Don't Waste Your One Chance at Heaven


All it takes on your part to get into heaven is saying “yes” to Jesus Christ. But you have only one life and one chance to make that choice to follow Jesus.

“We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8 (NKJV)

A few days ago, we talked about four eternal realities that I want you to understand so that you appreciate why you need to choose heaven. But there’s one more eternal reality you need to know: There is no second chance after you die.

You get to choose where you’re going to spend eternity. But you have to choose now while you’re alive, not after you’re dead. There is no going back! God gives you an entire lifetime to make the right decision. If you keep putting it off, then there will be no second chance to get it right once you have died.

There is no halfway house between heaven and hell. There’s no intermediate state. There’s no limbo. There is no purgatory.

Did you know that the word “purgatory” is not in the Bible? It’s not a biblical idea. It’s something that was created 800 years ago in the Middle Ages. In fact, Catholics don’t even believe it anymore. Pope John Paul II stated publicly that purgatory is not a real place, and the word “purgatory” isn’t even in today’s Catholic catechism.

When Jesus was dying on the cross, there was a man next to him who had been a criminal his entire life. In his last seconds, the man surrendered his life to Jesus and said, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom” (Luke 23:42 NKJV). All he knew about salvation was that Jesus could save him. He didn’t know all the doctrines or theology. He didn’t know all the “right” words. He just said “yes” to Jesus.

Because of his faith, Jesus says to him, “Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43 NIV).

To get into heaven, all it takes on your part is saying “yes” to Jesus Christ. That’s it! The promise is that you are then guaranteed to be with God instantly when you die and to spend eternity in the joy of his presence.

But you have only one life and one chance to make that choice to follow Jesus. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:8, “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” (NKJV).

God has done everything to make sure you get into heaven. Now you have to do your part to ensure you partake of his promise.

You’ve got one chance to make a choice for eternity. Don’t waste it!

Talk It Over

Why do you think so many people believe they can put off making the decision of whether or not to become a Christian?

How does the story of the criminal on the cross next to Jesus give you hope?

This week, who will you share about the urgency of making a choice to follow Jesus?

Are you ready to say “yes” to Jesus?

The Bible says, We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are” (Romans 3:22 NLT). If you’re ready to turn away from your sins and surrender your life to Jesus Christ, start by praying this simple prayer:

“Dear God, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is your Son. I believe that he died for my sins and that you raised him to life. I want to trust him as my Savior and follow him as Lord from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

If you just prayed to accept Jesus, please email me at Rick@PastorRick.com and let me know. I’d like to send you some free materials to help you start your journey with Jesus.

This devotional © 2022 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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