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Where's the exit? Follow the signs

Sep 29, 2010, 2:43 PM | Article By: Galandou Gorre-Ndiaye

Most public buildings, if you look closely, display an exit sign on the wall somewhere, to guide those who are likely to head in the wrong direction on their way out or those who literally get lost.

The more intricate the plan of the building, the more likely it is to lose one's way. These signs very often consist of an arrow pointing to the direction through which to exit the building. If you are one of those who have a hard time retracing their steps, always look out for the signs.

Sometimes exit signs are not too obvious and one may be obliged to enquire, particularly if you are in a hurry, which way it is to the exit.

The question one hears very often is: 'Excuse me, where about is the exit?' The most common answer you'd get is: 'Follow the signs.' Of course, when you follow the signs you find your way out much more easily. Exit signs serve a useful purpose in directing someone who wants to find his/her way, whatever the terrain.

The life that we live on this earth, though transitory in nature can be likened to a blind man seeking his way out of a labyrinth. It gets complex on the way if we do not look carefully around us; if we do not receive the right teachings and directions.

It is a journey we all undertake conscious that one day, in under a century, it will come to an end. We are just passing through. Each of us will have to take his/her exit one day whether we like it or not.

The Bible teaches that no one knows when - neither the day nor the hour. "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son but only the Father.

As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away." (Matthew 24:36-39)

Many will be caught unawares because they have not been watching the signs, nor reading the writings on the wall; they have been busy with other futile and worthless preoccupations that would get them nowhere. Our Lord Jesus warned that we should have our eyes wide open. When the fig tree begins to bud then summer is near. "In the same way, when you see all these things, you will know that the time is near, ready to begin." (Matthew 24:33)

In spite of this time-bound and brief passage; in spite of the fact that this world is a temporary abode, some people want to make it their final destination. They want to cling to everything, hold fast to this passing phase of our existence and not let go. They behave as if our existence on this earth would be eternal. They live as if exiting this world is out of the question; it will never happen.

If it is certain that we would at one point in time exit this life no matter our desire to stay indefinitely, why not look for the exit now so that when the time comes we would just walk through it in the firm knowledge of entering God's kingdom which is the life everlasting.

The world is fraught with diverse denominations each claiming to have the answer to life and the right formula to heaven. Each is convinced of knowing the right exit.

The choice is multiple. Unfortunately, our God is not a God of confusion to propose multiple exits where one only should suffice.

The God who created the heavens and the earth is so orderly to be branded disorderly. "For God is not a God of disorder but of peace." (1 Corinthians 14:33) In essence, there should be just one exit just as there has been one entrance. Our Lord Jesus is that exit and he stated it categorically: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14: 6)

Our Lord Jesus made the statement: "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep... whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture." (John 10: 7, 9) He established that he is the Gate or the Door through which all of us, without exception, ought to pass into a better life. Not one would get lost for he says we are his sheep and he is the shepherd. (John 10:11)

How we exit this world is important. If we follow the signs then it is unlikely that we would get lost. The Bible is clear on this, if only we care to follow the signs. Our own intelligence and wisdom cannot get us there, hard work neither. "My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words.

Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body." (Proverbs 4:20-22) 

In other words those who search for the exit will find it, depending of course where they look. It would be pointless looking for an exit when we are on our deathbed. It will be equally useless to want to hold on to our traditions and cultures which cannot save us. Paul, the apostle, exhorts us in these terms. We cannot continue to hide behind flimsy excuses. "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men have no excuse." (Romans 1:20)  

We do not have to start it all over again, reinventing the wheel. God sent his prophets to show the way.

Then afterwards he sent his Son. "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.

The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful hand." (Hebrews 1:2-3) It will be sad to find out, after several years of treading the wrong path, that there is no exit on that path - it is a dead end street. 

Here is the assurance that our Lord gives: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.

In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." (John 14:1-4)

Signs followed our Lord Jesus through out his earthly ministry. He is our sure exit. There are no two ways to eternal life other than that which he declared. Follow his signs.