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Can You Swim to Hawaii?

Imagine that everyone in the United States is lined up on the shore of California and told that they either have to swim to Hawaii or die. There would be all kinds of people there of different shapes, sizes, nationalities, etc.

There would be the man who never learned how to swim. As he begins to slowly walk out into the water, a big wave knocks him down and he begins to panic. He flails his arms and legs but can't get his balance and eventually drowns.

Then there would be the guy who used to be a great swimmer. He begins to swim, but it isn't long before he begins to get tired. He practices the dead man's float he learned in Boy Scouts. He tries to keep going, but eventually he gives out. He, too, drowns.

Then there would be the girl from the high school swim team. She has been swimming every day of her life for the past 10 years. She is in excellent physical condition. She begins to swim slowly and steadily — one mile, two miles, ten miles — but she begins to get cramps in her tired muscles. She can't go on. She, too, drowns.

Then there would be the marathon swimmer, like the guys who swim the English Channel. He would start out swimming strong and steady. He passes the 10 — mile mark, the 20 — mile mark and even the 50 — mile mark. Only 2500 more miles to go, but eventually, he too begins to wear down. The waves take their toll and he finally drowns.

Although some swimmers are much better than others, there is not a single swimmer, no matter how great, who can swim all the way to Hawaii.

Just as the best swimmer can't swim all the way to Hawaii from California, even the best person in the world can't get into heaven on the basis of his or her good works alone. It is only God's grace and the shed blood of Jesus that makes the journey to heaven possible. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9.

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward