Daily Devotional for Friday August 22, 2003
Who will be in Heaven
( Ephesians 2:8,9 )
Who will be in Heaven. As you can imagine, each day I get tons of emails with questions on all types of topics. Of everything we discuss, the most important subject there is, is salvation. I want to use this time today to clarify for many out there, who will be in Heaven. The salvation equation is very simple. It is: by God's grace, and our faith, plus NOTHING ELSE. There is only ONE way to Heaven...personal faith in Jesus Christ. There is only ONE road to Heaven. That means that the type of church you belong to will not get you into Heaven, no amount of good works will get you into Heaven, you cannot buy your way into Heaven...the only way to Heaven is through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That is God's plan as clearly He lays out in the Bible.
The church is a place where people should be able to find a personal relationship with Christ, a place of fellowship, a place to be fed spiritually, a place where people can use their talents to serve God. Membership in a church WILL NOT get you into Heaven when you die. There are many people who go through life doing wonderful things, helping people, living good lives. There are no amount of good works you can do in this lifetime to eliminate the sin we were all born with. Being a good person WILL NOT get you into Heaven when you die. There is only one way to get to Heaven, and that is through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!!!
My friend, the message I want you to understand today is that God has made a simple way for His fallen children to be reconciled back into an everlasting relationship. Many have tried to complicate the issue of salvation. It is actually very simple. Recognize that you are a sinner. Repent, turn away from your sins and ask God to forgive you. Accept by faith Jesus Christ into your heart and surrender your life to Him. Why Jesus? Because in God's plan, it was His sacrifice that paid for our sins. You see, Jesus already paid the price for our sins. That is why there are no amount of good works, no amount of money, nothing you can do on your own because He already paid the price.
Some ask about those who accept Christ on their deathbed, and how unfair it is for them to go to Heaven after a life of sin and rebellion. First of all, in perspective, this life is but a "vapor" as the Bible calls it, in comparison with eternity. You have to remember that those who rebelled during their life and come to Christ at the end, missed the joy, peace, and blessings of this life and must have suffered greatly on the inside living apart from God during those years on earth. The important fact is that like you and me, they are sinners who are saved by God's grace.
Many ask about if you can lose your salvation. I am not going to get into the age-old theological debate of "once saved always saved," but will share my personal convictions from years of study of the Scripture and the understanding of God I have. Part of the salvation equation is God's grace. To lose your salvation means God would have to withdraw His grace. I have never been able to get over the hurdle that God would take His grace away, and of course the question becomes, at what point would He?
I personally believe that if you make a sincere commitment to Christ by faith you are saved. If you rebel, you lose the blessings, the peace, the joy this life can offer. Much like the prodigal son who never stopped being His father's son, but lost out on the blessings of living in submission to his father. He endured much pain and heartache for his rebellion. The bottom line though is if you follow Christ, you will never have to worry about losing your salvation.
I love you and care about you deeply. I pray that this helps many of you clarify in your mind and heart the most important issue of our life...determining where we will spend eternity. If you are reading this today, and do not have the assurance that you will spend eternity in Heaven, or you have never accepted by faith Jesus Christ into your life, then let me encourage you to do it today. The Bible tells us that TODAY is the day of salvation. Don't wait another minute.
Take a few minutes and go to my website, www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.html . Read this short message on salvation, than as the Holy Spirit brings you under conviction, pray the special prayer to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your Lord and Savior. Email and let me know you have accepted Christ into your heart, and I will be happy to send you at no charge some special information to help you in your new found relationship with Christ.
May you be richly blessed today as God quickens to your Spirit these words. For those who know Jesus, let me challenge you to print this Devotional and share it with at least 3 people in your life who need to know Jesus as their personal Savior. I will be in prayer with you for these words to open hearts for the Holy Spirit to bring them under conviction.
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller