Allow me to pose a question; a question that was asked to me in 1992 while I was still reeling from the death of my younger sister. This question is a game changer. My answer to this question is what has led me to EVERY OTHER ANSWER I have ever searched for in my 47 years. My answer to this question when it was posed to me has brought me to this point in my life…a 47-year-old woman with no regrets, a 47-year-old woman that can look in the mirror and respect who she sees there. I am a wife, mom, sister, daughter, friend, writer, growth mentor, encourager, poet and artist. But more importantly, the title that has helped to define all of my other roles and lead me to this place in my life, this place of contentment, is the title of Christian. I am unashamedly and unapologetically, a child of the One True King, Jesus the Christ. What’s the question?
If you were to die today, are you 100% sure that you have a home in Heaven? Perhaps your answer to this question would be I don’t know. Maybe, you’re more self-aware and your response would read more like Nope, I’m pretty sure I’m going to split hell wide open! Or, your answer might be, I’m pretty sure I’m going to heaven when I die because I go to church, or read my Bible, or confess my sins, keep the commandments, pray every night, I’m a pretty decent person, I tithe to my church or even, I volunteer at a jail and homeless shelter. The truth is, many of these thoughts were running through my head when I was trying to formulate my response. All good and valid points. What I answered was “I’ve really never heard that anyone could know such a thing”.
Can anyone really know such a thing? The following are the results of much searching with a lot of praying for the truth.
The Bible (God’s Word) tells us in I JOHN 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life. So the Bible tells us that we can know that we have eternal life. This verse states clearly that this is the reason that God had these things written and given to us. God’s word, from front cover to back cover, was recorded and given to us so that we might know.
So, can we know? According to God, absolutely!
HOW can we know?
The Bible tells us in ROMANS 3:10 As it is written, There is NONE righteous, no, not one. Then a little further down in verse 23 God says: For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; So, God tells us clearly a few things here. We are ALL sinners and there is not one of us that can measure up to God’s glory. That means that I’m a sinner. My pastor is a sinner. The Pope? Yup, he’s a sinner. My kids? Sinners. And that means that you’re a sinner also. Oh, maybe not as bad of a sinner as some…but God doesn’t compare us in His word to other sinners. He says we are to compare ourselves to Him. We don’t measure up. How do I know? God said so.
A bit further and God takes the time to tell us where sin (this attribute we all share) came from. ROMANS 5:12 Wherefore, as by one-man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: According to Gods word, sin entered into the world when (one man) Adam, in the garden of Eden, sinned. This first breaking of Gods law caused DEATH TO PASS ON ALL MEN. So, I did a little study on that word death. It doesn’t mean the typical death of the body that we will all face one day. That word death means eternal separation from God and it is referring to the spirit, not just the body. So, according to God, what we’ve earned for our sin is eternal separation from God in a place the Bible refers to as a burning lake of fire. That is the punishment for our sin and a debt that you owe as of right now. But, the story doesn’t end there!
God reiterates in ROMANS 6:23 For the WAGES of sin is death; but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. He repeats again, that what we have earned for our sin is DEATH. That permanent separation from God that we previously discussed. Now, the next part of that verse gets interesting. God says that ETERNAL LIFE is a GIFT! That means it is absolutely free. We cannot WORK for it. We cannot go to CHURCH for it. We cannot BUY it. We cannot be GOOD ENOUGH to earn it. For example: If I were to go to the store and purchase for you the latest, state of the art, computer. I wrapped it up and put a big pretty bow on it. I brought it to you. I said “here you go, this is a gift for you”. Then, what do you have to do to make that computer yours? EXACTLY! YOU JUST HAVE TO REACH OUT AND TAKE IT! But if I said “this computer is yours, it is my gift to you. I just need you to give me fifty dollars”. Would that be a gift? NO! You might think that it’s a good buy, but it would no longer qualify as a free gift. But Gods word clearly states that eternal life is a gift. You see, that is what Jesus did. He left his home in heaven. He came to this earth and lived 33 years and the Bible tells us that He was without sin. The Bible goes onto say that because of Who He was, and Who and what He represented – because He came to this world for the purpose of dying as an innocent man to pay our sin debt – we helped him to complete his purpose. We nailed Him to a cross and watched as his blood flowed. He chose to die a horrible death on the cross and pay for ALL of man’s sins, to fulfill that sin debt for all of us who would be willing to reach out in faith and accept the gift he has purchased, put a bow on, and stands there offering to Any that will receive.
So, allow me to recap my findings:
Do you know you are a sinner? (Realizing that you fall short of Gods glory and have disobeyed at least some of His commands)
Do you recognize that there is a penalty for that sin? (Eternal separation from God in a place described in the Bible as a lake of fire…hell)
Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he died on a cross, shedding his blood so that you and I might have the opportunity to avoid having to pay our own sin debt and live in heaven with Him?
If, you answered yes to these questions, then you already believe everything you need to believe. But God word says that the demons believe and they won’t have a home in heaven. So what is the dividing factor between all of the people who profess believing and those who have actually received Gods free gift of eternal life. The difference boils down to the same thing all of life’s paths boil down to. Choice. There has to be a clear choice made with your head and your heart.
God tells us in ROMANS 10:9-13 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead (What we celebrate on Easter), thou SHALT BE SAVED. Saved from what? Saved from paying your own sin debt in hell.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. God reminds us here that we are all the same and we all have the same opportunity to gain Gods presence in our life while avoiding paying our own sin debt. There are no different plans for different people.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Are you a whosoever? Of course! It just means anybody. How do we call upon the name of the Lord? Exactly! Through prayer. I also want to point out what it doesn’t say. God does not say here that if we are good we will be saved. He does not say if we attend church or keep his commandments we will be saved. He doesn’t say that if we give money to the church or refrain from getting a tattoo or all of the other things that man’s traditions teach, we will be saved. God says, when you get to that place where you realize or admit who I am and who you are then call on my name. I have your gift. Just ask me. I am ready for a relationship with you.
Now, it is important for you to know that although, I have a much clearer understanding of all of this 25 years later, at that time ALL I knew was that I believed in Jesus, I believed Gods word and I knew in my heart I was not as good as I wanted to be. I had made mistakes and messed up. I wanted to be better. All I had was just enough faith to say yes…
If you are reading this, and you are willing to put your faith in Jesus Christ and what he did on the cross for you and for me: you’re not trusting me or your church. You’re not trusting what a great person you are or your abilities. You’re not putting your faith in family traditions or any man. But placing all of your faith in Jesus, then
Right now, Right where you are, I want you to bow your head , and as much as you can mean this in your heart right now, I want you to pray: DEAR JESUS, FORGIVE ME FOR MY SINS. I’M TRUSTING YOU TODAY JESUS, AND ONLY YOU TO TAKE ME TO HEAVEN WHEN I DIE. THANK YOU FOR SAVING ME . AMEN.
If you chose to accept Gods free gift of salvation I would love for you to let me know. Our home page offers contact information and it would be my honor to rejoice with you over your decision and pray for you as you begin your new journey.
Also, I will be posting more blogs that prove the information I have shared here and will be a huge help to you as you begin to grow. When I prayed this prayer and started on my journey, there were many who assisted me, befriended me, and helped me to feel less vulnerable and alone. I hope to be that friend for you.
This is why I blog