Posts Tagged ‘Romans 10:9’

Hi and Lois HeavenSometimes, just reading the comics in newspapers — yes, I still read REAL newspapers — can provide great opportunities to tell folks the truth about the most important things in life.

In this case, that most important thing is Heaven.

If you believe there is something beyond this life, would you call it Heaven? And if you would, who do you think goes there?

In this Hi and Lois comic strip involving a conversation between twins Dot and Ditto Flagston, Ditto make a very strong point. Do you believe what he says to his sister?

As it’s understood by many people, Heaven is where people can actually spend eternity in the presence of the creator of the universe and His Son, Jesus of Nazareth. No one has to be a ‘goody-goody’ (which I assume means a smug or obtrusively virtuous person) to qualify.

In fact, Heaven is populated mostly by people who are anything BUT ‘goody-goody’. It’s occupied by those who often:

  • struggled to get their lives in any kind of order;
  • battled with drug, gambling or alcohol addictions;
  • missed the mark when it came to treating others well;
  • wrestled with temptations such as pornography, infidelity and crime.

Maybe this leaves you unimpressed. Maybe you feel like the late, great Groucho Marx, who once said “I wouldn’t join any club that would have me as a member”.

If that’s the case, you’ll miss out on something so extraordinary that even the writers of the Bible struggled to describe the glories of Heaven with simple words.

So if you and I don’t need to be a ‘goody-goody’, then what DO we need to spend eternity with God and Jesus? It’s simple:

  1. accept that Jesus died on a cross as a sacrifice for all the wrongs things you’ve done and all the right things you’ve failed to do;
  2. confess all those moral crimes to God and express sincere regret and remorse for them (also called repenting);
  3. believe that Jesus rose from the dead after three days in the tomb, to crush the power of death for everyone who follows Him;
  4. ask Jesus to become your Lord and Saviour.

Looking for evidence that I’m not just blowing smoke? Paul, a man who had a life-changing spiritual encounter with Jesus, put it like this: “If you openly say, ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from death, you will be saved.”

When you do these four things with humble honesty, then Jesus comes into your heart and begins to transform your life.

He gives you wisdom to truly discern what is good and what is bad in the eyes of God (it’s often very different from what our culture suggests) and strength to obey God.

He gives you the ability to see that everyone on this planet has the same intrinsic value in God’s eyes. That means, in the words of author Philip Yancey, “There is nothing we can do to make God love us more. There is nothing we can do to make God love us less.”

He gives you the understanding that no one can earn their way into Heaven; it’s a gift from God to everybody who freely decides to make His Son their Lord and Saviour.

So, you (hopefully) have a better understanding of Heaven. Interested in learning more? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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20130312-mumford-sons-x306-1363115786I’ve never heard a note by the Grammy Award-winning British band Mumford & Sons, but an interview leader Marcus Mumford did a few years ago with Rolling Stone magazine caught my attention.

Lyrics on the band’s recordings have many references to God, prayer and struggles with faith. But Mumford told Rolling Stone he doesn’t like the word ‘Christian’.

“It comes with so much baggage, so no, I wouldn’t call myself a Christian. I’ve kind-of separated myself from the culture of Christianity.”

I get where Mumford is coming from. Mention the word Christian to the average person – maybe even you – and the first thing (heck, often the ONLY thing) that comes to mind are words like “judgmental,” “negative” and “ignorant”.

You might also think of the sexual abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church, the hate-filled protests of a certain tiny U.S. congregation (it’s not worth naming) or bizarre statements by a few televangelists.

The media loves highlighting this stuff. And that means the life-giving good news of Jesus of Nazareth (who many people believe is the Son of God) is harder to find than a government surplus.

But, as one of the ancient writers passed on to us, “When you get serious about finding Me [God] and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.”

What does this mean? It means doing something our culture stridently opposes: asking questions like:

  • Why am I – and the rest of humanity – here?
  • Is there more to life than 70+ years of toil, taxes and failing health?
  • Am I snuffed out of existence after my last breath, or is there something else?

Maybe you’re brave enough to ponder these BIG issues. And if that’s the case, then consider these answers:

1.  “If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God,” wrote Rick Warren in his bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. “You were born by His purpose and for His purpose.”

2.  Those who trust in their wealth are headed for great disappointment, but those who do right will sprout like green leaves in the spring.” That’s from an ancient and very influential writer. And it means you can escape the drudgery of life when you leave behind the “he who has the most toys when he dies wins” attitude encouraged by our culture.

3.  There IS something more after this life ends. The question is, what do YOU want it to be? One of Jesus’s earliest followers wrote: “If you openly say, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from death, you will be saved.”

Saved from what? From judgment. When you become a follower of Jesus, God no longer sees all the bad things you’ve done and the good things you’ve failed to do. He sees you like he sees Jesus: perfect, without a single blemish.

Does this makes sense? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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