Are you lost? Get the right directions

Pastor Thad Gifford Contributing Columnist

June 26, 2014

Mondays are my day off. So Molly (our English Springer Spaniel) and I took a road trip to Grayson, Ky.

Have you ever been to Grayson? I had not. So, I pulled up Google Maps on my phone, punched in “Grayson, Kentucky” and in about 10 seconds, a route was mapped out for me on my phone. Pretty simple, huh? I backed out of our driveway, and followed GPS for the next 2 hours and 53 minutes. It took me on roads I had never driven on before and before I knew it, I had no idea where I was. My only option was to follow (and trust) the GPS. I could do nothing more.

Well I arrived at my destination, took care of the business at hand, and started the return trip home. I asked the man with whom I was meeting, if there was a better way to go home than the way I had come. It seemed like almost three hours was a long time and if I could save some time, I was all about that. Well he starts telling me what roads to take and where to turn and how I could save about 15 minutes off my trip. Wanting to have a change of scenery, I decided to try his new route.

It wasn’t much longer after I made the first right turn that I began to wander if I had made the right decision. (In a list of turn right, go to the dead-end and turn left, follow that until it runs into this route and turn right again. Take it for about 34 miles and you’ll see a sign that directs you to Portsmouth and then you will see Route 23 and it will take you home.)

I drove for about 20 miles and decided that I might have taken a wrong turn somewhere. Solution? Turn on my phone, go to Google Maps and have GPS direct me home. Sounded great, I turned Maps back on and guess what? Did you know that in some of the “hollars” of Kentucky, there isn’t very good reception and without reception, you don’t have phone service and without phone service, Internet is also sporadic and with sporadic Internet, Google Maps doesn’t work. It just plain did not work.

So there I was, miles from civilization (not really but it sure felt like it) and I had no idea where I was. The only thing I could do was trust the directions I was given. I did and in about 2 hours and 38 minutes, I was back home in London, Ohio. I did save about 15 minutes and saw some new scenery. Everything turned out all right. All because I trusted someone’s directions.

God has given us directions in His Word as to how to get to Heaven when we pass on from this life. Basically, there are three things we need to know and they are the Bible’s primary teaching: 1) Everyone is a sinner. 2) Jesus died for our sins. 3) If we accept Jesus as our Savior, we will be able to spend our eternity in Heaven with God. So if God tells us in His Word “how to” go to Heaven, why is it that man believes there are many ways to Heaven?

Some people believe being good or being a church member or being baptized or doing good to others, or being confirmed or (you fill in the blank) will get them to Heaven. God says we are to accept what Jesus did on Calvary’s cross and receive the free gift of eternal life. Period. Not Jesus plus baptism equals eternity in Heaven. Not Jesus plus church membership equals Heaven. Not Jesus plus anything. It’s only Jesus and receiving Him as Savior allowing us to spend our eternity in Heaven with God. There is only One way and Jesus is the Way. It’s called G.P.S. or “God’s Plan of Salvation.”

So, the question is, are you going to trust yourself for eternal life or are you going to trust God?

And that is Something to Think About for this week.

Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at (740) 852-7800, email him at