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Covid-19 Devotionals

Queues

To us every day is interesting and exciting. Generally we never have a dull day. After a few weeks since Home Affairs in Pretoria Central was closed down due to Covid problems, we ventured there today. We were in the queue by 7.15am. The office opens at 8.30am. We started off around 30th in the queue. At 8.00am the security came asking us to practice social distancing, resulting in the queue extending itself a long way with easily upwards of 30 behind us.

We were in one of a few queues. By 8.30am the queue started to move but people started to crash into the queue. Others arrived late and paid “runners” to organize them a quicker entry. I could be wrong, but it seemed the security are privy to or part of this “arrangement”. The closer we moved towards the entrance door, the more people came from nowhere, joining the queue. Eventually when we were number 7 in the queue, we thought the end is in sight … and suddenly more queue crashers appeared. What was so strange is that when the queue was long, our hands were sanitized and we needed to complete the admission form for Covid protocol purposes. The queue crashers escaped this process.

Eventually by 9.45 we entered and needed to go up to the first floor, complete the required documents for the certificates were want, pay the costs on the third floor, return to the first floor and have the applications captured. This took about an hour in total. I must say, once inside, the staff are extremely helpful, friendly, proficient and professional. The person who helped us the most said that their office is supposed to service Pretoria, Atteridgeville and Soshanguve, but people come from all over Gauteng, even the townships and rural areas, because of their professional service. He says this is the reason for the crowds and the queue crashing.

I suppose we as a people are famous for queue crashing. We were quite surprised this morning that people whom we would not expect to complain about the queue crashing did. The sad thing is there is little we can do about it … but if the officials at Home Affairs had the will, they could easily stop it by using a number system and prevent crashing and runners from delaying those who have been waiting for hours. We see crashers like this in Supermarkets, the Post Office, Banks, Voting Stations … in fact we see it wherever a queue is formed. Some people either sleep late or just arrive late and want to hop the queue because they have “a reason” why they ought to be served before those who took the time and effort to get up early and queue.

There is another entry point that will work very differently to what we are used too … but first let me be a little humorous. Dave dies and waits in the queue to get into heaven. St. Peter is screening people and then asking for their denomination. The little old lady answers, “Methodist”. He checks his files and says, “Eighth door on the left. Be quiet as you pass the first door on the right.” Again he asks a man, “Denomination”? The man replies, “Lutheran”. St. Peter checks his files and then says, “Sixth door on the right. Be quiet as you pass the first door on the right.” Eventually it’s Dave’s turn. “Denomination”? Dave replies, “United Reformed”. St. Peter checks his notes and says, “Fourteenth door on the right. Please be quiet as you pass the first door on the right.” Dave is really inquisitive … and asks St. Peter, “Why must we be quiet as we pass the first door on the right?” St. Peter responded, “Oh, that’s the Evangelicals. They think they are the only ones here.”

Naturally, this is just a joke, but many people think that heaven’s access is so easy. Just queue and “St. Peter” will grant you entrance because you are morally good or generous or loving. Others think that on your way to heaven you’ll see beautiful sights and be able to take photos. Still others think they will be able to stop and chat to people on the way or even visit long lost friends or family members on route. But heaven is not a visit, nor is it a holiday.

Heaven is forever and entrance is restricted to those who qualify to enter. This qualification is not a baptismal, confirmation or church membership certificate. Neither is it your matric certificate or college diploma or university degree. The only qualification that will count is you being Born Again.

Jn 3:3 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

And the certification of being Born Again is “Grace through Faith”:

Eph 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

The Bible does not speak about queues at heaven’s gate, but it does speak about two judgments! The first is the judgment of believers. This judgment is not for salvation. See above, salvation is by grace through faith alone.

Rom 14:10 we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written: “As surely as I live,” says the Lord, “every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.” 12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

This judgment is for rewards in heaven. The other judgment is the judgment of unbelievers.

Rev 20:11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

No queue crashing will happen. Only those in the queue to heaven and eternal happiness will be there and only those in the queue leading to punishment and hell will be there.

O God of eternal salvation, thank You for saving my soul for glory. I have so many family members and friends who do not know You as Lord. Please reach out and save them. Lord, I understand that death is final, yet so few see their need. Anoint preachers to proclaim the Gospel, calling the lost to Yourself, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

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