Do You Know If You Are Going To Heaven? Read Here To Find Out.

Most people think that when they die, they are going to heaven. If you asked why, the majority would say they have been good people or their positive deeds outweigh any negative things they’ve done. Yet the sad reality is, most people will not find themselves in heaven—and that includes some who claim to be Christians.

It may not be a popular topic of conversation, but our Savior knew that hell was essential to understand. He uses illustrations of contrasting gates, trees, and houses to point out that there are only two possible destinies after death: heaven and hell. Jesus is warning us about a most sobering reality—that not everyone who calls Him “Lord” actually belongs to Him (Matt. 7:21-23).

What, then, distinguishes a true follower? John 14:15 tells us those who love the Savior will keep His commandments. This obedience begins with believing Jesus is the Son of God (John 3:36). In other words, the first step is to humble ourselves before God, admitting that we’re sinful and deserving of condemnation. Next, we must call out to Him, requesting the forgiveness for which His Son’s blood was shed on our behalf. From then on, we’re to live only for God.

If you hear the gospel but stop short of obedience, ask yourself, Do I fully understand the goodness of God’s love? That should inspire you to obey the Father. Looking good on the outside isn’t enough to enter the kingdom of heaven. Remember, to those who truly receive Him, He will give “the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). Won’t you make sure you’re among those destined for heaven?

Let God Correct Your Plans‎

I know, LORD, that our lives are not our own.
We are not able to plan our own course.
So correct me, LORD, but please be gentle.
Do not correct me in anger, for I would die.
— Jeremiah 10:23-24 NLT

Jeremiah, as he states in the verse above, knows God and what His abilities are. Jeremiah seeks wisdom and guidance from the one true source that is above all others.

God’s ability to direct our lives well is infinitely beyond our ability. Sometimes we are afraid of God’s power and God’s plans because we know his power would easily crush us if he used it against us.

Don’t be afraid to let God correct your plans. He will give you wisdom if you are willing.

It’s By Faith Alone That We Are Saved

There were a group of people in the Galatian church that were trying to convince the church that in order to be saved they must do more than just have faith in Jesus Christ. They must also obey certain commandments of the Mosaic Law. This kind of thinking, let’s call it “faith-plus thinking,” has been common in Christian circles through the ages. In order to guarantee salvation, some have felt the need to add a list of moral stipulations to faith in Jesus Christ. They think that a person can’t be saved if they violate whatever stipulations they have added to faith.

Paul will have none of this kind of thinking. His whole point in writing to the Galatian church was to show them that it is by faith alone that we are saved (Galatians 2:15-16). We do not earn salvation by obedience to law. We are given salvation through faith in Christ. To believe that it is necessary to obey a set of laws in order to be saved is to submit oneself to a yoke of slavery to those laws.

Christ set us free from the yoke of the Mosaic Law and any other law that people may try to set up as a condition of salvation. In Christ we are free. Hence, it is for freedom that we have been set free, not for slavery. Therefore, since we are free in Christ, we must live as if we are free in Christ. We must stand firm in the freedom we have been given through Christ and not fall into the trap of faith-plus thinking. We must not let ourselves be burdened by a yoke of slavery to a set of laws.

None of this means that we have a license to sin. Later in Galatians Paul tells the Galatians that they should not “use your freedom to indulge the flesh” (Galatians 5:13). It just means that we are saved by faith, not by works of the law.

Since it is for freedom that we have been set free and not for slavery, let us stand fast in that freedom and throw off any yoke of slavery we may have taken upon ourselves.

Do You Have the Luxury of Attending Church & Sunday School?

Do you have the luxury of going to church and Sunday school on Sunday? If you are of the Jewish faith your worship is on Saturday. You might ask why I say luxury? It’s because our country guarantees us the right to worship any faith we want without interference from the government or other entities.

This freedom of worship is not so readily available in other countries around the world. In some countries, worshipers are beaten, tortured, punished and some put in jail. The extreme case would be death. In spite of the threats and restrictions, these believers gather together anyway to worship the Lord, Jesus Christ.

There will come a day when, as the bible says, all knees will bow to the powerful name of Jesus. What comes after that is indescribable. The outcome of not having a personal relationship with Jesus or even worshiping Him will be dealt with the day Jesus returns.

Why wait until then to find out your fate, which won’t be good if you don’t know Jesus. Take time today to confess your sins, repent and confess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. You will be glad you did.

Are You In Need of Spiritual Rescue?

