One sunny afternoon, Jeff was walking on the shores of a beautiful ocean with his son, Joshua. The air smelled so fresh and clean and the waves hit the shoreline in rythm to nature’s song. As the sea gulls flew overhead, some children were playing fetch with their dog in the distance.
As Jeff and Joshua walked, they heard a scream! A child had gone too far into the ocean and he was drowning. Jeff froze in fear for he could not swim! Joshua, on the other hand, was quite the swimmer and so he jumped into the ocean without a thought.
As the child’s screams worsened, a crowd started gathering on the shore. As Joshua maintained a steady stroke, he finally reached the hysterical child. He grabbed hold him by the neck and swam back to shore where he began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. The crowd gathered round anxiously awaiting to see if the little boy would make it. What a joyous occasion it was when boy sputtered and began to breath! The crowd cheered and congratulated the hero for his brave rescue!
Being humble, Joshua ignored their praises and simply continued on his walk with his father. As they walked down the beach, Jeff turned around and noticed reporters and television media gathering round the crowd that had stayed behind. His thoughts went back to the year he had sent Joshua for swimming lessons! What a different set of circumstances it would have been had he not! Jeff was glad that he had not caved at Joshua’s fear of the water.
Each day Jeff heard accounts from neighbors and friends of Joshua’s heroism. Each account was slightly different than the previous one. Had Jeff not been there to see it for himself, he would not have known the facts. Later that week, he bought the newspaper. There in the headlines read, “Crowd saves little boy from sure death!” The reporter’s account of the events that day were far different from what actually happened. Instead of Joshua being the sole rescuer, the rescue operation had grown into a group effort. Each person interviewed by the media had added a little something to the story. Now as the story appeared, several had jumped into the ocean to rescue the child and not just Joshua. Each person wanted a part in the rescue operation when they had nothing to do with it at all. Jeff was appalled at their audacity. The truth was so twisted – Jeff was infuriated! How dare they take away from my son’s heroism!
The next day, Jeff picked up the newspaper and found a retraction had been printed on the front page. “Rescued Child Speaks Out!” The boy, Joey, had read the newspaper account of that eventful day and was astonished to read details that had nothing to do with his rescue. He felt the need to speak out and tell everyone about his hero and how it was Joshua alone who had saved him! The shame that was written on the faces of those who lied spoke volumes. The story of a child rescued from death by one solitary man was brought to light and the truth was finally known – Joshua was a hero!
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Just as everyone wanted a hand in saving Joey’s life, so does man want a hand in saving his own life. But the fact of the matter is there is only one way to Heaven.
(Joh 14:6) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
“Religion” adds their own twist to the salvation that God offers to mankind. But their accounts are wrong!
(Pro 14:12) There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
To be able to be saved from eternal damnation, we must have faith. Without faith, we cannot please God.
(Heb 11:6) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
How can we get this faith unto salvation?
(Rom 10:17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Is it any wonder that “Religion” won’t get you saved? The world’s religion has one goal and that is to convince you that there’s another way. They do not want you to read the Bible. They want you to take their word for it. They mix just enough truth into their preaching. They throw in Scripture passages and twist their meaning. They throw in their traditions and their religious leaders’ proclamations. However, the truth of the matter is that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God! Those who think they are going to Heaven because of their good deeds or because they have obeyed all the laws of their church are seriously mistaken. It is not these things that build faith. It is not these things that bring peace. God says that it is His Word that will build your faith. Won’t you take time to dig into it and read? Start with the Gospel of John and then read the other Gospels. You will be glad you did 🙂
(Joh 8:31) Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;(Joh 8:32) And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.