Heíll never make it. The poor fellow can swim as hard as he can, but the current is just too strong. Those were my thoughts as I saw the man struggling in the water. He sure is determined though and really a very strong swimmer. I was actually very impressed. There he goes, almost around the bend in the river. Ooohh! And he was so close. At least he thought. Around the bend was just more river. I had seen this many times since being on the river. Seen them come and seen them sink. Sad really when you think about it. But I had my own little problem to dwell on.
I had my life jacket on and had no fear of sinking. The problem I had to think about was the falls that I knew had to be close. As I floated along, the roaring of the water, at one time not even discernible, was now becoming louder and louder. There were many branches overhanging the river and I knew all I had to do was let go of my float and grab one and I would be saved. But my life preserver was keeping me afloat. There would be just that moment when I would have to let go of that sense of security I have in my life vest to grab hold of a branch. It didnít seem that pressing a need when I couldnít hear the approaching falls. Now it looms large in my thoughts. What happened to all the others that went before me over the falls? Did their preserver actually preserve them or was it destroyed also in the rocks below the falls? Those on the banks of the river keep telling me not to trust my life vest. To let go and grab the branches. The roar is getting louder. Their pleas more frantic. Oh no! The branches are all gone. Iím going over. Aaiiigghh! Too late I find out that what I had depended on for safety would be destroyed also.
As people struggling to swim upstream, so are those that are trying to work their way into heaven. The effort and determination are noteworthy. The strength and resolve are exemplary. The goodness and accomplishments are commendable. All of these are futile. In the end, their work is swallowed up, their soul is lost.
The person hanging on to the life vest portrays those hanging on to false sense of securities. Church membership. Baptism. A profession of faith. The assurance from someone they trust. All just as dangerous as the one depending on their works, and in the end, their soul is lost.
Jesus Christ died for ALL people. His blood was shed. He was beaten. He was mocked. He was forsaken. He was buried. He rose again. He ever intercedes. God accepts Him and only Him.
Are you depending on Jesus and His righteousness and on that alone for salvation? Trust Jesus with all your heart and God has promised that you will never have to spend one moment in the fire that burns forever and ever. Donít trust the words you have said. Trust in the Savior and you wonít ever have to worry about missing Heaven.
Charles, What an excellent way to present the Gospel! I was amazed that you were able to tell your story after going over the falls, then I saw your allegory. Surprise! This could nicely be in a tract form, with an appropriate artist's illustration. Beautifully written!