by Dick Innes
I read how, in the spring of 1981, a young man was flown into desolate northern Alaska to photograph the natural beauty and mysteries of the tundra. He took along 500 rolls of film, several firearms, and 1,400 pounds of provisions.
The months passed, the words in his diary changed from wonder and fascination into a nightmare. In August he wrote, “I think I should have used more foresight about arranging my departure. I’ll soon find out.”
In November he died in a nameless valley, by a nameless lake, 225 miles northeast of Fairbanks. An investigation revealed that, though he had carefully planned his trip, he had made no provision to be flown out.
Difficult to imagine isn’t it? How could anyone be so foolish. He made every provision for his journey except how to get home! Unbelievable!
“How tragic,” we say. And yet, how many of us make every provision for life here on earth but absolutely no preparation for our departure which is a far greater tragedy? God has warned us in his Word, the Bible, that there is life after death … after which is God’s judgment. And as he warned the nation of Israel to prepare to meet God1 he warns us to do the same. We need to do this today. After death it is too late. As God’s Word also says, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”2
The question has often been asked, “If you knew today was the last day of your life, what would you do?”
Do you have any impaired relationships you would want to resolve before you pass on? Have you left a will so your loved ones will benefit from your life’s work? Most important of all, when you come to the end of life’s journey and you stand before a holy God at the entrance to Heaven, if God asked you, “Why should I allow you to enter Heaven,” what would you say? In other words, if you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would spend eternity in Heaven with God?
If not, I urge you to make that preparation today. Eternity is forever!
If God asked you, ‘Why should
I allow you to enter Heaven,’
what would you say?
As I did in younger days, many people think that if they do enough good deeds to outnumber or outweigh the wrongs (sins) they have committed, this will qualify them to enter God’s heaven. Wrong.
God’s Word makes it very clear that nobody enters heaven because of their good works. It is only by God’s grace (unmerited favor) that we are given God’s gift of forgiveness and are saved for all eternity. His Word says, “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.”3
God’s Word also says, “For the wages [consequences] of sin is death [spiritual death which is eternal separation from God—the author of all life and love], but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”4
Many people also believe that it doesn’t matter what religion you follow as long as you are sincere, that your sincerity will get you into God’s heaven. Not so. All roads may lead to Rome but all roads do NOT lead to God or his heaven. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, made it very clear when he was on earth that he was the only way to God and Heaven. When Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciples, asked him “how can we know the way? Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father [God] except through Me.’”5
Because God is a God of infinite holiness no sinner can ever survive in his presence any more than a moth can survive in a flame. Furthermore, because God is also a God of infinite justice, all sin must be judged according to God’s standard of holiness and perfection, and his justice calls for death; that is, spiritual death which is eternal separation from God in the place the Bible calls hell.
Fortunately, however, God is also a God of infinite love. This is why, at Easter time 2,000 years ago, he let his Son, Jesus Christ, die on the cruel Roman Cross in our place so that, as we accept this substitution, God’s justice will be met and, instead of suffering for our own sins, we are forgiven, set free from condemnation, and given the great gift of eternal life. This is the expression of his perfect love.
So how does one prepare to meet God and be absolutely sure that he/she is going to heaven?
All you need to do is admit that you are a sinner, believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that he died in your place to pay the penalty for all your sins, and ask God for his forgiveness and accept his gift of eternal life. The following prayer will help you do this.
“Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner and am sorry for all the wrongs/sins I have committed. I believe that your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross in my place to pay the penalty for all my sins. Please forgive me. I invite you, Jesus, to come into my heart and life to be my Lord and Savior. I commit and trust my life to you. Please give me the desire to be what you want me to be and to do what you want me to do. Thank you for dying for my sins, for your free pardon, for your gift of eternal life, and for hearing and answering my prayer. Amen.”
“YES, I prayed and invited Jesus Christ to come into my life to be my Savior. I want to learn more about the Christian life.” To do so, CLICK HERE, fill in the form and we will send you the web address for your copy of the e-article, How to Grow, to help you in your new Christian life and the web address for the “Living, Loving and Learning: Steps for Spiritual Growth” web articles—all without charge.