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Passing the Exam

An attractive young college student was doing well in all her classes except Chemistry. She found that to be the most difficult class she had ever had. But she just had to pass, or she would lose her scholarship. So the student made an appointment to see her professor in his office.

“What can I do for you?” he asked her.

“I just have to pass your class,” she said. “But I am really having a hard time. I will do anything, if you will pass me.”

“Anything?” asked the professor. “You are willing to do anything to pass my class?”

“Oh, yes,” she replied. “Use your imagination. I am willing to do anything you want, one time, if you will give me a passing grade.”

Then, as she began to undress, the professor stopped her.

“Are you sure you mean this? You are willing to do anything one time, in order to pass my class?” he asked.

“Yes, I said that. Now just tell me what you want me to do.”

To that, the professor responded with one word: “Study!”

The Bible says we will face final exams one day. It is called the Great White Throne Judgment. But if you want to pass the exam then, you need to prepare now.

“Study to show yourself approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed” (2 Timothy 2:15).

Just One Road

It happened in the big city of Kingman, Arizona. A dude rancher filed a notice of appeal with federal authorities to stop the use of a bypass road to the Grand Canyon Skywalk. Nigel Turner is the owner of the Grand Canyon Ranch Resort, which supplies his total income and livelihood. His problem with the bypass road was that it was an unnecessary route into the Skywalk area because two other routes already exist.

Here’s the real issue. Nigel wants all tourists to the Grand Canyon to pass by his resort. This means more business for him. He is already upset that two routes exist; he can’t stand the thought of three.

Most places have multiple routes. When my wife and I drive somewhere, her smart phone tells this dumb driver about three possible routes, whether we want three possible routes or not. But that comes in handy in times of heavy traffic.

But there is one place that only has one route. That place is heaven. Jesus said, “I am the way.” There is one way in and no way out.

No Place Like Home

Dignitaries lined the street when the funeral procession passed. Thousands waited just to catch a glimpse of the coffin. In fact, the people of the United States and all parts of the world loved and revered the deceased man so much that his remains were disinterred in Tripoli and brought to the United States for a magnificent funeral.

His name was John Howard Payne. You probably haven’t heard of him. But his well-loved poet was best known for composing one simple verse:

“‘Mid pleasures and places, though oft I may roam, Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.”

There’s no place like home. And the good news for the believer is that he isn’t home yet. This world is full of struggles, illness, and pain. But remember, we aren’t home yet.

So the next time you complain about life’s problems, remember that it gets better. God said, “I know the plans I have for you – plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). And the greatest hope of all is . . . there’s no place like home.

The Rushmore Report – At Billy Graham’s Funeral, Daughter Anne Graham Lotz Calls Church to ‘Wake Up’

Under a large white tent evoking her father’s “Canvas Cathedral” revival nearly seven decades ago, Anne Graham Lotz urged the Church, the world, and herself to “wake up!” as she joined her siblings and some 2,000 others at the funeral of her iconic evangelist father, Billy Graham, in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Friday.

“I believe, from heaven’s perspective, that my father’s death is as significant as his life. And his life was very significant. But I think when he died, that was something very strategic from heaven’s point of view,” Lotz said about her father’s passing.

The world-renowned evangelist is credited with inspiring more than three million people to commit their lives to Christ in a ministry that spanned 185 of the world’s 195 countries, according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Like a modern-day Moses, Lotz said her father brought liberation to people through the Gospel and she sincerely believes her father’s death on February 21 at the age of 99 “is a shot across the bow from heaven.”

“My father also is a great liberator. He brought millions of people out of bondage to sin and it gets us to the edge of heaven, edge of the Promised Land, and then God has called him home. And could it be that God is going to bring Joshua to lead us into the Promised Land to lead us to heaven?” Lotz mused.

“And do you know what the New Testament name is for Joshua? It’s Jesus. And I believe this is a shot across the bow from heaven. And I believe God is saying, ‘Wake up Church! Wake up world! Wake up Anne! Jesus is coming. Jesus is coming,” she said, pledging to preach God’s Word for the rest of her life.

Donald J. Wilton, of First Baptist Church in Spartanburg, South Carolina, who was Graham’s longtime pastor, recalled Graham’s deep belief in the Bible he loved and how “it governed how he lived, and it governed how he died.”

Graham’s son, the Rev. Franklin Graham, who serves as president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said in the main address that his father believed every word of the Bible even though he never understood all of it.

He praised his father for the love he had for his late mother and noted that “the Billy Graham that the world saw on television, the Billy Graham that the world saw in the big stadium was the same Billy Graham that we saw at home. There weren’t two Billy Grahams.”

About the Author

Leonardo Blair writes for The Christian Post.

The Rushmore Report – Billy Graham Speaks from the Grave

Editor’s note: Before his death, Billy Graham wrote this response as his final My Answer column. 

I hope I will be remembered as someone who was faithful – faithful to God, faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and faithful as an evangelist, husband, father, and friend.

I’m sure I’ve failed in many ways, but I take comfort in Christ’s promise of forgiveness, and I take comfort also in God’s ability to take even our most imperfect efforts and use them for His glory.

By the time you read this, I will be in heaven, and as I write this I’m looking forward with great anticipation to the day when I will be in God’s presence forever.

I’m convinced that heaven is far more glorious than anything we can possibly imagine right now, and I look forward not only to its wonder and peace, but also to the joy of being reunited with those who have gone there before me, especially my dear wife, Ruth. The Bible says, “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

But I won’t be in heaven because I’ve preached to large crowds or because I’ve tried to live a good life. I’ll be in heaven for one reason: Many years ago I put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to make our forgiveness possible and rose again from the dead to give us eternal life. Do you know you will go to heaven when you die? You can, by committing your life to Jesus Christ today.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

How to Get to Heaven

A teacher asked the children in her Sunday School class, “If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, would I get to heaven?”

“No!” the children all screamed.

“If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would I get into heaven?”

Again, the answer was “No!”

“Well,” she continued, then how can I get into heaven?”

In the back of the room, a five-year-old boy shouted out, “You gotta be dead!”

Indeed, that is a requirement for getting into heaven. You have to be dead. But that’s only half the answer. You must be dead to get into heaven, but first, you have to be alive. And that happens through faith in Christ.

The Bible says it is appointed to man to die – and then comes the judgement. We will all meet the “you gotta be dead” requirement, eventually. The real question is, are you yet alive?

The Rushmore Report: Jesse Jackson – ‘Trump Not Going to Heaven’

Imagine that a white conservative religious leader had said that President Obama wasn’t going to heaven. Imagine that, say, Franklin Graham or Jerry Falwell, Jr. said Obama “would not qualify to get into Jesus’ kingdom.” Well, that’s exactly what Rev. Jesse Jackson just said about President Trump. That deafening silence you hear is the response of the mainstream media.

The civil rights activist said this week that the Electoral College “must come down,” and then warned that President Trump may have trouble making it into heaven because of his views on immigrants.

Jackson said that Trump demands people “speak English, be qualified and have a job skill,” The Daily Wire reported.

“Jesus would not qualify to come into Trump’s country, and Trump wouldn’t qualify to get into Jesus’ kingdom,” Jackson said, going on to quote the Book of Matthew’s passage about helping the underprivileged.

Jackson also called for reminders of the Confederacy to be removed from public view, adding that “the statues must come down.”

It’s not clear why these so incredibly offensive statues never registered a complaint from Rev. Jackson over the past 60 years of his public life.

We live in amazing times. A leading religious leader can say the sitting president of the United States isn’t going to heaven, and no one says a thing. Had a conservative, evangelical leader said the same thing about President Obama, they would be criticized from within their own ranks, not to mention the outrage we would hear from every late night comedian and pundit on every television network.

But it is okay for a black liberal religious leader to do this. And no hate speech is off limits, so long as Mr. Trump (or his family) is the target.

