Jonathan HowesOne Day in Heaven
By Jonathan Howes
Lead Pastor
Graystone Church

A few years ago some friends invited our family to go to Six Flags with them for the day. They had VIP passes, and said that all of our expenses would be covered. So, our family piled into our swagger wagon (a.k.a. minivan), and we followed their family to Six Flags.

When we arrived at Six Flags, we did not park in the General Parking Lot. We actually pulled into valet parking and a nice young man parked our car for us. Instead of waiting in line to enter the amusement park, we were escorted through the company offices. We were introduced to our VIP host for the day. He said that he would take care of ANYTHING we needed while we were at Six Flags.

Our host explained to us that we could ride any ride in the park, and we did not have to wait in line. So, we hit the park running. We arrived at the first roller coaster, and there was around a 45 minute long line. We bypassed the line and enter the ride through the exit ramp in the back. When the next roller coaster pulled up to the loading area, our host stopped the line. He told us that we could ride in any seat on the roller coaster, so our two families climbed aboard. After we rode the ride our host asked if we wanted to ride the roller coaster again. And all of our kids cheered, “Yes!” So we rode the roller coaster again while the non-VIP’s had to wait longer in line. We repeated this same experience on every roller coaster at Six Flags. Finally, we had to quit making eye contact with all the patrons who had been waiting in the long lines, because we felt a little guilty. But we did not feel guilty enough to forfeit our VIP treatment.

Another perk of being a VIP at Six Flags was free food. We could eat whatever we wanted whenever we wanted. We ate Dippin’ Dots, frozen lemon ice, candy, soft drinks, cheeseburgers, and fries. We could eat at any restaurant or concession stand for free. We went to a show that night, and they reserved the front row for us. We didn’t have to buy tickets or wait in line. We just walked in a side door of the theatre and sat down right before the show started. Then our host brought us popcorn, cotton candy and drinks. We were treated like royalty.

When we left Six Flags that night, they gave us souvenirs with our pictures on them. They provided funnel cakes and drinks for our ride home. And the valet had our car waiting for us right outside of the Six Flags offices. We had the time of our lives, and it was a family experience that we will never forget.

The VIP treatment at Six Flags was completely free for our family, but someone had to pay for it. In fact, it was very expensive. We are still blown away and thankful for our friends’ incredible generosity.

Salvation in Heaven is completely free for you and me, but someone had to pay for it. In fact, it was very expensive and cost more than we could ever repay. Jesus Christ paid the price for us with everything he had, his life. He paid the price for our sins. The payment for our sins was death (Romans 6:23), and Jesus Christ paid the price on the cross for us. 1 Peter 3:18 says, “For Christ died for sins once and for all, the righteous for the un-righteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit.”

Jesus paid the price for us, so that we could be reconciled to God and have eternal life. We are able to have full access to Heaven through faith in Jesus Christ. And I am convinced that one day in Heaven with God will be way better than receiving the VIP treatment at Six Flags. In fact, the Bible says that one day in Heaven is better than a thousand else-where (Psalm 84:10). I don’t know about you, but I am eternally grateful.

Jonathan Howes has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from Jacksonville State University and a Master in Divinity Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the lead pastor for Graystone Church. Locations include the Ozora Campus: 1551 Ozora Road Loganville, GA 30052, the Walton Campus: 723 N Broad St Monroe, GA 30655 and the Oconee Campus: 1275 Lenru Road Bogart, GA 30622.

Phone: (770) 466-3159
Email: info@graystonechurch.com
Website: GraystoneChurch.com 
Blog: http://toliveischrist.cc
Twitter: @JohnnyHowes