The reason we were discussing this is because someone mentioned something about Corny's wife. "Wait," I said. "Corny has a wife? You mean in his country, right?"
"No, here." one of the kids said.
"Well then why did he want to marry Norma?" I asked.
"To become a citizen!"
"But he can't marry Norma if he's already married."
"Yes, he can. They're not legally married in the U.S. if they're not legal."
"Wait. So, you're saying that if Brian and I went to say, France, we wouldn't be legally married?" (Probably a bad choice; you can do anything in France)
"But still...I don't think Corny's wife would be too happy if he married Norma."
"Yes, she would."
"Because once they were married long enough for him to stay a citizen, they'd get divorced and then he could marry his wife."
No matter how hard they tried to explain this to me, I just couldn't understand it. Some things just don't make sense to me.
Similarly, we cannot become a citizen of Heaven without "marrying" Jesus. He told Nicodemus that no one can see the kingdom of heaven unless they are born again (John 3:3). Nicodemus questioned this by asking how can you enter your mother's womb and be born a second time? Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit (v5-6)... For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (v16)
Essentially, we must believe in Jesus in order to enter heaven. But is it enough to "just believe?" Romans 10:9 says, If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Well, there it is. It's not enough to just believe in Jesus; we must declare with our mouths and believe in our hearts that Jesus rose from the dead and is Lord. Joyce Meyer likes to say, "Do you want to just go on a date with Jesus, or do you want to marry him?" Marrying Him will give us His name. Just believing in Him won't. Lots of people believe that He existed. Not everyone wants to "marry" Him.
We will become a citizen of Heaven if we marry Jesus. But what about our loved ones? What about our unbelieving spouse? Well, they can't just come into heaven on our coat tails. Since there is no sin in heaven, no illegal marriage is permitted. Similarly, we can't marry a citizen of heaven and automatically become a citizen. And then get divorced and re-marry our spouse we married in another country. It doesn't work like that. A "marriage" with Jesus is an individual one. Everyone has to individually declare him with their own mouth and believe in their own heart that Jesus was raised from the dead and is Lord.
Are you a bride of Christ? If not, are you ready to "marry" Jesus and become a citizen of Heaven? Or are you content to just go out on a date now and then and not commit? It's your choice.
By the way, Corny did not marry Norma. She wasn't interested.
Blessings Along the Path,
Song of the Day