All of my life I’d made it my dream to get to Crown City. If I could just get to that city of celestial rewards I knew that all would be worthwhile, all those hard times, all the grinding out of patience, discipline, and good works. Yes, that would be it. That would be what it is all about, my great Crown City arrival!
I had often imagined the excitement of that city, the splendor of glowing gold, shimmering silver, and the iridescence of crystal sparkling in the Sun’s radiant rays. I smiled to think of myself as one of the chosen few who had ‘made it’ by being wiser and more faithful than the rest. In my dreams and aspirations I saw myself being welcomed with open arms, “Ah! We’ve been waiting for you!” they would chorus, as they threw arms around me to welcome me in. Oh, yes, how sweet! I could see it all!
Now here I stood, waiting before the gates of the great Crown City, hearing the unmistakable hum of celestial celebration as the gate began to open. Any second now and I would make my grand entrance. All that glorious recognition would be assured. I knew my rewards would be many and impressive. Any second now….
“Who are you?” boomed a voice from within.
“Uh, what do you mean ’Who am I?’” I stammered.
“We do not recognize you.”
“Not recognize me?! What are you talking about...‘not recognize me’...?”
“You are not registered for admission to the great Crown City.”
“This is ridiculous! You’re supposed to have a feast and celebration planned for me! What about all my achievements?--my study and devotion that led to all my accomplishments for the King? There’s been a mistake made here!”
“Sir, do you have your passport?” the voice spoke insistently.
“Passport!! What in Heaven’s name do I need a passport for?”
“No admittance, sir, without a passport.”
“Good grief! I’ve never heard of anything so…. Here, here’s my ID. Here’s my certificate of faith in the King. It got me into Heaven, and it should be good enough to get me into Crown City. What in the world, er, I mean, what in the universe is going on here?”
“Gr-r-r….what ARE you talking about? I’ve read the Bible through umpteen times and never read anything about any PASSPORT!”
“Sir, your passport to Crown City is at least one soul.”
“You must bring with you at least one other soul into the Kingdom of Heaven before you can be admitted to Crown City. Have you done that, sir?”
“Listen, I travel alone. Always have, always will, except for accompanying the King, of course.”
“Crowns are not issued here based on single occupancy, sir.”
“Wait a minute! Wait a minute! No, don’t shut the gate! There’s been a mistake here! You don’t understand! I have to get my crowns to give to the King at the Great Celebration! I know I have crowns! Let me in! LET ME IN!”
The thunder of the great gate’s closing rumbled in my head and echoed all the way to my weakening knees and ankles. My brain raced through the years of my earthly life. I must have done good enough works to bring at least one other person to Heaven. I must have!
Surely I had.
I sorted every deed,…every word of earthly life.
No evidence of a soul won.
I had been a nice person. I’d sung the praise songs.
I was a regular churchgoer.
A faith receiver of eternal life.
No evidence of bringing in another.
No evidence. No passport.
to give to the King.
“But how can people call for help if they don’t know who to trust? And how can they know who to trust if they haven’t heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them?” Romans 10:14 (The Message)
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