The most prominent civil rights leader and black religious leader of the past 50 years just said, essentially, the president of the United States is not going to heaven. And it’s not even reported by the mainstream media.

This is not the American I grew up in.

The Rushmore Report: Michael Strahan on Who Will Be in Heaven

When sports stars and famous actors speak out on politics and religion, people notice. That’s why mega-star Michael Strahan made news with his recent declaration, on ABC’s morning show, on who will be in heaven. The NFL hall-of-famer didn’t stop there. He offered a new definition of the church. I like Michael Strahan. But what he said – if he really believes it – is scary.

1. Multiple roads to heaven

First, let’s consider what the TV star said about heaven. Strahan said, “There are so many different religions,” but “they are all the same,” offering “many ways to the same heaven.” He continued, “There’re so many different religions that they all end up boiling down to the same thing, but at some point in my heart of hearts, I think we’ll all end up in heaven.”

Theologians call this universalism. The idea goes like this. God is an all-loving being who will, at the end of the day, welcome into heaven all who have ever been born, because his grace is the ultimate response to our sin.

If Strahan is right, Jesus is a liar. He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). If all roads lead to heaven, Jesus lied by saying he was the only way.

If Strahan is right, God is the worst father who ever lived. He sent his Son on a death march to the unnecessary cross – if Strahan is right. Since all roads lead to heaven, why let Jesus die as though this was the only way?

But Strahan is not right. There is one way to God and that way is through his Son, Jesus Christ.

2. New definition of church

When asked on air if he goes to church, Strahan said, “On occasion . . . I mean, I’m pretty much working six days a week and then football on Sunday.” Then he excused, “I’m always at church because sometimes church can be in a state of mind.”

The Greek word for that is bologna. Each believer makes up a part of the church. We, the church, are Christ’s bride and some day he will return for his church. At that same time, some will be left behind and not be in heaven. The church is not a “state of mind,” but rather a body of blood-bought, faith-filled, regenerated and Spirit-sealed believers in Jesus Christ – the only way to heaven.

I like Michael Strahan. He was a great football player. He is a wonderful entertainer. Of course, when it comes to getting to heaven and the subject of “church,” he has a right to his opinion. And I don’t doubt his sincerity.

But on the most important issues man will ever face – issues of eternal life – Michael Strahan is sincerely wrong.

Just One Road

It happened in the big city of Kingman, Arizona. A dude rancher filed a notice of appeal with federal authorities to stop the use of a bypass road to the Grand Canyon Skywalk. Nigel Turner is the owner of the Grand Canyon Ranch Resort, which supplies the total income and livelihood. His problem with the bypass road was that it was an unnecessary route into the Skywalk area because two other routes already exist.

Here’s the real issue. Nigel wants all tourists to the Grand Canyon to pass by his resort. This means more business for him. He is already upset that two routes exist; he can’t stand the thought of three.

Most places have multiple routes. When my wife and I drive somewhere, her smart phone tells this dumb driver about three possible routes, whether we want three possible routes or not. But that comes in handy in times of heavy traffic.

But there is one place that only has one route. That place is heaven. Jesus said, “I am the way.” There is one way in and no way out.

Texan in London

The story is told of the Texan who visited the Summer Olympics in London. He was taking a taxi tour of London as he was in a hurry to see as many sites as he could in a short amount of time. As they passed the Tower of London, the cabbie explained what it was and that construction started in 1346 and continued until its completion in 1412.

The Texan replied, “Shoot, a little ‘ol tower like that? In Houston, we’d have that thing up in two weeks!”

A few minutes later, they passed the House of Parliament. The driver explained that it was built from 1544 until 1618.

The Texan replied, “We built a bigger one than that in Dallas in less than a year!”

As they passed Westminster Abbey the cabbie was silent. The Texan asked, “Whoah! What’s that over there?”

The cabbie scratched his head and said, “Now that, I don’t know! It wasn’t there yesterday!”

The Bible says that Jesus has been building a mansion for you ever since he returned to heaven. That is 2,000 years of construction. Even for a Texan, that will be an unbelievable place. I hope to see you there some day!