I turned on the news the other day and saw the aftermath of a plane crash that had just occurred at San Francisco's airport. As I watched the circling video taken from a helicopter it was easy to put together what had happened. The plane had fallen short in its attempt to land and to deliver its passengers safely to their final destination.
Several agencies gathered on the scene, searching for clues so they could determine the cause of the crash and ultimately what had led to the casualties on runway 28.
Perhaps it's just me and my faith-based thinking but, if we examine the accident scene we can easily draw comparisons between Flight 214 and the church of today.
Our faith is a lot like an airplane. We can say we believe in Jesus .We can SAY we believe. But until we actually "get in the plane" . . . until we actually live our faith and allow Jesus to be Lord of our lives, the plane is going to take off without us.
Many of the events of this past weekend's crash are still unknown as I write this. We know that two people died and many were injured. We also know that somehow the plane failed to arrive safely at its destination. Close, but not quite.
So, how is our faith? How is the teaching of our churches? Do we have the kind of faith that will "deliver us". . . to heaven?
All churches preach a gospel. But is it the correct Gospel? Has all the politically incorrect stuff been filtered out and has the Gospel been watered down as a result? And how can we tell?
How many people do you think would have gotten on board that plane if they knew it was ultimately going to crash. Not many would be my guess. If we are climbing on board a church that is preaching a false or incomplete Gospel, will our "plane" arrive safely in heaven?
All large commercial jet liners are equipped with computers and warning systems designed to prevent crashes. Still, despite all the warnings, other forces can cause those warnings can be ignored or overridden. So how can we be sure?
Read!! Spend time in God's Word so we will be able to recognize false teaching when we hear it. All of the answers are there! Here's our warning and some instructions for teachers and elders:
"28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. 29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears." - Acts 20:28-31
And a lesson for each of us to be learned from the Bereans:
"10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so." - Acts 17:10-11
Trust only in God's Word. Anything else is a lie.
"5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!" - 2 Corinthians 13:5