I drove down my driveway smiling because of all the colorful flowers abloom around the front of the house and grateful to have a garage so I wouldn’t get soaked while I unloaded my groceries. With my arms full of shopping bags from my morning’s errands, I got out to unlock the door into the house. (Let me pause here to say that because we have an alarm system we don’t generally need to lock this door, but because we were expecting a repairman, we had locked it on this particular day). The key I had been faithfully carrying around on my key ring for almost a year would go into the opening, but no matter how I twisted and turned it, it wouldn’t unlock the door. Oh well. I’d try one of the other SIX doors going into my house that supposedly used the same key. Maybe this particular door had just gotten jammed somehow, I thought. So, with umbrella in hand and shoes getting rapidly wetter, I tried all the doors. I learned two things in the process: 1) Steve and I are very good at keeping the house locked securely. 2) And, the key I had been carrying didn’t work on any of the doors.
My smile faded while my frozen items started to thaw. Steve was working in another town, but I called him hoping just maybe he had hidden a key somewhere. No luck. His words? “Just yesterday I was thinking I needed to do that.” Bummer.
There was nothing left to do but call a locksmith and wait. Very fortunately, he lived nearby and was able to come immediately. As an added plus, he wore an Auburn lanyard around his neck — a sure sign that I was in good hands. 🙂 About 8 or 9 tricks-of-the-trade later and $60 poorer, I entered my back door and finally got to bring the groceries in before they ruined. I was in the right house — MY house — but I’d been carrying around the wrong key.
Now, if that doesn’t have spiritual parallels, then I haven’t been listening to sermons for 69 years. 🙂
We’re all heading toward the “right house” of heaven. No one would intentionally PLAN to go to hell, wouldn’t you agree? We long for the peace of God in our lives, the assurance of our salvation, the comfort of knowing where we will spend eternity. But, how many of us are carrying around the wrong key to get in?
Some are banking on the “keys” of regular church attendance . . . or being a good person . . . or singing the best praise songs and hymns . . . or memorizing enough Bible verses . . . or praying long enough every day . . . or giving money to the church . . . or doing good deeds . . . or teaching Sunday School and serving on a committee. . . or keeping the Ten Commandments, etc. etc. Those are all admirable activities. They might even cause the key to fit in the keyhole, but they will NOT make the key turn and open the door.
Here’s what the Bible says about the KEY to being saved:
Romans 10:9-10 — ” If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
Remember this incredible account in the New Testament in Acts 15:25-31.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”
Do you have the right key on your key ring?