Don't Just Hope You'll Go to Heaven
“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:11-12 NIV).
If you asked people if they are going to heaven or hell, many of them will likely say, “I hope I’ll go to heaven.”
But hope just isn’t good enough. I pray that’s not your answer. Your eternal destiny is too important not to know for sure.
It’s foolish to be unprepared for what we all know is inevitable: death. The most recent statistics show that mortality rates in the world remain 100 percent!
You’re not guaranteed another minute on this planet, much less another hour. Don’t put off the most important choice you’ll ever make.
The Bible says in 1 John 5:11-12, “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (NIV).
That’s about as clear as you can get. If you have Jesus, you have life. If you don’t have Jesus, you do not have life. You have a choice.
You won’t go to heaven because of someone else’s faith. And, at the same time, you’ll never go to hell because of someone else’s choice.
It’s your choice! You decide where you’ll spend eternity.
This’s why Christmas and Easter are so important. If Jesus hadn’t come at Christmas, and then if he hadn’t died and come back to life on Easter, we’d be in a hopeless situation. Nothing we do would matter. You wouldn’t have this choice.
The cross is the answer to our deepest problem: our separation from God.
The Bible says, “You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:13-14 NLT).
Talk It Over
None of us are guaranteed another minute on Earth. How does that give urgency to your decision to follow Jesus? How about for your family and friends?
When you pray for the salvation of an unsaved person, you are doing what pleases God. Your prayers will not go unheard. Keep on praying, and don’t lose heart. God’s power is limitless, and his forgiveness is endless.
God’s invitation is wide-open.
We live in uncertain times, but you can be certain that you will go to heaven. No matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been, God’s invitation is wide-open.
Are you ready? Here’s a prayer you can start with: “Dear God, I know that when I die I’m going to give an account of my life to you directly. I know I have ignored you. I confessed I have sinned against you, and I have lived by my plan, not yours. I want that to change, starting right now. I want to turn away from my sins toward you.
“Thank you for sending Jesus to die for all that I’ve done wrong so that I don’t have to pay the penalty. I know that I don’t deserve your forgiveness. I know that only your grace can save me, Lord. I could never be good enough to get into a perfect place.
If you prayed this prayer, please write and tell me at Rick@PastorRick.com. I’d like to send you some materials to help you as you begin your journey with Jesus.
This devotional © 2020 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.