“The class of noisy boys in a German primary school was being punished by their teacher. They were assigned the problem of adding together all the numbers from 1 to 100. The boys settled down, scribbling busily on their slates — all but one. This boy looked off into space for a few moments, then wrote something on his slate and turned it in. His was the only right answer. When the amazed teacher asked how he did it, the boy replied, ‘I thought there might be some short cut, and I found one: 100 plus 1 is 101; 99 plus 2 is 101; 98 plus 3 is 101, and, if I continued the series all the way to 51 plus 50, I have 101 50 times, which is 5,050.’ After this episode, the young scholar received special tutoring from his teacher. The boy was Karl Friedrich Gauss, the great mathematician of the 19th century” (Bits & Pieces, April 30, 1992).
Shortcuts can be awesome. No matter what topic we’re talking about, people are always looking for shortcuts. Like the brilliant young Gauss, sometimes they can be found. Other times, only old-fashioned hard work will reach the goal. When it comes to spiritual things, people diligently and tirelessly search for shortcuts. Sadly, far too many have claimed to have found an “easy way into heaven.” Even more tragic, every single time something like this is claimed, the truth of Scripture has been neglected.
Jesus made it unavoidably clear when He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). This is the only way. There are no shortcuts. There are no other paths. There are no other options. If we want to go to heaven and be with the Father, then we must go through Jesus by obeying His words throughout Scripture (John 12:48).
There are plenty of shortcuts for everyday activities. There are no shortcuts into heaven. Perhaps this is why “the many” are on the wide and easy path towards destruction, and “the few” are on the narrow path leading to life (Matthew 7:13-14). Ironically, God hasn’t made the way to life overwhelmingly difficult. In fact, anyone can do it! Let’s stop looking for spiritual shortcuts into heaven and skeptically examine any who claim to have found one. Let’s praise God for revealing to us the way to be with Him and diligently search the Scriptures to make sure we are following His way.