The news broke when my daughter was receiving the notifications from her college applications. It was the college admissions scandal and it was disrupting every high school and college in the United States. The story is familiar to most and there is no need to revisit the details. The aftermath and repercussions are wide-ranging. Discussions with other parents often ended in anger and disgust over the entire application process. Nearly all educational institutions were forced to review their own application process to safeguard against future abuses.
Dozens of individuals were willing to pay thousands of dollars to secure admission, seemingly bypassing the usual filters and oversight. The institutions that were implicated in the scandal are obviously prestigious because there is a perception that a degree obtained from matriculating there will lead to professional and personal success. A cynical way to interpret this is it must be worth it!
It is not the first time a coveted position has attempted to be purchased. Several hundreds of years ago, the Christian church was involved in a scandalous affair. Indulgences were established as a means to acknowledge one’s remissions of sins by some action, often a prayer said aloud or the performance of good works. Unfortunately, through the action of a few unscrupulous priests, the practice devolved into a means of forgiving sins by earnest followers paying for their indulgence. Large sums of money were given in exchange for the forgiveness of present and future sins. Martin Luther, a priest, was appalled by this and other practices of the church and his objections eventually led the way to the Protestant reformation.
As the college admissions scandal has demonstrated, there are no shortcuts or bypasses that can guarantee admission to a coveted position. What about spiritual concerns? Since Adam and Eve, mankind has sought to place themselves in the position of God and take control of their eternal destiny. However, in spite of what the world and unscrupulous liars, even within the Church, may aver, salvation, eternal life, and the remission of sins can never be bought or earned.
…yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
Galatians 2:16 (ESV)
Salvation can only be granted by surrendering our will to God by confessing and repenting of our sins and accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
It is worth it?
Our eternal destiny depends upon how one answers this question for oneself.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.