Saturday, August 30, 2014

If I Died Today, Would I Go to Heaven? by Martin Wiles

Series: Hey God…I Have a Question

Middle School was a difficult period for me. Many things I’d never faced cropped up. Peer pressure grew intense. Pressures to cheat, curse, lie, and jump over other firmly ingrained moral codes pulled at me. Most troubling was my sudden fear of death. I had trusted Christ as my Savior several years earlier, yet this haunting horror seemed to hover over me daily. My only consolation was knowing I’d be safe in heaven if I died. I had made the necessary arrangements. 

Rather than a wide open road to heaven, Jesus said the path was quite exclusive. Comparatively, very few would discover it. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. (Matthew 7:14 NLT)

While it might be nice if I could reach God by any route I wanted, there would be serious ramifications. If only I could arrive there by loving the unlovable, following a lifetime pattern of good works, abiding by moral principles, serving my fellowman through community and political offices, regularly attending church, frequently giving to church. While all of the above are admirable, none in and of themselves have the power to connect me to God. 

Jesus said the gate that leads into heaven’s joy is narrow, and the road is difficult. He himself is both. According to his own testimony, he is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through him. Whether I go to heaven when I die is gauged by how I respond to him. If I acknowledge him as God’s Son, believe he paid for my sins on Calvary’s cross, accept that God raised him from the dead after three days, and commit myself to love and serve him, then I can rest assured heaven is in my future. 

Making the decision to follow Christ gives me joy and peace in the present. Otherwise, I must live in a state of anxiety and fear. If you died today, would you go to heaven?

Prayer: Thank You merciful Father for making the way possible for everyone to enjoy an eternity in heaven with You. 

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