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  • Writer's pictureMark


There’s a joke about a gas station attendant who looked out of the building and saw an alien pumping gas into a flying saucer. On the side of the space craft were the huge letters UFO.

The man stepped outside and tried being nonchalant. “So, how’s the weather out in space?”

“Not bad,” the alien replied. “Some gravity storms made me detour and I needed to fill up before I got to where I was going.”

After talking about the weather for a bit, the man pointed to the side of the alien’s craft. “So, do those letters stand for ‘Unidentified Flying Object?’”

The alien shook his head. “Unleaded Fuel Only.”

Many people are old enough to remember when gasoline came in only a couple of varieties - regular and premium. Then came unleaded, super unleaded, unleaded plus, ethanol, and now there are all kinds of ethanol variants.

One quick way to kill a gasoline engine is to put sugar in the tank. Unleaded gas in an engine designed for “regular” gas (yes, they still exist) will slowly eat away that engine and will eventually destroy it.

Sin is the same way.

Back at the beginning, people were designed to live forever. I’ve heard pundits say the human body itself is proof there’s no omniscient creator. “Who would design humanity with the ‘playground’ so close to the ‘sewer?’” That statement alone shows their lack of understanding about God.

There was no sin, way back then. There was nothing created that was bad for us, and that included all the bacteria and viruses. But then sin came along and destroyed the perfect design. It put E-85 into a “regular” engine.

Instead of living forever, Adam and Eve only lived about 900 years. That seems a lot of time when our bodies wear out after less than a century, but we’re running on spiritual fuel our bodies weren’t designed for.

That kind of thing can work, for a while. You can live without acknowledging God, and have what most people would call a “full” life. But we’re designed to live forever, and sin burns out our bodies.

When the engine finally freezes up, our bodies die. We, however, continue on. The instant we die we’ll be standing before God - the ultimate and fair judge. Satan will be at the prosecutor’s table, and Jesus will be there to defend us.

Every act of rebellion we’ve engaged in will be paraded before God. Satan will decry, “Mark used E-85 when the manual clearly states unleaded fuel only!” Evidence will be brought forth, witnesses consulted, and in the end there’s no case to be made for my innocence. I’ve sinned - guilty as charged.

Then Jesus will stand up and walk to my side. “I’ve paid the price for Mark’s unlawfulness, and he accepted.”

The gavel comes down. “Case dismissed.”

Now, keep in mind there are those who never trusted Jesus as their defense attorney. When the evidence against them is detailed, God will look toward Jesus.

The Messiah will say, “I never knew him.”

The gavel comes down. “Guilty as charged.”

Those who never turned to Jesus will know they are guilty. As I know I’m guilty. But in my case the penalty has already been paid.

Heaven isn’t for perfect people - it’s for forgiven people.

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