Imagine the excitement of heading out on a long awaited vacation. You've planned your itinerary, packed your clothes, called the post office to hold your mail, and set the automatic timer to turn your lights on and off while you're away (so nobody who's not supposed to know has any idea you're gone!). The car has been serviced and deemed roadworthy for the long drive ahead. You've filled the tank with gas and and the windshield is squeaky clean. All seems to be in order.
Suitcases in tow, you head out the front door, barely able to contain your excitement and the anticipation of reaching your travel destination. Beautiful, sandy beaches with crystal blue waters surrounded by palm trees swaying in the gentle breeze await you! "This is going to be great!" you think to yourself. Throw the suitcases in the trunk, start the car, say a quick prayer...and you're off!
You make your way through town, stopping briefly at the 7-Eleven for a cup of coffee (don't want to fall asleep on the road!). Then you hit the highway heading east (just because east sounds like a good direction to take and you really like the way it sounds - E-a-s-t). Your plan is to arrive at your destination in 8 hours because that's how long you think it should take (probably - give or take a few hours). You drive for a couple of hours before coming to a divide in the highway - there are two roads that you can take. You decide to take the road to the right because most of the traffic seems to be going that way. And that many people can't be wrong - right?
News flash! You probably will not be reaching your destination any time soon (if at all!). You see you can't be assured of being on the right path, heading in the right direction to get where you're trying to go unless you have a map that gives shows you the way. You see, a road map not only gives you directions, it also points out the hazards that you may face along the way. It tells you the way to go - as well as the way not to go! You can't go on a journey to a specific destination unless you truly know the way. You can't go by feelings or just follow everyone else who happens to be on the same road.
Likewise, as Christians, we need a map to show us the way to Heaven. Whether or not we reach our final destination depends on it. The Bible, which is the Word of God, gives us the directions we need. Psalm 119:105 says "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." It tells us the way that we should go, and the way that we should not go! Psalm 16:11 says " You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Without it, you may find yourself heading in the wrong direction - with consequences that will last forever. (Matthew 7:13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.") Don't follow the crowd. Don't take a chance that you think you know the way. Pick up the road map. Read it. Obey it. And you will make it safely to your eternal destination!