Heaven can wait#3. “Choked out.”

Heaven can wait#3. “Choked out.”

Years ago, a young man pulled up into my driveway in a stunning yellow luxury sports car. And as quickly as he appeared, having collected his wife and son, he drove off into the sunset. It was truly a sight to behold in my humble neighbourhood. However, it was all make-believe. Not only had he borrowed this ‘flash car’ to impress us, he also went home to a house without electricity; it had been cut off after months of non-payment. Sadly, this was just the tip of his family woes. Things quickly went from bad to worse.

Christians are not immune to such troubles. And since many Christians are caught up in their own unholy wars against debt, it is doubtful that they would appreciate their troubles being associated with hell.

Jesus offers solutions, but they must be taken as the driving force of life, not just a temporary fix. When he says, “Follow me,” he is calling us away from the world’s perspective of life and things. For it is that worldly perspective that makes us seek our own pleasures. Pleasures are sought at the expense of our spiritual wellbeing.

This “worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth” is that which chokes a Christian out of the prospect of heaven. They are the ‘thorns’ of Jesus’ Parable of the Sower (Mt.13).

Jesus gets straight to the cause of this spiritual asphyxiation. Being smothered by life’s troubles and the pursuit of phantom riches sucks the oxygen out of any efforts to produce fruit. It is being connected to the vine that the branch produces fruit. Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches (Jn.15). It is by abiding in him that we can negotiate this world’s worries and avoid the trap of thinking that money is the answer to everything.

Then you can breathe easy.

John Staiger


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