Summary: To get to heaven, Christ is the way, the truth and the life.
Following or getting directions – for both men and women it can be humorous and frustrating. On more than one occasion I have heard men say, "My wife is so lousy at directions. Every time she steps outside the house and turns around, she’s lost.” Just as often I have heard a wife say about her husband, “When we go on vacation, it always takes two hours longer to get there than it should because my husband always knows this ‘shortcut’. But because he gets lost, it takes two hours longer to get there than it actually should.” If there is one item that is both humorous and frustrating among men and women, it is following or getting directions.
But in all fairness, sometimes the problem is not a lack of understanding on the part of the person receiving them, but a lack of clarity on the part of the person giving them. For example, if someone gives you directions and says, “You will have no difficulty finding it. There is no way you can miss it,” you can be certain that it’s not an easy place to find. Sometimes the biggest problem is not because of lack of understanding on the part of the person receiving but lack of clarity on the part of the person giving directions.
Well, if there is confusion about how to get from one place to another here on earth, there is even more confusion about how to get from earth to heaven. I often ask people, “If someone only had five minutes to live and wanted to know how to get to heaven, what would you tell them?” If you could stay all night I could probably keep you that long giving the answers I’ve received.
There are those who are convinced you couldn’t possibly do it in five minutes. That in light of all you must do, if you have not started before the last five minutes it’s entirely too late. As one person said, "If he only had five minutes he couldn’t make it because there isn’t enough time to do what he needs to do."
There are others who aren’t sure what to say because they don’t know whose word to take for it. One time a Christian speaker was speaking in a city out west. He wanted to mail a letter so he left his hotel to go to the post office. He asked a teenager standing on the corner how to get to the post office. The boy gave him explicit directions. The speaker thanked him and then said, "Do you know who I am?" The boy said, "No, I don’t." The speaker who was nationally known said, "Well, I’m here to speak at a particular church" and proceeded to give him the time and place he would be speaking. Then he said to the boy, "If you come, I will tell you how to get to heaven." The boy said, "No thank you. I’m afraid I couldn’t take your word for it. After all, how can you tell me how to get to heaven when you don’t even know how to get to the post office?"
There are those who don’t know what to say because they don’t know whose word to take for it. Well, if you want to know how to get somewhere the best person to ask is the person who lives there. There is no one who knows how to get to my home like I do and there is no one who knows how to get to your home like you do. And if you want to know how to get to heaven, the best one to ask is Christ because He lives there.
In John 14:1-6 Christ gave His disciples directions to His home in heaven. In so doing, He tells each of us in unmistakable terms how to get there and no one has put it any clearer than He has.
Reader’s Digest told of a factory worker who refused to sign up for group insurance. The problem was no policy could be issued until all employees signed up. Yet he held out stubbornly. The foreman begged him to sign; the shop foreman pleaded with him; the plant superintendent and general manager begged him to sign. Still, he said no. Finally, the owner of the factory took him aside and said, "Listen, if you don’t sign up, I’ll fire you." The worker grabbed the paper and signed immediately. "Now," asked the owner, "why didn’t you sign this thing before?" The man replied, "Because no one explained it as clearly as you did."
Well frankly, no one explained it any clearer than Christ did right here how to get to heaven. But before we answer the question, What did He tell them?” I would like to first answer the question, “Why did He bring up the subject? Why did He discuss how to get to heaven?”