I have something this morning that I’m sure all of you have had at one time or another. Do you guys recognize this? It’s a ticket stub. I got this ticket the last time I went to see a movie. (Tell what movie, and when.) You guys can see the movie name, date, and time are all still on the ticket.
Any time you go to the movies you have to have a ticket. And there are lots of other places that require tickets? If you’ve ever been to a play, you need a ticket to get admission, don’t you? Or how about an airplane? Have any of you ever flown on a plane? They won’t even let you through security without a ticket.
Has anyone ever been to Disney World? Or Six Flags? Just like the movies and airplanes, they won’t let you into the parks unless you have a ticket. Why is that?
The reason we have tickets is because movies, amusement parks, plays, and airplane flights all cost money. But rather than having you pay right when you walk in, you can buy a ticket that gives you admission when the time comes for the movie, the flight, or your vacation. What happens if you don’t pay for a ticket? You can’t get in, can you?
You know one day, we’re going to have a chance to go to Heaven. We’ll have a chance to walk on streets of gold, to see all of the great heroes of the Bible, and best of all… to see Jesus. But guess what? You can’t just walk into Heaven. The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:23-24) What does that mean to you?
It means there’s a steep price to get into heaven. Because we are sinners, we deserve to die. But Jesus, who was without sin, died in our place. He paid the price for our sin, and in doing so, he bought our ticket to Heaven!
But there’s one thing that remains: you have to accept the ticket. If your Mom or Dad offers you a movie ticket, you have to take it in order to see the movie. Jesus has offered you the gift of salvation, but in order to get into Heaven, you have to accept that gift.