Recently, my wife and I went back to our hometown to manage an estate sale for her Family.  

We both left home more than 20 years ago, and although we have visited many times since there are countless names and faces that have been forgotten from those days.

It was good to be able to see some old friends and to catch up with people we have not seen in decades. We also ran into some people who say they knew us, but neither of us can remember. Not all relationships are equal I guess.

One morning before we opened the gates of the estate to start the sale someone was calling out my wife’s name from beyond the gate. My wife has a great memory, trust me on that one, but he had no idea who was calling out to her.

This happened numerous times throughout the weekend. Someone would walk up and say something like, “I used to live down the street from you, remember?” or “I went to school with your sister, remember?” or “Your daddy knows who I am.”

I do not doubt that these people knew my wife and her Family, at least by name. Inevitably, though, many of them just wanted a deal on something or to be let through the gate early or to write a check instead of paying cash for an item in the estate sale. People were “name dropping” all weekend in hopes of gaining some type of advantage or deal.

That image of the stranger calling out from beyond the gate really stuck with me.  

According to my Christian faith there is only one way through the gates of heaven and to be able to stand before God the Father.

John 14:6 reads: “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.’”

There will be many people who will attempt to use the name of Jesus above all names to gain access to God in heaven. However, not all relationships are created equal. Just because someone knows your name does not mean that you know them.  

Matthew 7:21 reads: “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.”

And Matthew 7:23 continues: “I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.”

Salvation in Jesus Christ is a life changing relationship based on faith, love, grace, repentance and forgiveness. That kind of relationship is forever and will never be forgotten by the believer or the savior. What kind of relationship do you have with Jesus?