Faith- 11/21/19

“Sorry…there’s no stairway TO heaven!”

By Pastor Ron Buxton

If you grew up in my generation—or the generation preceding mine—then you’ll understand exactly what I’m writing about. You see, on all the record charts that have ever been compiled, there is one song that comes out as the #1 rock-n-roll song of all time: “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin. Interestingly, the message behind the lyrics has been debated ever since that song hit the airwaves in 1971. And, sadly, for many people, it has become a source of misguided inspiration. Allow me to explain what I mean.

It is no secret that Jimmy Page and Robert Plant (who penned the actual lyrics) attributed the song to pagan mysticism. This was repeated in interviews by them. References to the “May Queen” (the goddess of Spring), and the “Piper” (one who leads by enchantment) are unmistakably Welsh occultism. And even non-religious fans of Led Zeppelin–with no knowledge of those interviews–would tell you that. No breaking news there!

My thoughts today, however, are directed to misguided inspiration derived from that song. You see, there is a metaphorical “stairway” concerning heaven—but it certainly is not TO heaven. And it most certainly cannot be purchased! That much is 100% wrong—no matter how many people are inspired by that song! Amazingly, many people have even used that song as an almost religious “rite” in modern-day funerals. Nevertheless, when wrong becomes a “rite”–it simply doesn’t make it right!

The truth is that there is a “stairway”–but it is not TO heaven. To the contrary, it is FROM heaven! Ever since the tower of Babel (Genesis 11), mankind has attempted to bypass their own mortality through religious self-effort to access heaven. In essence, they’ve been attempting to “buy a stairway to heaven”–as the song goes. However, the Bible refers to that as futile. Why? Mankind is spiritually bankrupt! And that’s why the “stairway” must come FROM heaven!

The Gospel message is that the “stairway” has arrived on planet earth. Christ Himself is that very “stairway FROM heaven”! He enables a sin-sick person access to God’s ultimate rescue plan and access into heaven itself. However, here’s where the difficulty comes in: What could not be “bought” must be “sought”. Nobody will ever be forced to walk up that stairway. You and I must choose to do so. God is not a celestial stalker!

Jesus declared in John 3:13— “No one has ever gone into heaven except the One who came down from heaven”. Without a doubt, Jesus was talking about Himself as that very “stairway FROM heaven”! However, I repeat, we must choose. All around us is the decay, disease, and death of this fallen planet. And there is no man-made exit from that. I’m sorry if you’re a fan of that classic rock song— but there is no stairway TO heaven. But why wouldn’t you want to step–by faith–towards that “stairway FROM heaven”? Christ is waiting with His arms open wide!


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