DON’T JUST HOPE YOU’LL GO TO HEAVEN by By Rick Warren, in his Daily Hope devotional blog, July 25, 2020, at: http://www.pastorrick.com
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).
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.
Jesus, thank you for loving me so much that you took all my guilt on yourself. You made me acceptable for heaven, and I humbly ask you to save me. I ask you to save me from the sins and the habits that are messing up my life right now. I believe in you, Jesus. And I believe that you will keep your promise to save me instantly, certainly, completely, and eternally. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Joshua 24:14-15 — (Joshua said), “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness… But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
I John 5:11-13 — 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. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
Acts 16:29-34 — The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a poor sinner. Amen.
–Ancient Jesus Prayer