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Room At the Inn

by Tim O'Hearn

Several years ago I was travelling from the Chicago area to Carlsbad, New Mexico. We had left later than expected, and we arrived in Joliet, Missouri, at about one o’clock in the morning. This is not the best hour to try to find a room in a town seventy miles from anywhere on a busy highway. After three motels we began to feel like Joseph and Mary, who found no room at the inn, and thought we might have to stay in a stable. We finally found a room available at the fourth motel we tried. It wouldn’t have helped to have reserved rooms before we left Chicago, because most places will not hold a reservation that late at night.

God is a different kind of innkeeper. You see, he never has to put up a “no vacancy” sign. That is because he has made reservations for all his people, and the reservations are good forever. God has “begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.” (1 Pet 1:3-4)

If someone told you that he had made a reservation for you for the penthouse of Trump Tower in New York City, and that all expenses were paid, would you take him up on the offer? Some people would. Many would not. They might have many reasons. Some would be too busy. Others just wouldn’t believe in such a windfall. Yet more would think they didn’t deserve it, or just wouldn’t fit in with that lifestyle.

It is the same with God’s reservation in heaven. Many people don’t believe in it. Some think they are not worthy of it. Some are just too lazy, or set in their ways, or busy to take God’s offer. Many say they will take him up on it, later. Jesus predicted these and other reactions.

And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and showed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, … none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper. (Lk 14:15-21,24)

The thing is, this reservation has been made, but there is a time limit to accept it. That limit is called life. Once this life is over, the reservation is cancelled, like when you get to the hotel too late. The chance is gone. “Exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” (Heb 3:13)

That reservation in Trump Tower does nobody any good if they don’t travel to New York and check in. God’s reservation goes unused if you don’t accept it. To do so, you must believe in the reservation, and in the Innkeeper who holds it. (Heb 11:6, Gal 3:26) You must check in. (Gal 3:27) Then you can enjoy. After all, heaven is better than the penthouse at Trump Tower.