WARNING: This might be heavy…but I encourage you to read anyway. I’m going to say up front that I hope I don’t lose people with this…but I feel moved to post this and, since this is my blog, here it is.
Several things have converged in my little world that have once again got me amazed at how God works and how I change each time He moves.
First of all, the tragedy of the Steven Curtis Chapman’s family on Wednesday has had me weepy and literally with an aching heart. I cannot possibly imagine the loss of a child, and cannot for one minute understand what God’s plan in this is or what this family might be going through as a result. But I hurt at just the possibility and have been brought to tears many times over the last two days at the thought of the pain this family must be enduring.
Second of all, I’ve been reading this:
Now, I’m a huge skeptic about people who say they’ve gone to Heaven and come back to tell about it. But this book has me wondering and believing and telling everyone I know about what this man saw in Heaven. And…well…I’m not at all skeptical about his story.
And Third of all, our friend Rhonda told a story of her mother who died on the operating table and had to be brought back to life. Her mom told the family that she saw a man in all white long johns. She told him that she wasn’t ready and wanted to go back to her family. He told her he would grant her wish.
So…I’ve never been a skeptic about us actually going to Heaven. I believe that the saved will go to Heaven.
I also believe that the people we see in Heaven may surprise us…because only God knows the condition of a heart at the time of death.
But all of this has gotten me to a point…there are a whole lot of people whom I know have not invited Jesus into their hearts.
Notice I did not say “know about Jesus.” Because, well, frankly, even Satan “knows about Jesus.”
Notice I did not say “Believe in Jesus.” Because, again, frankly, even Satan believes in Jesus.
Here is my question to you…do you know that you know that you KNOW that YOU KNOW that you are going to Heaven? Are you CERTAIN?
If you ARE, then halleluiah!!!!
If you are not, then let me be honest with you…REALLY honest with you. Let me love you enough to share some things with you! These are things the Bible is very clear about.
Do you hope you will spend eternity with Jesus? Nowhere in the Bible does it say you can hope your way into Heaven. The Bible says that we are given hope through Jesus. 2 Thessalonians 2:16 says, “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”
Do you think that you will be “good enough” to get in? Or that "good" people will automatically end up in Heaven becuase of their goodness? Deuteronomy 2:7 says, “The LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands” but it also says in Ephesians 2:8-9:
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” You cannot work your way into Heaven with all of your good deeds alone. Your good works will be blessed, but they are not your key to heaven. God has made it so that you can not ever boast that you alone through your own good deeds have earned your way. You simply cannot earn it. You must accept the gift of Jesus.
Do you think that there are many roads into Heaven or that you could get in on a wide range of qualifications? There are not. There is one way. By Grace through Faith in Jesus Christ. The Bible even tells us explicitly in Matthew 7:13-14 that the wide road leads to destruction not salvation: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Do you think you know better than God himself about who can and cannot get in based upon your understanding rather than on what God says? You don’t. You cannot assume you will go to heaven simply because you know about heaven. Its God's heaven and He gets to say how to get in. And He tells us explicitly what the conditions of admission are in the Bible. And you cannot choose not to meet those conditions and still expect that you will be granted entrance. In reality, I think that our narrow human judgement would exclude a lot of people who are actually already in Heaven. God knows the condition of a heart and I think that Heaven’s guest list may be surprising when we acutally get there. All of the "good" people we know may not be there...simply becuase they thought that they knew better how to get into Heaven and didn't do what the Bible told them to do.
Do you think that its too simple? Too black and white? It is simple, it is black and white (don’t let religion confuse you…just read the Bible) and yes, that is the way it works. Believe in Jesus, confess that you are a sinner, ask Him to be your personal Savior, trust that his Blood bought you entrance and then read the "play book" for this game we call "life." Its all in the blessed book...its all in the Bible.
Does it just not make sense to you? Well…guess what…There are things about it that are confusing to every Christian. There are things that we simply are not supposed to understand. That is the way God designed it. To think that we could understand the ways of God is arrogant and decieved. In much of the world, human beings cannot even understand each other. Yet so many think that they know better than God what's up. God tells us explicitly in Proverbs 3:5 not to lean on our own understanding. He knew when He inspired the Bible that we would try to figure it all out, that we would want to understand it all and He told us ahead of time to forget all that rubbish. He told us not to even try to rely on our understanding.
So…do you KNOW you are going to Heaven?
Do you want to KNOW you are going? For CERTAIN?
We will talk!