How many times have you heard someone say, “Better late than never?” I have heard it said numerous times and I have also said it myself. The nature of some people is to be late for everything. My idea of being “on time” is being about 20 minutes early, while there are those who believe “being on time” is 20 minutes late. While it’s OK to be late occasionally, being on time is always better. Yet, many of us have called the doctor, or the dentist or the chiropractor or some other scheduled appointment to let them know we are going to be late. It seems to be human nature.
There are at least two things I can think of that you don’t want to be late for. (Aside from dinner.) First, you don’t want to be late in accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. The moment you draw your last breath, it’s too late. Your destiny has already been determined by your choice to either receive or not receive Him. The Bible tells us if we want to spend our eternity in Heaven, we must be born again. (see John 3:1-7) There is no other way. Our salvation is not based on our good works, church membership or anything else. It is determined only by what we do with God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Many times, the Bible tells us to receive Him and the free gift of eternal life He offers. After we draw our last breath, it’s too late. I have preached many funerals where it wasn’t known if the person was a Christian or not. And at times, the family would ask me to assure them the deceased would be in Heaven. My reply to that was, “If they accepted Jesus as their Savior, they will be in Heaven.” Of course the reverse statement is also true.
It’s not that we don’t know what we need to do. It’s that for some reason, we feel we can work hard enough or be good enough to get into Heaven on our own. That is a direct lie from the devil himself. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes unto the Father except through Me.” It’s not what we do, it’s what He did. It’s not who we are, it’s who He is. Jesus came to save us from our sins, and we can be saved if we ask Him into our lives.
Secondly, we do not want to be late for the Rapture. The Rapture is the day when Jesus is going to come back for His own. Those who have died in Christ and those of us who are still alive. The Bible teaches that one day, the Eastern sky will break apart, the trumpet of God will sound, the angel of the Lord will shout and Jesus will meet His own in the clouds. In other words, everyone who has accepted Jesus Christ as Savior will be caught up in the clouds with Him to receive their glorified body and then go on into Heaven with Him. On earth, literally, all hell will break loose at that point. It will be a sad place to be and you don’t want to miss the Rapture.
I can only hope and pray that you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and that you have received His free gift of eternal life for yourself. If you have done that, you won’t be late for either of the two things I have mentioned. If you still need to make that all important decision, you can right now. Pray: “Dear God. I know I am a sinner, and I realize that I need a Savior. Thank You for sending Your Son to die on the cross to save me from my sins. I accept Jesus as my Savior and I receive the free gift of eternal life. Come in to my heart and save me and help me to turn my life over to You. In Jesus name. Amen.” If you prayed that prayer and meant it, welcome to the family of God. You have been forgiven of all your past sins, you stand before God as though you have never sinned and you are on your way to Heaven. Congratulations!
Now find a good Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church and go to it. Grow in your Christian faith and live your life for God from this day forward. God bless you.
And that is Something to Think About for this week.
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Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 2343 U.S. Route 42, London, one mile west of Kirkwood Cemetery. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at email@example.com or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.