The Journey Toward Salvation
They were trapped in the snow, and their food was running low. As the group of settlers headed over the mountains toward the untamed West, they had tried to follow what they thought was a shortcut. They found out the hard way: when you are trying to get somewhere, you should stick with the best path, because sometimes the others will lead you where you don’t want to go. Out of the 87 members of the Donner Party who were traveling from Illinois to California in 1846, only 46 survived the “shortcut.”
We are traveling from Earth to heaven, and God has provided us with the path to get there—the way of salvation. Those who try to take a "shortcut" will never reach the goal of eternity with God. Since no shortcut leads to heaven, we must find the one true path that God has told us to take. At the start of our path is the city of Hearing. In order to obey the Gospel, we must first hear the Gospel. Paul asked the question in Romans 10:14, “And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?” The only way to hear God is to listen to the very words of God that were recorded by the inspired writers in the Bible.
After we have heard and understood, then we come to a fork in the road: one way leads to Fort Believe, and the other leads to Rejection River. To get to heaven, we must follow the path of belief: “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 4:14). Paul is saying that we must believe in Jesus in order to be with Him in heaven. However, Fort Believe is not the end of our path to salvation and heaven; we must cross the Pass of Confession. To confess something is to say that you know it, believe, and admit it. “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). To continue on our path to salvation, Paul says we must confess Christ.
Some of the Donner Party survived their shortcut, but no one survives a shortcut around God’s path to salvation. Our journey toward heaven doesn’t end at belief and confession, because there are more places we must reach. Read on.