So, you're on a journey somewhere, you and a friend. You are the natural leader for some reason, and you know that you have an "in" to your destination. You know you're heading in the right direction, because it's the only way. You come across a fellow sitting by the side of the road. "Hello!" you say, and he replies, "Hey." You inquire as to where he is going. He says he's going to the same place as you are, but you know different. He's a good person and all, he has done well in life for others, he has given generously to the poor, but he doesn't know what YOU know. You know that he is in for disappointment, because he's not going to make it to your destination. He doesn't have what he needs.
You and your friend, who always has a kind and optimistic word for people, continue on. Soon comes, in the opposite direction, some wicked and scary looking people struggling with a beaten and bloodied man. They are dragging him to somewhere off the trail, into the woods. You and your friend stop. You know that fellow. One of the wicked people stops and stares you down. Your friend says he knows where they are headed. You nod knowingly. They drag him off. It's not hard because you've done nothing to help that poor man.
So, to sum up, you're the leader here. Your friend is kind, but follows you faithfully. You have determined that the fellow sitting by the road, although he is a very good man, doesn't get to go where you are privileged to go. Then, there's that poor fellow, being assaulted and drug off. You, a leader, stand there, intimidated by a wicked person, and do nothing in the face of evil.
Who are you? You're the Christian in a film called Pilgrims Progress: Journey to Heaven. I caught this clip as a John Hagee show flashed by me this morning.
You're the Christian.
Your friend is "Hopeful."
The fellow sitting in the road...although he is good and kind, is "Ignorance."
The poor fellow (whom you didn't even try to help) is "Little Faith."
The wicked people (who apparently have the power to intimidate YOU) are dragging him off on a "shortcut to hell."
I don't know the whole story. I don't want to. I don't want to be that Christian. Do you? Many will say that it's just the way it is. God has a plan, and it's His creation and His rules. He is a God of mercy, but, well, some folks are just going to hell. That's it. Well, call me Ignorance, call me Little Faith. That's okay. I know that I would have made an attempt at some righteous ass-whoopin' with those evil dudes...and I know that with the power and might of MY GOOD GOD, we would have persevered and won....not mosied on up the hill so WE could get to heaven.
Does your God want you to be part of an elite group? Does He want you to turn your back on your fellow humans, your brothers and sisters, because you are one of His chosen? Can you really, truthfully, in your heart turn your back on others...those who don't know the "Good News" when they won't listen, and then you'll be content and joyful that you will make it to the "Celestial City" while they fry in some man-translated fiery pit to suffer for eternity?
If that's God (and I know it's not my loving God) and I'm supposed to be satisfied that I'm okay, and others are not. . .I'd rather fry in hell than serve a God who demands my love. . .or else.
I'm a better parent on earth than that.
So are you.
How much bigger, better, and loving is He?