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Treasures of the Kingdom, Number 39 (April 2006) | Timeless Truths Publications

The Real Thing

Gerald and Tim were friends that were the same age. For their birthdays their parents each gave them a construction set.

Gerald’s set came in a huge box. It was made for boys ages five to ten and contained over 5,000 plastic bolts, nuts, and washers. It had flat plastic sheets with holes punched all around the edges, wrenches and screwdrivers, and all kinds of pipes. The pipes were threaded, just like real pipes, and came in three different shapes: straight, “L” and “T.” Gerald was very pleased with his new construction set and got permission to take it to Tim’s house after lunch.

Tim lived over two streets away, and his construction set was very different. It was not really a set at all. His parents had gone to the building supply store and bought bolts, nuts, washers, pipe lengths, and flat sheets of steel. There were no holes drilled in anything. They were cold to the touch and looked very strong. Tim’s dad allowed him to use his workshop to drill holes to fit the bolts. He had a special little saw that could cut the metal sheets or metal pipes. He could even put threads on the ends of pipes with a special tool.

Tim was building a ladder when Gerald came to visit. So Gerald decided to build a ladder, too. Pretty soon, Gerald’s ladder was built. It took a lot longer to put together Tim’s ladder. There was so much more that had to be done.

When Gerald had been over at Tim’s the day before, his best baseball had gone up on the carport roof. Since Gerald’s ladder was ready first, the boys tried to climb up the ladder and get the ball. It didn’t work. The ladder shook and wobbled. It bent beneath their weight. Gerald and Tim were disgusted. This ladder looked good, but it wasn’t good for anything.

The boys finished Tim’s ladder. Now, this was a ladder! It was heavy, but sturdy. Both of the boys could climb on it at the same time!

The two boys ladders were much like how they had been taught to believe. At Gerald’s church, you got saved by walking to the front and shaking the preacher’s hand. Then you tried to live as well as you could.

Where Tim went to church services, you got saved by really being sorry that you had wronged God and others. If you had taken something from someone, you went and made it right. You told the Lord that you were sorry as He talked to your heart, and when He forgave you, it was like you started living your life all over again. You loved everybody. You were all clean inside and knew that you were ready for heaven.

Gerald got “saved” because it seemed like a good thing to do, but it didn’t make his life different. When Tim got saved, it was the real thing. He was different, and he treated people entirely differently than he had before.