Summary: Jesus is the only highway to heaven. Using road signs, this evangelistic Easter message shows that the only way to heaven is on the road marked "Jesus."
Highway to Heaven
Rev. Brian Bill
Everywhere we turn there are signs but sometimes they are very confusing…
Some send contradictory messages…
And others are too strict or simply too confining for us…
We’re all on a journey; in fact life itself feels like a highway. One popular song puts it like this: “Every day is a winding road. I get a little bit closer. Every day is a faded sign. I get a little bit closer to feeling fine.” But many of us feel like we’re further and further from our ultimate destination.
Did you know that this year is the 85th Anniversary of Route 66? There are a lot of cool things being planned in our community to commemorate this milestone. I called Ellie Alexander, Pontiac’s Director of Tourism, to get some attendance figures about the Route 66 Museum. In 2010, 13,000 visitors from 53 countries visited the Museum. People journey here from all around the world. Just last week visitors arrived in Pontiac from 19 different countries and 14 states!
I want to suggest that life is like a highway and that we’re all on a journey. If we hope to make it to heaven we’re going to have to follow the right signs.
I can think of three purposes of signs. They give…
According to the “Manual of Traffic Signs” (yes, there’s really a manual), signs must meet five fundamental requirements. They must…
· Fulfill a need
· Demand attention
· Convey a clear, simple meaning
· Command respect from travelers
· Give adequate time for a proper response
God has given us some significant signs to meet our needs, to command our attention, he gives us a clear meaning and these are intended to command respect from us. At the end of this message we’re going to give you adequate time for a proper response.
1. Slippery Road. This first sign shows that the road we’re traveling is actually very treacherous. The Bible says that we’re all sinners… “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). It’s very easy for sin to spin us out of control.
While we might want to do what’s right, no one is without sin. If we’re not cutting corners, we’re veering into other lanes.
The Bible traces sin back to the Garden of Eden where God told Adam and Eve to not eat of the fruit of one particular tree. The serpent deceived Eve who ate the fruit and then offered some to Adam.
It was through that deliberate choice that sin entered the world. Theologians call this event “The Fall.” It means that when Adam ate the fruit he fell from a state of innocence into a state of guilt.
What does all this have to do with you and me? In some mysterious way, when Adam sinned, we sinned. Adam was the driver of the bus of humanity and when he drove the bus over the cliff, we went down with him. As a result, we’re separated from God. Romans 6:23 tells us that “the wages of sin is death.” That means that the salary we get from our sin is separation from God. We’re in a mess of trouble. Deuteronomy 32:35 says, that “In due time their foot will slip.”
I can think of two detours that many people take. I’ve tried them both; perhaps you have as well.
· We can try to build our own way to God through a massive construction effort that may last a lifetime. But good works don’t work. Religion itself cannot redeem us. Trying to be moral ultimately doesn’t matter. Proverbs 14:12: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” With the passing of time and the accumulation of guilt and shame, we often just give up.
Another dead end road is when we…
· Bail on God by going the other way (walk away from Him). This doesn’t work either, does it? We look for love in all the wrong places as we search for significance and meander through life desperate for meaning and purpose. Eventually we’ll spin out on the shoulder or crash into a guardrail…or worse.
Where are you today? Are you trying to make a way on your own, or have you gone off the highway to heaven?
If we’re honest we have to admit that we’re running on empty and some of us are running blind.
Whatever direction you take, it’s the wrong way…
2. Jesus is the Only Way.
The next sign reminds us that Jesus is the only highway to heaven and the only roadway to righteousness. Interestingly, the Bible uses the word “sign” to describe the Savior. It’s like there are flashing neon lights throughout the Scriptures that we ignore at our own peril. Here are three passages that come to mind…