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Monday, December 7, 2020

On Board?

By David A. Sargent

    Dr. John Goetsch had spoken at a youth rally in Norfolk, Virginia and was ready to fly home. A youth minister drove him to the airport in Norfolk to catch his flight which would include a stop in Philadelphia and then on to Baltimore.
    Goetsch told of his experience: “When I arrived, there were no lines at the ticket counter, whatsoever. I proceeded to the kiosk where I checked in without a problem, and then I headed for Gate A-11. The terminal was amazingly desolate. I breezed through security in about fifteen seconds! Gate A-11 was at the end of the terminal, and when I arrived, the flight was scheduled to leave in about forty minutes at 7:50 pm, but there was not a soul in sight! After checking my emails and phone messages, I made my way back down the terminal to see if I could find someone – anyone.
    At about Gate A-6, I spotted a US Airways agent and asked her about my flight. She quickly checked the computer and said, ‘Oh, yes, that flight is on time, and you are checked-in and ready to go.’ I made my way back to the gate and was pleased to see that another passenger had arrived — a college-aged young lady, who smiled and said: ‘It doesn’t look like many people are going to Philadelphia.’ I jokingly remarked, ‘Well, I just checked, and they said that you were flying the plane and I’m serving the peanuts.’
    An agent appeared about ten minutes before our flight was to leave and called us to the gate — both of us! We were the only two passengers on a plane that easily could seat over one hundred people…
    We climbed the stairs to the plane and were met by a very friendly stewardess and our pilot and co-pilot…
    We were informed that our pilot and co-pilot together had over forty years of flying experience, and our flight attendant had been doing her job for over ten years. It was amazing to realize that these three people had been trained and were being paid to fly just the two of us to our destination.
    During that one hour night flight, my heart was saddened as I thought about what we were experiencing. Many people were involved in making that flight possible. The pilots, the flight attendant, the air traffic controllers, the baggage handlers, the ticket agents, the crews that had fueled the plane and did the maintenance — hundreds of hours of preparation all for just two people!” *
    Then Goetsch thought about this application: “My mind thought about Heaven and all of the preparation that has gone into making that destination possible…”
    That preparation included a plan that preceded the creation of the universe (1 Peter 1:18-20), God sending His Son into the world (John 3:16), the cruel death of Jesus on the cross (1 Peter 2:24), the resurrection of Jesus from the grave (Matthew 28), the inspiration and preservation of God’s message of salvation in the Bible (Galatians 1:11-12), the institution of the local church to proclaim the message (Acts 2ff), and preachers and teachers faithfully proclaiming the message (Romans 1:16). In addition, the Lord Jesus ascended back into Heaven saying, “I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:1-3).
    Goetsch pondered: “I wondered how many people have a ticket and are checked-in to that destination?”
    Are YOU onboard?
    God will save and give eternal life to those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). He will continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7-9).
    Please “get on board” by trusting and obeying Jesus. He is the way to life eternal in heaven (John 14:6).
- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled "Living Water." To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website: http://www.creekwoodcc.org

* Adapted from “Empty Seats” by Dr. John Goetsch as quoted in Ministry 127, https://ministry127.com/resources/illustration/empty-seats 


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