There’s a Big Lottery Prize, just off the Midway.

Most of us would like to win a large lottery prize.  Most of us won’t.  The odds are hundreds of millions to one that we will never win a sizable lottery prize.  But, it’s hard for many to resist the temptation of repeatedly buying lottery tickets.

The biggest lottery prize will not last us more than a few decades.  Then, we will die.  Our soul will leave our body.

That’s when the Really Big Prizes are passed out.  Some of us will get to Heaven.  Others will not.  It is clear from Scripture that many are called but few are chosen.  So, our individual odds of gaining eternal joy are greater than winning a lottery when millions buy a ticket and one or two get a prize.

On hearing this news, it is only sane to ask:  “How do we get to Heaven?  What must we do to get there?”

We may begin by picturing ourselves in the Midway of a huge fair.  People are everywhere.  Lots of hustle and bustle.  We may ask God:

“God I want to get to Heaven.  What must I do?”   People in the Midway will often try to guide us to one of many tents alongside.  Carnival Barkers can be heard saying, “Save your soul?  Step this way!  Step right way!”

As we start looking, we are surprised to become aware of dozens, hundreds, even thousands of openings leading off the Midway.  Each is staffed by sincere-looking, eager people who assure us “We are here to help .”

It may occur to us that all these doorways cannot lead to Heaven.  If we are fortunate, we may realize:  Just as there is one Heaven, there can only be one entrance.  All other exits from the Midway are gateways to doom.  The barkers are demons in disguise.

Slowly, we make our way down the Midway.  A large, old building is on the right.  No barkers urge us to enter the huge, unlocked door.  A few discourage us from entering.  We mount the well-worn steps and go inside.  There, a few candles burn in front of a burnished, brass box in the back.

Our eyes grow accustomed to the gloom.  The immense, arched room goes on and on and on.  Off to the sides are other rooms.  Some are marked “Celibacy”.  “That’s funny.”, we realize.  “None of other openings off the Midway were identified that way.  Another room “Chastity”, is next to “Obedience”.  All is peaceful and serene.

Suddenly, we have escaped the Midway.  But, we can go back to it, if our families, jobs, and temporary concerns are out there, in the Fair.

And, we may stumble on a passage in a book left on one of the pews.  It’s open to John 10:1.  “”But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. . .”

And, we are home.  Forever.