If you knew that you were going to have one last conversation with someone, what would you talk about? Many times, I wish I could have just another five minutes to be able to talk to my family that has passed away. My grandfather passed away when I was 17. We didn’t have a lifetime to share and how I wish I could see him again and talk. The same with my grandmother, my dad and my mother. I was the pastor of a church in Berea, Kentucky, and one Thursday morning my dad happened to call for the purpose of chatting. He shared with me that he had shoveled out the sidewalks around their house and I told him to be careful, people fall over with heart attacks after doing those things, especially at his age. He shrugged it off, but later that same afternoon, I received a phone call letting me know that my dad has passed away because of a heart attack. How I would like to have more time to talk with him and mom.
If you knew that you had one final moment with someone you loved and then they would be gone what would you say? I believe I would have to tell them about God’s love for us and that He loved us so much, He allowed His only Son to die on the cross for our sin debt. Think about this — the author of Creation — loved you so much, that the Bible says, “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” In other words, He paid a debt that He didn’t owe, because we owed a debt that we couldn’t pay. I can’t even begin to understand that kind of love, can you? That someone would actually take our place on a cross of shame to pay for our sin debt?
But because “all have sinned and have fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23), it was necessary for a blood sacrifice to be made to make atonement (pay for) the sin debt of mankind. The old song says, “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.” I love that song and I especially love what Jesus has done for us. He provides for us freely, the gift of eternal life. But because it is a gift, it must be received on an individual basis. You must receive it for yourself, and I must receive it for me. And even though it is a gift, countless millions of “good” people will spend their eternity in hell because they wrongly believe that Jesus paid the sin debt and automatically what He did makes us all children of God. Wrong. Yes, the sin debt has been paid and Jesus paid it. But salvation must be received you must reach out by faith and accept it. Believing with you head (temporal belief) does not make you a Christian anymore than standing in a garage makes you a car.
The Bible says you must believe with your heart and accept Jesus as your Savior and then confess Him before others as your Lord. (Romans 10:9-13) God’s plan of salvation is received by us on an individual basis. We will not go to Heaven because of what someone else has done or not done. God does not grade on a curve and there is nothing we can do, on our own, that will allow us to go to Heaven. Only our trust in Jesus as our Savior will get us there.
What about you? Have you trusted in what Jesus did for you to get to Heaven, or do you still believe you have to be baptized, become a member of a church, live a good life, give to the church and so on and so forth and maybe, just maybe, when you stand before God He will say that your good works outweigh your bad works and He will let you into His Heaven? Is that what you believe? What happens if your bad works outweigh your good works, then what? Please hear me. There is no other way to Heaven except through Jesus Christ and we must accept Him as our Savior. Have you done that? If not, you will not even see Heaven (John 3:1-3) But if you have received Jesus Christ as your Savior, you will be in Heaven and I will see you there.
And that is Something to Think About for this week.
Our first service will be Sunday, July 15 at 10:45 a.m. in our new building. We hope to see you there too.
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, now located in our new building at 2262 State Route 56 SW, beside Bluebird Retirement Center, London. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.