Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Are You Ready?
by Tom Goodman
July 16, 2008

Years ago, I was idly channel-surfing and landed briefly on the game show, Family Feud.  As host Ray Combs was getting acquainted with his contestants, he pointed to a lapel pin that one man was wearing.  He asked, "What do those two question marks stand for?"

I immediately put the clicker down and sat up.  I had a lapel pin just like it: a simple brown pin with two gold question marks.  I used to wear it to start conversations like the one that had just started on national television.

"Well," the contestant began, "the lapel pin represents the two most important questions anyone could ever ask you."

"I'm almost afraid to ask," Combs joked, "but what are they?"

"The first one is, 'If you died today, do you know for certain that you would be welcomed into heaven?'"

Combs laughed and said good-naturedly, "I'm not going to answer that on national TV!"

He continued to introduce the other contestants, but then suddenly returned to the man with the pin and said, "Okay, I'll bite.  What's the second question?"

 "The second question is, 'Suppose you were to die today and stand before God and he asked, 'Why should I let you into my heaven?'  What would you say?'"

Combs, a stand-up comedian, said, "Because I'm the host of Family Feud and everybody loves me!"  The audience laughed, the applause sign came on, and the game began.

I wonder if Ray Combs thought any more about those two questions before his suicide a few years later.  They really are two of the most important questions in life, because they center on what it takes to pass our biggest test.

The Bible tells us that one day we will stand before God as our life is reviewed.  At that moment, we'll be glad for a Savior:  Jesus has already taken upon himself the punishment we deserved for our sins.  We believe in the forgiveness of sins, and so we lift up the poet's relieved praise (Psalms 130:3-4 CEV):

If you kept record of our sins, no one could last long.
But you forgive us, and so we will worship you.

Join with us this Sunday and let's celebrate together what God has done for us at the cross!  We meet at 9:30am and 10:45am.

Note:  The story of Ray Combs is taken from my book, The Anchor Course: Exploring Christianity Together.  If you live in the Austin area, you can check out a copy for free at our church library.  I will lead another small-group study of The Anchor Course in September.

Weblog:  At my weblog, "Get Anchored," every Sunday I post a new "Song of the Week," and every Tuesday I post some entertaining and informative "Links to Your World."

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