Today in church, our pastor used a parable he had made up to describe the extent of how far God's grace reaches. He said that there was an airplane parked at the gate waiting for the passengers to board. The pilot of the airplane was Satan, and his plan for the flight certainly did not match the promised flight plan. His intent was to crash the loaded passenger plane into a mountain and destroy all the souls on board. One of the flight crew stood at the foot of the steps leading up to the plane, but instead of his welcoming the passengers, he warned them that their Sin Airlines flight was going to crash, and all on board would die. The pilot, standing at the top of the stairs, told them to ignore him, and so they all boarded.
As the plane left the runway, he got on the public address system and again repeated his warning. But by this time, the passengers were snuggled in their warm blankets watching a wonderful in-flight movie. They had their dinner trays, their complimentary cocktails, and they were not interested in listening to a "nut" trying to frighten them. He told them he had smuggled a parachute on board for every crew member and passenger, that they should line up to receive theirs; they needed to trust him and leave before it was too late. The pilot repeated his message to ignore the over-stressed flight attendant, and so they did.
When they continued to ignore his warnings, he took ice cold water and poured it on them to get their attention, but again, they ignored him, even cursing him and threatening him. When he refused to be silenced, a group of them grabbed him and threw him to his death. At last, they could enjoy their flight in peace. After all, the pilot had repeatedly told them to ignore him, and to relax; he told them he had everything under control, and there was no need to worry. He even complimented them for their solution to "the problem."
Just then, one of the passengers looked out the window and realized they were about to fly into a mountain side. He jumped up, shouted a warning, put on his parachute, and jumped to safety. A couple other passengers believed him and jumped just moments before the plane exploded against the snow-capped mountain. They had been saved because they finally believed the warnings. The pilot, although delighted that he had fooled two hundred into trusting him, was still furious that he had lost three of those he intended to kill.
My pastor said that God's grace had provided a prophetic warning about Sin Airlines. Grace had provided Someone willing to lose His life trying to rescue all who would believe Him. Grace had provided the means to escape certain death. And grace had moved three passengers to at least consider the evidence that the warning was authentic. When they believed, and trusted in the only way they could escape, they were saved.
Grace is getting something we do not deserve. We do not deserve a warning (the Word of God). We do not deserve the means to escape (the Son of God). We do not deserve the precious time it takes to believe the warning, put on the "chute," and walk through the exit. God's grace rescues us when His Spirit opens our eyes to see and we "take the leap of faith." He doesn't push us out; He says, "Follow Me!"