- Who's there
- Who's NOT there
- That you're there
You see, I spent most of my life in the dark, avoiding God, running from Him, even mocking Him. But, on that Christmas Day, the day we celebrate the birth of the One who came to save us from a life of destruction, I laughed out of a deep sense of relief knowing--really knowing, that I will be there, in heaven, one day.
As A ChildI grew up thinking that heaven is the place where everyone goes when they die. No one had ever taught me about God, who creates each person one at a time, for a special purpose. No one had taught me about His Son, Jesus, who gave up His life so that I can have mine. No. I didn't know any of this. I didn't know that in order to live a life of meaning and purpose, that I needed a saving faith in Christ Jesus; that through Him and Him alone will my life matter; that through Him only will I enter into heaven when my purpose here is fulfilled.
The Rest of the RiddleThe rest of the pastor's riddle is equally intriguing.
We think we know who will be in heaven: all the perfect people, right? All the people who attend church each week, say their prayers, don't swear, and give generously. And "mean", "evil" people will certainly not enter into heaven. Right? But, that's not what God wrote in His book we call The Bible. He says we are saved by grace through faith alone; not by works. All we have to do is believe Him, apologize for our poor behavior, and change our ways. It's so simple.
Don't be fooled in thinking you know who will be in heaven. Or who won't.I thought all along that I would die one day and go to heaven. Just like that. I had no reason to think otherwise. I didn't know I had broken ALL of the commandments. (Commandment? What's a commandment?) and that "hate" is the same as "murder" in the eyes of God. Who knew? Not me.
Little did I know that by simply not trusting God and believing in His Son, Jesus, that I was on a fast-track to hell. I was! It's true. I had no idea that God wants "none to perish" and will do whatever it takes to see each of us enter into a life of eternal peace and joy with Him.
PursuitGod never stopped pursuing me. It's a miracle that He didn't give up on me. He waited patiently for me to come to Him. He waited 35 years.
Is He waiting for you? Are you like I was many years ago, thinking at first that "I'm good" and would go to heaven? Or later on when I thought church is for perfect people and "they don't have a seat for me in there"? I'm not perfect and I'm not good. But, Jesus saved me and I will one day meet Him in heaven.
Are you a parent? Then you probably know what it's like to wait expectantly for a child to be born or t return home. You are God's child and He is waiting for you. Go to Him now. Are you ready to believe Him, apologize for your poor behavior, and change your ways?
The Gift of SalvationIt's Christmastime and there's a wonderful gift waiting for you to open today. God's free gift of salvation is waiting to be opened by you. The gift has no value until you open it.
Open it now. Don't wait.