Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Important Question

Recently I have heard much about the movie, "Heaven is for Real" - some people are excited and think it's wonderful while others are pessimistic and think it sends a mixed message. I have not seen it and really don't want to debate the quality and/or goodness of the movie, but instead I want to address a question that comes to mind when I think about the realness of heaven.

In the past 3 days I have learned of a neighbor's friend being killed in a semi accident, a neighbor's relative being killed in a house fire and a friend's dad being given days to live after a recent cancer diagnosis. Friend, these people are not just thinking about the realness of heaven, they are dealing with it!

Personally, I don't need a movie to tell me heaven is for real...God's Word does that! Here's just a glimpse... 

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. Revelation 21:1

And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass. And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. Revelation 21:21-25

But simply knowing there is a heaven and reading what the Bible says about it is not enough! Think about this: if I know my friend lives in Texas I may think I can go visit her. I may start out on my trip, but if I don't know how to get there I'll never arrive. Friend, hear me on this - the same is true when we talk about heaven...simply knowing and believing it's a real place that is wonderful will not get us there.

We need directions, we need a guide and I don't know if a movie will tell us this, but God's Word does!! Listen to Jesus' words from John 14:6, "Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." Interstate 35 might get me to my friend's house, but Jesus is the ONLY One who will get you and me to heaven.

Our knowledge of the place or good works here won't do it, we must accept Him as Lord and Savior, put our trust in Him and commit our lives to Him. He is the only means of salvation!! 

Listen to Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus - "Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." John 3:1-8

Friend going to church doesn't make you a Christian and knowing heaven is for real doesn't guarauntee you'll be going there. Understanding you are a sinner saved by grace will help you make peace with God and build a relationship with Christ so that you can live eternally with them in heaven! 

If these words and ideas are new or leave you with questions, please seek out a pastor, Christian friend or send me a message. (jillberan@yahoo.com) Friend the 3 people I mentioned in the opening of this post had no idea death was right around the corner and if we're honest we have no idea when our time will be up either, so I pray we will all be ready and will have answered the important question!

Heaven is for real...are you really going there? Friend, I don't want you to be left behind!! Here's a song for you....listen to DC Talk sing "I Wish We'd All Been  Ready".

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