What's The Matter With Dave?
Submitted for your approval, (this opening used with respect to Rod Serling) is the story of a man we’ll call Dave. Dave is a family man, married several years to a loving wife, with two small children, a boy and girl. Dave himself is a loving, devoted husband, in fact, he wouldn’t so much as even glance at another woman. In short, his wife is the love of his life. He’s very much a supporter of his children, attending many a football game or a ballet recital. He mixes the perfect balance of love and discipline, and they in turn think the world of their dad.
Dave is a hard-worker. He is well-respected of his peers and subordinates at the office where he is a supervisor. He’s won numerous awards and accolades for the successful performance of his duties, which as a matter of fact his latest kudo just won him a new position within his company, as well as a hefty raise in pay, although he has yet to tell his wife.
He’s a generous man. He’s joined organizations such as Save The Children, and numerous other charitable causes, and gives generously to them all. He is what you might call a Friend’s Friend, he’s one who will give you the shirt off his back, and will stick with you until the end. He’s helped so many people, that his wife has to take his wallet from him at times. At church, Dave listens intently while the minister delivers his sermon. He sings tenor in the choir, is on the deacon board, and willingly offers his services to the church wherever he is needed. Also, he’s is not shy when the offering plate comes around, but gives generously and cheerfully, once again under the watchful eye of his wife.
He gets involved in numerous events in his community, has won many civic awards and citations, and is the go-to guy for anything his neighbors need.
To summarize, Dave is a loving husband and father, ideal employee and supervisor, generous to a fault, upstanding person in the community, a friend indeed, dedicated church worker.
But he has one fault. One that costs him eternity.
Dave dies. The funeral was lovely; great turnout of friends, family and co-workers; Inspiring words were spoken, rivers of tears flowed. There was even a commendation from the Mayor, although he couldn’t make the service, he sent a representative. The service ends, Dave is lowered into the ground.
Dave awakens, but its not where you’d think a man with his exemplary life should end up. First, he can’t see anything because darkness surrounds him, then there’s the constant screaming and crying out in pain of those that encompass him. Finally, there’s the intense heat that torments him. He then realizes where he is and begins to cry out from his own pain.
You may ask, why? Why such as man as Dave should end up in Hell for all eternity? The answer comes from the letter to the Ephesians, chapter 2 verses 4-9. Dave left out one very important person in his life. He did his best while on earth to help all that he could, and no one did he shut out, except the One he shouldn’t have -- Jesus Christ.
Good works alone doesn’t guarantee Heaven, neither does going to and joining a church. Jesus is the only way to Paradise. Salvation cannot be earned, but it’s God’s Gift, and can only come through Christ. One great illustration to this is when the Master was on the Cross between two thieves. All three men shared the same fate of being condemned to death, although only one was innocent -- Christ. Both men recognized Jesus for who he was, although one mocked him. The other humbly asked the Master to remember him when he enters into his Kingdom. Jesus’ reply was “ Today, you shall be with me in Paradise.” See Luke 23: 39-43.
Dave may be fictitious, but in reality, there are a lot of people like him, thinking that good works alone will get them into Heaven. Jesus Christ is the only Way to God. He is the only Way to everlasting peace. It is your commitment to the King, that will ensure you a place in His Kingdom