A few months ago, I attended a business-related event in Dallas called Super Saturday. I had planned for months to go to this event… invited my team, talked it up for weeks, strongly encouraged all of them to purchase tickets as the deadline came and went and the event SOLD OUT, and we all got more and more excited the closer we got to the date as we filled up a Tahoe with excited, enthusiastic team members ON FIRE to go to Super Saturday.
We arrived in Dallas, along with hordes of other ON FIRE people, to hear some of our business heroes and receive this much-anticipated training, and stood in line for check-in.
And then I arrived at the front of the line to hear the unthinkable… my name wasn’t on the list. All of my friends’ names were checked off one by one, but not mine. “Wait,” I panicked, “I got an email! I KNOW I bought my ticket!!” My heart raced as I scrolled hastily through emails on my phone looking for the email confirmation to PROVE that I purchased my ticket, which, obviously I HAD DONE, since I had been looking forward to this event for months, and, I mean, I was the LEADER of this little expedition to Dallas, even. “I have it! I know I have it! Hang on…” *scroll scroll scroll*
“Just go on in,” the girl at the desk said, hurriedly, as she handed me my conference packet, “I believe you,” as people pressed in behind me by the hundreds, eager to get into the sold-out event and find their seat.
“I KNOW I had a ticket,” I told myself as the event started, determined to find that email to prove it. I pored through months of emails, checked my account, checked my other account, and… I’m embarrassed to admit, somehow, it appears the list was right: I never bought my ticket.
(I got in to Super Saturday for free… ahem).
You know, I was on the receiving end of lots of grace and mercy that day. I was allowed into somewhere I should not have been allowed in, for which other people were turned away, and received a free pass, even. Which I’m not proud of, by the way; I totally believed I had bought my ticket, and it was by some fluke that I had not…
I picture our arrival at the Pearly Gates sort of the same way. Some will get in, some will think they’re getting in, but will not. A ticket is required, and the deadline to purchase yours is coming.
Most people would probably say they purchased their ticket a long time ago. They have lived a good life, haven’t murdered anyone, and help homeless people every chance they get. Maybe they just feel saved. Maybe they go to church, or maybe their parents are Sunday School teachers, so they’re in by default.
But they’d be wrong, like I was wrong about Super Saturday. Because there IS a ticket in, but none of those things are the ticket.
But what is? Oh, no big deal… it’s just sinless perfection.
Yes. If you live a perfectly sinless life, YOU earned your ticket in! But the bad news is that if you’ve sinned even one time, your ticket is null and void.
James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
And I know I, for one, have committed more than one sin. Heck, I probably sin three times on the drive to church alone every Sunday morning!
Just assuming I sin three times a day (and that’s being awfully generous to myself), that’s roughly 1,000 sins a year. And 1,000 sins a year is roughly 70,000 sins in a lifetime. That’s a lot of sins for a good church-going girl who helps homeless people! I SURE haven’t murdered anyone. But 70,000 sins? And that’s assuming I ONLY sin three times a day! Yikes!
IS IT HOPELESS FOR ME?
It’s NOT hopeless. Because though WE are all sinners, Jesus provided a way, because HE was sinless perfection.
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit… 1 Peter 3:18
Please don’t get to the front of the line to find out that your name isn’t on the list. Message me here if you need to talk. I’d love to help.
You never know when the deadline will pass and it will be too late.