Total and Free Access
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
Some years ago I was living in one of the Alpine valleys of Southern France, preaching to one of the little Huguenot congregations while I was pursuing my studies at the University of Grenoble. Every Thursday morning I walked four miles up the valley to a little centre where I taught a score of children about God. In that village there lived a Roman priest who, on Thursday, used to come down the valley to a village near the one where I lived. Frequently our paths crossed, and at times we found ourselves going the same direction.
One day as we went along together he said to me, “Why do you Protestants object so strongly to our praying to the saints?” I asked him to explain what advantage there was to be gained from praying to the saints. He replied, “Well, suppose, for example, that I wanted an interview with the President of the Republic. I could go to Paris and arrange for an interview with any one of the members of the cabinet. In the same way I may obtain the intercession of the Virgin and the saints on behalf of my desires as I pray.” I said to him, “Sir, let me ask you a question. Suppose that my father is the President of the French Republic. Suppose that I live in the Palace of the Elysee with him, sit at his table three times a day, and am frequently the object of his tender solicitations, and know the touch of his loving hand. Do you think for a moment that if I have a problem to present to him that I am going to go across Paris to one of the ministries, pass all the guards and secretaries that surround a cabinet member, and finally reaching his office say, ‘Monsieur le Ministre, would you be so kind as to arrange an interview for me to talk with my daddy?’ Do you not rather think that I will look him in the eye at one of the moments when he puts his arm across my shoulder in a gesture of affection, and then tell him that I have a request to make?” The priest was taken aback.
Access! Think of it. At any moment, in any place, I may go to the Father, knowing that with Jesus Christ as my one Mediator I will be instantly received. I am a child of the King. I have become at the very moment of my new birth an heir of God, and a joint–heir with Jesus Christ. I have “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven” for me (cf. 1 Peter 1:3).