us the way to heaven. He declared that He is the only way to the Father (God) and that we must be born anew to see or enter the kingdom of heaven. This means that no one randomly or accidentally stumbles their way into heaven. No one gets to heaven without the help of Jesus Christ. But there are many sources of false directions.

Only Christianity can get you to the heaven Jesus promised. Hollywood won’t lead you to Christ unless it is using His name as a curse word. Governments are interested in their own kingdoms far more than in God’s, so don’t seek counsel from them. People who do not follow Jesus will be no help since they are not on the right path. Riches, houses, sports, leisure, and distractions will not show us the way because they usually present themselves as the elements of the good life and often pull people away from seeking the way to heaven. You can’t work your way there nor earn a ticket to heaven, it can only be had as a gift from Jesus based on faith in Him. Other religions can’t help you because they are offering different things by different means and are not trying to get you to Jesus’ kingdom of heaven. Only Jesus can grant you entrance into the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus died on the cross to atone for our sins. If we want to go to heaven, we must ask Him for forgiveness and surrender to Him as the Lord of our life. Without submitting to Jesus as Lord, we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus is the King of that kingdom, not you or me. This means that when Jesus cleanses us from our sins, God causes us to be born all over again from above by putting a new nature within us by sending the Holy Spirit to live within us. The Holy Spirit works in us to cause us to love God and others as we are commanded to. Further, the Holy Spirit develops our born anew nature growing us to live, think, love, and act as Jesus would. If we are not becoming more like Jesus, we are not cooperating with the Holy Spirit and are not following the way to heaven. John 17:3 (New Living Translation) says, “And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.”

The Bible is not talking about knowing God or Jesus as some distant connection, like a person you went to school with but never really knew. The Bible is talking about knowing Christ as your dearest friend and most consequential relationship. This is the relationship that is necessary for anyone to be part of the kingdom of heaven. Don’t follow bad directions, intentional misdirection, poor guesses, or blustery pride. Seek Jesus Christ and let Him lead you to new life and the kingdom of heaven.

Contact Pastor Lamb at icumc@yahoo.com.