Many (many, many, many) years ago when I prepared for a cross-country road trip, I always bought a current road atlas. Of course I still had a stack of the old, multi-fold road maps, some of which were actually folded correctly, but as I said, they were old.
Time takes its toll on road maps, as the feds, states, and counties are always busily building new roads and changing old ones. You just can’t trust old road maps.
You can usually count on old topographical maps however, because mountains, rivers and oceans don’t often change position. But such maps can still include errors, and old structures are poor landmarks, as they can be demolished or moved. Face it, while some maps may be mostly correct, regardless how much you pay for them you just can’t trust them to be inerrant.
This morning, though, I happened upon a very old map to a popular destination that you can count on for absolute accuracy:
2 Peter 1:5-7 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, (6) and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, (7) and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
Here is a turn-by-turn map to being effective and fruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (reference to 2 Peter 1:8)
Someone will say, “But, what about heaven? Where’s the map to heaven?”
If that’s your thought, shame on you! Yes, heaven is our ultimate destination, but bearing spiritual fruit is part of the process of getting there, kinda like filling up with gas or grabbing lunch at a local greasy-spoon. On this spiritual road, representing Christ well during this temporal life is our first priority.
2 Corinthians 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
If you need that predigested, it means we have loads of work to do before we meet the Lord in heaven. Now don’t get me wrong on this; the “heaven” part isn’t our reward for all that work, but those who are truly heaven-bound will naturally do the work out of their love for Jesus.
So, if you’re looking for a shortcut to heaven, fergetaboutit! The road to heaven is a “freeway;” free from habitual sin, free to do God’s will, free to become the person God created to be, right here in your own back yard.