I HAVE MADE A LOT of deals in my life, but I have found none better than the one offered after every sermon in most evangelical churches.
I was told Jesus would save me from hell if I would ask him to come into my heart and forgive me for my sins, which I did as a child. And if I had any doubt of how easy it was to inherit my place in heaven, I could have read John 3:16, but I did not doubt because I believed in Jesus.
There is just one problem with this deal.
One cannot know for sure if it pays off the way we are promised, and if it doesn’t, we cannot do anything about it after we’re dead.
You might like to remind me about the thief on the cross next to Jesus who acknowledged Him as Lord and Savior and was promised to join Jesus in paradise that very day and all he did was believe. I cannot disagree because Jesus is no liar, but neither you nor I am gasping for our last breath and in the presence of God either, right?
While Jesus saved a thief from hell, he also spoke harsh words for those who call him “Lord” and do not obey God’s law. “I never knew you” are the words he had for the religious people who knew the law but not God.
Grace, mercy, and forgiveness are wonderful gifts when we receive them from our friends, family, coworkers, or judges, but is it possible that God will offer these same gifts as freely as we’re taught in churches today?
And if I’m standing outside the pearly gates, shall Peter welcome me to my mansion on a street of gold simply because I prayed the sinner’s prayer as a kid and could claim to be a pretty good person who knew the law?
Or will Peter shake his head at me and say,
“Yeah, the Lord looked over the list of newcomers this morning and said there would be some evangelicals stopping by on their way to hell.
“I’m sorry, ma’am, but if it makes you feel better, there have been a slew of others just like you who thought believing in Jesus was enough.
“Didn’t you read that even the demons believed in him?
“You were supposed to know him.
“We only take those whom He knows personally. You understand, don’t you?
“And if you think about it, who would want to spend eternity with Jesus if he or she didn’t want to spend their vapor of time on earth with him?”
So, I’ll ask you. What evidence do you have that Jesus knows you personally?
How is it possible to believe in Jesus and not spend eternity with him?
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’
And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’—Jesus (Matthew 7:21-24 ESV)
It is always my intent and hope that my words may encourage you wherever you are in your journey.
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If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.–Jesus(Mark 4:23)