Although Jesus has freed us from the penalty and power of sin, there are times when we feel helpless in the face of sinful habits, emotions, rash words, and ungodly thoughts. That’s when we need to follow the example of the psalmist and cry out to God for spiritual rescue.

Admit your helplessness to God. In yourself, you have no power to overcome sin. But God’s Spirit within you is almighty.

Confess any sins, fears, unbelief, or self-reliance. Surrender all further attempts to change by self-effort, and make no provision for sinful desires.

Turn your gaze toward God. Think about who He is, what He desires, and what He has promised.

Fill your mind and heart with God’s Word. Meditate on it. Ask Him for wisdom and strength to follow Him with reliance on and submission to His Spirit.

Trust God, and wait upon Him to change you from the inside out. Although salvation occurs in a moment, sanctification is a lifelong process.

A time will eventually come when the helpless feeling departs and is replaced by the joy of obedience. When that happens, give God the glory.

The Crucial Nature of Christ’s Death – Part 1

As we draw closer to Easter, the day Christ rose from the dead, it’s important to understand the crucial nature of Christ’s death.

Many believe that their behavior determines one’s eternal destination, and by being “good enough” they can earn their heavenly home. But they have not grasped the crucial nature of Christ’s death on the cross. Jesus came to end our frustrated and inadequate self-efforts, and offer us not only a better way, but the best.

Let him be crucified” (Matt. 27:22 KJV). That’s what the religious leaders of Israel demanded the Romans do with Jesus, and crucifixion was the worst kind of death imaginable.

Crucifixion was a practice that originated with barbarians centuries earlier and was handed down to the Persians, Greeks, and eventually the Romans, who refined it, causing the longest possible suffering for the victim. The reason the Jewish leaders demanded the execution of Jesus was because they wanted to get rid of Him once and for all. And that is still the wish of many people today who want nothing to do with the man called Jesus. But those of us who know and love Him want people to know that Jesus came to save sinners.

When Jesus entered the scene as an itinerant preacher proclaiming a new message, the religious leaders of the day hated Him for disrupting their religious system. They didn’t approve of His teaching and were afraid of losing control of the people. Yet the cross upon which they demanded He die became the means by which salvation was offered to all who would believe in Him.

First Corinthians 1:18, 22-24 contrasts two different perspectives of the cross—that of the saved and the unsaved. “The word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God … For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks … Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

Jesus’ message was different from that of the Jewish leaders because He offered a whole new life.

He told Nicodemus, a Pharisee and teacher in Israel, that no one can see the kingdom of God without being born again of the Spirit (John 3:3). In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus described a lifestyle pleasing to God that was different from what the Pharisees taught. It included love of enemies, the forgiveness of offenders, and trust in the heavenly Father to provide for needs.

In addition, Jesus performed amazing miracles that further upset the religious establishment. He went about healing the sick and even raised the dead. The crowds who followed Him were increasing, yet despite all the evidence of His deity, the religious leaders turned against Him and used their authority to bring about His death. They were angered by Jesus’ claim to be the eternal Son of God and the only way of salvation.

Although we may wonder how anyone could feel such animosity toward Jesus Christ, there are many people today who hate even the mention of His name because He presents a narrow way of salvation. They are willing to accept the general term God because every religion has a god of some kind, but Jesus’ claim to be the only way to the God offends them.

Tomorrow, we will look at the reason why what we believe about Jesus is a critical issue. Part II tomorrow.

Many voices are calling for our attention

There are many voices calling for our attention—we need to be able to distinguish Christ’s words from all the others because He alone always speaks truth. If we listen to other voices, we’ll be led astray, and this includes our own internal voice when it perceives God inaccurately.

This is why it’s so important to make sure our image of God fits the one given in Scripture. The Bible teaches us that …

He is righteous. The Lord would never lead us to do anything sinful because doing so would contradict His nature and His Word.

He is gracious. We don’t have to worry that God is waiting to condemn or punish us. Having been saved by Christ, we live continually in His grace and kindness.

He is faithful. He always does what He says and will never abandon those who belong to Him.

He is our heavenly Father. He loves and cares for us, both by providing for our needs and by disciplining us so that we grow in godliness.

He is our Judge. All who are in Christ, however, have passed out of judgment into eternal life and need never fear condemnation (Rom. 8:1).

If our conception of the Lord is inaccurate, we may think He’s harsh, stingy, or angry with us. But there is an even greater danger if we think that God wants to satisfy all our selfish and worldly desires—that is the voice of a stranger; we should reject it and flee to our Good Shepherd.