"Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." Matthew 4:17
"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Matthew 16:26
When you plan for your vacation, you save up, you do research on your destination, and you make sure that’s where you want to go. Then when you get your tickets you check again and again making sure you are going to the right airport, right gate and right airplane; ensuring you don’t miss your flight. So much planning and care for a one or two week trip, yet how much time do people spend thinking and planning about where they will spend eternity?
Do you ever think about it? Do you know where you’re headed? If so are you sure? Are you willing to go on hunch, a guess, or just wait until the end to see? Would you bet your life and loved ones’ lives on it?
You can’t afford not to think about where you will spend eternity. You can’t afford not to plan and end up in the wrong place, forever stranded.
So how do you get there? Certainly not by doing good deeds and keeping God’s commandments, because every single person has already broken God’s law countless times. That’s like a criminal being let off the hook because he has done good things too in addition to his multiple crimes.
And even if you’re pretty good, we all fall way short of God’s definition of goodness, which is moral perfection in not only deed, but also word and thought.
Imagine a special device was put in your brain and it recorded everything you did, said and thought for an entire week. Then at the end of the week it would be shown on a large screen for all your family, friends, neighbors, lawyers, judges and even police to see and hear. Pretty soon you wouldn’t feel like such a good person. Who would?
So who then can enter Heaven? The truth is nobody. GOD and sin are not compatible. He is Holy and lives in unapproachable light. Only someone who is perfect can enter, and surely there is not one perfect person who ever was, is, or will be.
So this is bad news.
But here’s the good news. Although we’re not perfect, GOD is. And He knows that we cannot enter Heaven by ourselves, by our own goodness.
So He sent His Son Jesus, with His Spirit in Him to earth, to live a perfect life and then offer up Himself to be brutally tortured and killed at the hands of the very people He came to save. He took upon Himself the punishment for every wrong doing you and all people have ever done or will do.
He took upon Himself the just reward for our sinful actions, words and thoughts.
Then God raised Him up on the third day, conquered death and was the first to enter Heaven in the form of man. So now we can have access to God and Heaven through Jesus our Eternal Mediator.
All we have to do is turn away from knowingly and purposefully breaking God’s law, the things that got us into trouble in the first place, and ask Jesus to exchange His goodness and perfect record for our imperfect record.
So we don’t enter Heaven by our own so called goodness, but by His. And He will gladly give you His righteousness.
He will wash you clean and heal you. Then He will give you His spirit which will help you to stop breaking His law, and to start doing good and the things God wants you to do.
But that’s not all. Because God your Creator is so loving and kind He promises to never leave you or forsake you. He will adopt you as His very own child and He will be your Father. He will speak to you and anxiously wait for you every day to talk to Him.
He will guide you, protect you, fulfill, encourage and strengthen you. He will inspire you and help you. If you fall He’ll pick you up, and when you cry He’ll wipe your tears away.
He will do great and mighty things through you and use you to tell others about this good news.
And the day will come when you will go where it is impossible for man. Because you put your trust in Jesus and His goodness, you will stand before the Living God as His own son or daughter, as if you have never broken His law.
And you will spend eternity in His beautiful Presence, seeing and experiencing amazing and wonderful things that cannot be experienced, felt or even described in this life.
But there is also place that was never intended for people, a place without God for those who went through life never paying any attention to Him despite the countless times He reached out to them through people and many other ways. In this place there is no light or strength or hope or anything good, because all these things come from only God above.
Nobody wants to go there and nobody needs to needlessly miss out on God’s offer of eternal life with Him.
You can’t fake it or fool GOD. You can’t just say a quick prayer and then return to your old ways, counting on GOD’s forgiveness despite your deliberate disobedience. GOD knows the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
So where are you headed if you stay on the course you’re on?
Perhaps God is trying to speak to you today. Don’t ignore it, don’t delay it. You don’t know when your time here on earth is up. God’s offer is open to every single person no matter who they are or what they have done, but it does expire when you do. This could be one of many chances to take action, or it could be your last.
Think about these things, you don’t want to find out at the end you’ve been wrong. If you’re not sure, earnestly ask and seek GOD, He is Faithful to show you the truth.
Today could be the biggest day of your life when you acknowledge your sins, willingly turn away from them, ask forgiveness for breaking His law, and trade in your imperfection for Jesus’ perfection.
No special prayer or magic words. Just humble yourself and open your heart to the God Who loves you so much that He gave up everything so that He might gain you. He’s waiting for you!
When you do, there will be great celebration among the angels in Heaven. And let me be the first to say, welcome to the family of God, you have planned well for eternity!
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