In 1969, I had a very close call with death. I was involved in a head-on accident that wasn’t my fault. A car turned in front of me and we smashed two very nice cars into one that day. I remember that it was a 1964 Chrysler New Yorker (built like a tank) and the impact of the crash pushed the radiator back into the firewall. The force was enough to give me a concussion and I was very glad that I was wearing a seat belt. As tragic as the accident was, even more tragic was the fact that I didn’t get saved until 1975 — about six years later. So what’s the significance? Only that if I had died in that head-on collision that wasn’t my fault, I would have spent the last 50 years in hell. Think about it — 50 years. Many of you reading this column have that “covered” with your own age. But how would you have liked to have spent the last 50 years in hell? I am sure glad that I haven’t and I don’t want to even think about spending a day there.
So how can we know that we know where we will spend our eternity when we draw our last breath or when Jesus returns for His people? By reading and understanding what the Bible has to say about the subject, we can know where we will spend our eternity. Listen, I didn’t say understanding what some pastor or spiritual leader or T.V. evangelist says about eternity. I said by reading and understanding what the Bible says about it.
Too many people are hoping to get into Heaven on the “coattails of their parents or grandparents.” How do I know that? I was one of them. And today, I hear people tell me how much of a Christian their parents or grandparents were/are. The only bad thing about that is this. We will all stand on our own two feet at the throne of God. We will either stand at the Bema Seat to receive our reward (if we are saved) or we will stand at the Great White Throne Judgment Seat of Christ to hear Him tell us to depart from His presence. (If we have not been saved.) Understand this. A person who has been saved, will never stand at the Great White Throne Judgment Seat of Christ and a person who has not been saved will never stand at The Bema Seat of Christ. These are two different judgments for two different people.
So what is the truth about eternal life? You can find it in numerous places in the Bible, but one of the easiest places to find information about being saved and spending your eternal life in Heaven is found in the book of Romans. Romans was written by the Apostle Paul and beginning is Romans 3:23, he tells us that “the wages of sin is death.” Because we are all sinners, we will die physically. But we are already “dead” spiritually. We are dead spiritually because a holy God cannot have a relationship with an unholy person and so when we die, we cannot inherit a holy Heaven since we are unholy. But … God says there is a gift of eternal life (bought and paid for by His Son, Jesus on the Cross) and He offers the free gift of eternal life to anyone who will receive it. (Romans 6:23)
Then, in Romans 5:8, the Bible tells us that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Why did He die? To pay the penalty of the debt of sin. His death on the Cross paid the sin debt. Then, in Romans 10:9-10, the Bible says if we believe in our heart that God rose Jesus from the dead (believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ) and then confess Jesus as our Lord with our mouth (testimony) then we will be saved. And finally, in Romans 10:13, the Bible says that “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Not, “might be” saved, or “hopes to be saved” but if you ask Jesus to save you, you will be saved. And also in I. John 5:13, we are told that we can know where we will spend our eternity. That is nothing less than awesome. You can know where you will be spending your eternity.
Now … I’ve said it before and I will say it again, “If your church, or your pastor doesn’t preach what the Bible says, but says things like, “in my opinion, “ or “I believe,” or “Well, that was for the New Testament Church but it doesn’t apply to us today,” you need to get out today. Now. Right now. Why? Because he and your church is preaching a lie from the pits of hell and if you continue to believe it, you will spend your eternity there.” (And you can quote me on this.)
So, here’s the bottom line. You have to be saved in order to spend your eternity in Heaven. (John 3:1-7) And unless you are saved when you draw your last breath, you will spend your eternity in hell. I cannot be any more clear on the message of Salvation than I have in this article for this week. So, here’s my question for you today, “If what you were believing was not the truth, would you want to know the truth?” I have just shared it with you. What are you going to do with it?
And that is Something to Think About for this week.
If you are on Facebook, you can watch our service live on Sunday morning at 10:45 a.m. Simply like our Facebook page at Crossroadslondon and watch.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.
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