Summary: Using the analogy of a bridge crossing a chasm, we discuss that even though there seems to be many bridges available, only one really leads to the other side and we must be careful when deciding which bridge.
When you are planning a trip, how good are you at determining which way to get there? Do you just take a guess at which roads to take, or do you actually get a map out and plan your trip?
Of course, smart money is always on the one who plans the trip, but I think we would be shocked to find out how many people just assume where they are going is the best way to get someplace. And, is that someplace the place they really want to go?
Picture, in your mind’s eye this morning that you are climbing a hill, and you know that a you crest the top, there is a cliff on the other side that drops off thousands of feet into a burning volcano below.
Now, you have to get to the other side, but you aren’t really sure how you will do it. When you get up there, you see 20 bridges, all seeming to go to the other side, but you can’t tell because the clouds from the volcano hide the other side of the bridges.
And then you find out that not all of the bridges actually go all the way to the other side. You see a very nice man at the beginning of each bridge, urging you take his bridge. What do you do? Do you just take one without thinking about it? Or, do you try to ask questions or find out which bridge might be the right one?
The above scenario describes the spiritual dilemma we are all faced with. We know our future is either going to be falling headlong into that burning volcano or finding safety on the other side of the volcano. Which bridge do you take?
As with most everything, you can find the answer to that question, but it will not just appear to you automatically. You must search for it. And that explains why most people take the wrong bridge; they don’t want to take the time or go through the trouble to find out which way is best. They do not feel compelled to do anything in life that requires them doing anything differently from what they are doing already.
There is the story of a man who takes his wife and mother-in-law to Israel for a vacation. While they were there, the mother-in-law dies of a sudden heart attack. The man is now faced with a choice: Does he spend $20,000 to fly her body back to America and have her buried here, or does he pay $200 and have her buried in Israel?
After some consideration, he chooses to spend the $20,000 and fly her back to America. One of the local Rabbis asked him why he chose to do that, and he replied with this:
“Over 2,000 years ago, a man was buried in Israel and after three days, He arose. I just couldn’t take that chance with my mother-in-law.”
That man knew something about the Resurrection of Jesus, but he didn’t know very much about it, did he? That is like many people in today’s churches. They know something about Jesus, but they don’t really know very much about Him.
We all have an interest in hearing about life after death, but at the same time, we have a little bit of a fear of it, too. The whole subject intrigues us but also makes us skittish at the same time. It makes us uncomfortable.
So, let me ask you a question. How do we handle uncomfortable things? When a person is uncomfortable or afraid, the first thing they tend to do is either ridicule it or deny it. That is what many do with the topic of eternity.
Why do we do that? It is human nature to try and not think about those things we cannot understand. It’s like sweeping the dirt under a rug. It is still there, but since you don’t have to see it, you can ignore it and think all is okay.
There are many things in life we do not have the capability of understanding, but that does not give us the right to ignore them, deny they exist, or make fun of those who do try to understand them, does it?
Sometimes, when we don’t understand, we make up stories that make sense to us, and then try to push them off as the real truth. They aren’t the truth, they are only comfortable lies. And they give us the chance to let the truth be overshadowed by an untruth.
The story about the volcano represents our climbing the hill of life and then passing over to heaven. And getting to heaven actually depends on obedience more than it does on comfort. But to be obedient, we must know what to be obedient to, don’t we?