It has been about thirty years since the airlines were first required to ask security questions of passengers who were either purchasing tickets or seeking to board a plane. I will never forget my first questioning by a ticket agent in Oklahoma City. She knew me as a local pastor and a frequent flier, so she wanted to get it just right. The conversation went something like this”
Agent: Pastor, with all these new security concerns I am required to ask you some questions.
Me: Though tempted to say “Shoot!” or “Fire Away!” I resisted the urge and replied, Go right ahead.
Agent: Has somebody given you something that you don’t know about?
Me: Mmmmm…I don’t know.
Agent: I didn’t ask that correctly. What I meant to ask was whether someone has come up to you without you knowing it and given you something.
Me: Mmmmmm…Uh..I don’t know.
Agent: I’ve just really goofed this up. Do you know what I mean?
Agent: Well…have they?
Agent: Then here’s your ticket and have a good flight.
Fortunately both the ticket agent and I had a good laugh and I proceeded to the gate. But for some reason I felt less secure after her questioning than before. (If this were a text I’d put a smiley face here!).
Times have changed, and so have the procedures. You cannot travel these days without being impressed with the fact that security is a big deal. It wasn’t long after this, in fact, that the Department of Homeland Security was birthed, and with it the TSA, now prominent in every airport.
Ironically, most people are far less concerned about their spiritual and eternal security than they are about their physical and temporal security. Interestingly, God’s Word makes it clear that our eternal security is a matter we can both settle and know!
Does this fact surprise you? You see, there are some folks who believe that God just never lets you know whether you are going to make heaven when, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. First John 5:14 states These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
If you are unsettled about your eternal security I challenge you to read First John carefully and prayerfully. Look for the security questions and underline the verses that spell out the characteristics of a true believer. Sometimes they even use words like “This is how you can know.”
I don’t want to mess around with airport security. But just in case someone gets through and succeeds in creating havoc and death, its good to know that I am eternally secure. After all, to be absent from this body is to be at home with the Lord (2 Cor 5:8).
Either way…I get home.
2 Tim 1:12