Is your name there?

What is your measure of success? A brand new house of your dreams? A shiny new car? Being able to take exotic trips? Having a lot of money in the bank? Shopping for whatever you want and not having to worry how to pay for it? Climbing the social ladder? Getting a promotion to a new position with your company, meaning a corner office, more responsibility and more income?

It’s funny how we measure success. Everyone measures it differently. For some, success is having good health. Or having family close by and seeing them often. Being able to retire early with enough money to live on. Or just being able to enjoy life, whatever definition you would give to that.

Maybe it’s having the “Black Card” with your name on it, allowing you to buy whatever you want — even a jet. Being able to play golf at a prestigious golf course, chartering a really nice boat for a fishing expedition. Taking a cruise, skiing the Alps, dinner in Paris, or laying on a beach on a tropical island.

I got excited when Fingerhut sent me a new card with my name on it. And AARP has done that too. We like to be able to “enjoy the good life” and have a sense of accomplishment by the house we live in or the car we drive or the clothes we wear or the places we visit on vacation.

After being in the ministry almost four decades, I can tell you this: I have never, ever seen a U-Haul truck behind a hearse. Never. You cannot take it with you. Someone is going to fight over it. And the Bible tells us that we are going to meet our Maker one of these days. The longer I live, the more friends I see passing away. On Thursday, June 18 I preached the funeral of a good friend of mine. He was my age. We graduated together. I have known him for over 40 years. And now he’s gone. He left it all behind. All of it.

The Bible says, in Revelation 20:15: “Whosoever was not found written in the Lamb’s Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire.” That means this, if you have everything a person could ever want, and your name is not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (you have not been Born Again) you will not spend your eternity in Heaven with God. It will not happen. You must be Born Again in order to spend eternity in Heaven with God. Please get this right.

You only have one opportunity to be right when you leave this world. And the devil is a deceiver and he will make every attempt to deceive you into believing you are all right. Salvation has nothing to do with us. It has everything to do with Jesus Christ and receiving Him as our Savior and Lord. It’s not a head belief, it’s a heart belief. And if you have any doubts about whether your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and where you are going to spend your eternity, please let me know. I’d be happy to talk with you.

And that is Something To Think About for this week.

Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at, or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.