A man was trying to get to a town 20 miles north of his location but had become lost. He stopped to ask someone for help getting to the town and the man told him, “Take a right and head east out of town. Follow that road for a few miles and that should lead you right to it.”
“Are you sure?” said the man, “I thought the town was north of here.”
“I have always been told that the way I told you will get you there, and I believe it,” stated the informer.
So the man took the informer’s advice and travelled east trying to get to the desired location. After driving for 30 miles he realized this was not the road to his destination and again stopped to seek directions. When he asked a woman how to get to the town desired, she took out an old map and told the man to go north a few miles then take a side road that she knew about. This would cut off time and make the trip easier.
Thanking the woman he headed off to follow her directions. As the man turned off on the side road, however, he ran into problems. A few miles down the road became a dead end. The bridge had been washed out years before and had never been replaced.
Thinking he was never going to get to the destination desired, the man finally pulled into a farm house a short distance from where the road had ended. He asked the farmer if he had a recent map that would show him how to get to his desired destination. The farmer brought one out, showed him the best route and wished him well. As the man left, the farmer sent his map with him; just in case he ran into any more difficulties along the way.
When the man finally reached his destination he promised himself never to take such a trek without a map to guide him again.
Many people find themselves in this man’s predicament while trying to get to Heaven. They will ask someone how to get there who will then tell them what he has always heard and believed, though there is no real proof in the reliability of the statement. When an individual follows that advice he simply becomes even more lost from the standpoint of thinking he is going the right direction and still not knowing where he is.
Others will find themselves following old maps with antiquated directions that will not accomplish the task any longer. Many times people today will try to follow the Old Testament as a means of salvation or of determining what is acceptable to God in worship and practice. While that map does tell us what was once acceptable, the roads have been changed over the years. The side roads and cumbersome limitations have been replaced with the proverbial interstate of the blood of Christ. The old roads do not function in that same capacity anymore, and their service is to show how those in times past used to travel the road and the lessons that can be learned from their journeys.
The only way to get to Heaven is by following the map. Following the directions of someone who thinks they know can be disastrous; following an old map is unreliable at best; but following the map that shows where things are today and how to get to the destination reliably is valuable beyond measure.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Jesus has given us the roadmap to get to our desired destination, but we must read the map to get where we want to go. He said that we must believe in him and his word (John 8:24); be willing to repent of our sins (Mat. 4:17; Acts 2:38); we must confess him before men (Mat. 10:32-33); we must be willing to be immersed in water for the remission of sins (Mat. 28:18-20; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38); and we must be willing to follow the road he has given all the way to the destination (Luke 9:62; Rev. 2:10).
Will we use the Lord’s map or will we seek to find some other way to get to Heaven? Jesus said that we must follow his map to get to the Father, let’s make sure we do.