Watching a child negotiate a piece of food is special, whether it is a lollipop, a popsicle, or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich it is a joy to see the excitement in the child’s face, as well as his “plan of attack” as to how to get the best of it. Sometimes even, the child offers to share…
A couple of times I have been the intended recipient of a child’s graham cracker. Wilted and saturated with saliva, the child realizes that the most precious thing he or she had to share at that moment was the soggy cracker. They were enjoying it so much, how could anyone think it was not just as enjoyable? To that child the cracker was something of great value, but for me? Well, I could let it pass.
Many will stand at the gates of Heaven offering all kinds of “currencies” in order to gain entry: aberrant theological systems, the Mormon Christ, Scientology enlightenment, Arian Theology (Jehovah’s Witnesses); none will help. Mohammad will not help you – the God of Islam is not the God of the Bible. Mary will not help you – she was a fallible individual like the rest of us. Even strict adherence to the moral codes of Orthodox Judaism is not sufficient. Buddhism? Hinduism? Even existentialism? No, no, and even no!
Good works, kindness, universalism, Church service, ancestral pedigrees, denominational affiliations, human sacrifices, virgins and liquor, will be presented – all in an effort to be granted salvation. All of those currencies are nothing more than limp starches, and the seekers will be denied on those bases, that status.
Only the blood from the Lamb of God will gain you access to the Throne of God.
Acts 4:12 says, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” That name is Jesus Christ!
There is but one currency which can pay for the sins of all mankind, for absolution, in order that sinful man could be permitted to enter through those Gates of Mercy. We come to God on His terms. His terms of salvation. We don’t make a macaroni and glue prize for God, cute as those may be.
Paul reminds us that our entry is granted through no human agency, but by divine decree and grace.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). “Not as a result of works” … and anything else but faith is sort of water-logged crackers. You need to believe in the right Christ; anything else is a humanly connived “entry ticket.”
“But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31).
You can’t add anything to the work of Christ, or take anything away and expect to be granted entry. At the point of conversion through the blood of Christ, we are secure and have hope, expecting eternal residence in the divine Kingdom… enjoying the presence of God.
Adorable, and naïve as we may be, a soggy graham cracker will not get us into the Kingdom of Heaven, no matter how valuable it may seem to us. He paid the price we could not.
So, eat your cracker.