The picture to the right is pretty awesome, depicting some sidewalk art that creates quite an illusion. It reminds me of a story which I heard a man use as an illustration while preaching some years ago that I will relate to the best of my ability.
He told how when he and his future wife were still working their way through college, they both worked at the same restaurant and he usually drove her home at night after work. She lived in the country and one night while driving her home they hit a rabbit. It did not bother him, but his girl friend was very upset and crying still when they arrived at her house. Her father wanted to know why she was upset when he saw her, and when they explained to him what had happened, her father gave them advice on how to prevent this from happening. He explained that car head lights caused animals to freeze in their tracks. He told them that next time they see an animal on the road, they should slow down, turn off the lights and honk the horn, as this would cause the animal to run off the road.
Just a few nights later, they were again coming home after work when the man spotted the eyes of a rabbit staring at the lights in the road up ahead. He took his foot off the gas, turned off the lights, and started to honk the horn. Suddenly he heard a huge bang and felt the car jerk violently and the car spun around and into a ditch. He got out of his car to discover his front tire blown out, and a huge dent smashed in under his door. He told his girl friend that had to be one tough animal,bigger than a rabbit, and that he wasn’t very certain if he wanted to go back and take a look at it. After all, with what it had done that to his car, what would it do to him? But he walked back to take a look anyway only to find that what he thought had been a rabbit was really a cement block laying in the middle of the road.
You know, a lot of times in our lives we see things that are not always what we think they are. Just because we believe something to be true does not necessarily mean it is true. By the same token, just because we do not believe something doesn’t mean that it is not true either. Some people believe that if they are good enough, if they do enough good things, if the good in their life out weighs the bad, then they will earn their way into Heaven. It sounds good and so very righteous, but it is not true. There are some who think that because they go to church and pay their tithe and offerings, they will go to Heaven. There are some who think that because they believe what the Bible says is true, that belief will earn them a ticket to heaven. The problem is, these things just are not true.
The real truth is, as Ephesians 2:8,9 says; "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." The same Bible tells us believing is not enough, we must act on that Word and be doers of the word and not hearers only. The devil believes. Many believe. But they have not acted... by putting their trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. And then there are some people who believe that they have done too many bad hideous things to ever be able to be forgiven and accepted by God. This is not true either. The truth is this; 1John 1:9; "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." And also; Rms. 3:23,24; "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."
It appeared to those who loved Jesus that He had died on the cross, only leaving behind good and moral teachings. But on that resurrection morning as they came to His tomb to mourn, they discovered the truth. An angel proclaimed this truth to them, "He is not here, He is arisen, just as He had said."
Jesus' death on the cross "appeared" to be the end, but praise God, Jesus defeated death and the grave, giving eternal life to all who believe on His name. Yes, it appeared Jesus was dead, but in reality, death was swallowed up in victory, and Jesus will give that victory to all who will call upon His name in faith.
Many believe that there are many paths up the mountain, that all "religions" lead to the same destination. But again, things are not as they appear. God's Word testifies that there is one truth that will set you free, which is; John 14:6; Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
Many are being deceived by appearances and illusions, but things are not as they appear. There is but one way... His Name is Jesus!