Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What happens when you die?

Have you ever thought about How to get to Heaven?

Most people honestly think that being good is the way. They are not quite sure how to get there, but they hope they'll make it. Have you ever even thought about the fact that there is an afterlife? I had not. And, although no one specifically asked me what I thought about it, I would have considered myself "good enough" to go. The truth is, we are not. Not by a long shot!

In order to understand why we can't just try our hardest to be good people, then expect to go to heaven, we have to understand first who God is. Well, He is above comprehension, so let me explain the best I know how. He is perfect. He's above perfect. He made the idea of perfection. He is a great, big, grand God. Not only is He grand, but He is Righteous. He is Holy. He is completely and totally without sin. And standing beside Him, we are filthy. In fact, the Bible says all of our goodness is like filthy rags before Him. Maybe you think, well I've tried my hardest to be good, shouldn't that be enough? Remember, He is perfect. You can never be. Try as you might, you will still say something you shouldn't have or do something you really should not have done. Think for just a moment about some of the things you may have done that you would be embarrassed if anyone knew about. Well, God knows. He knows your every thought. Scary isn't it.

Add on top of that, there are things that He commanded us.

These are the 10 commandments:
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (like umm, I don't know, Yourself maybe?)
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
3.Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
4.Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5. Honour thy father and thy mother.
6.Thou shalt not kill. (what about murdering with your lips?)
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery. (Jesus went as far to say if you even THINK about it, you've already done it. Yikes!)
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9.Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. (that would be LIE to all of us simple folks. :-D )
10. Thou shalt not covet. (Yeah, we live in America, there's not a one of us hasn't committed this sin!)

All of us, if we are honest, would not be able to come away from reading this to say I'm good enough! In fact, we are born with this evil nature in us. Why would God then command these things & what's going to happen to me since I'm not living up to His standard? Two very important questions to ask. God wants us to know who we are. We can start to compare ourselves with one another & think we're something special, but the truth is, we're not. We are created beings. We have full choice in our life and we don't always choose the right way. Therefore, we are not righteous. Not like God is. He created you. He has the right to give a command and expect it to be obeyed. If you made a sandwich, yet it kept hopping off your plate, wouldn't you do something about it? If it were me, I'd toss it in the garbage & call it a good for nothing sandwich. Think about it. It's not worth anything if it's not going to do it's purpose, the thing you made it to do. Well, this brings me to another characteristic of God. He is filled with long-suffering. You see, we've lost the way. We were made to be His. We were made for Him. Yet here we are living for ourselves, like we have all eternity to be here on earth. We don't. We will die. There is an end. What happens afterword is what we have to decide now.

Although God is patient, in many ways God feels the same way about us that I mentioned about the sandwich. He's long suffering, but at some point, he will be done in His patience. You see, Since He made the laws and we broke them, He will judge us according to His righteous judgement and we will never be able to live up to it. Sounds unfair? He wants perfection, yet we are not perfect. So, He made a plan. His plan is laid out in the Bible. It really needs to be read in order to fully understand. Just start at the beginning, just like a book, and read what He has to say. If you have questions, just ask Him. Be patient and He'll direct you.

You need to know, He has made a place of torment. People don't like to talk about, but it's important to know the truth. His desire is that all would come to repentance, but the truth is, not all will. Many will continue in their sin without acknowledging Him or what He's done to reach them. The Bible says it's a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth, complete outer darkness for all eternity. How horrific. Yet, we do deserve it.

We were made to worship Him, yet we barely acknowledge Him. We may mention Him every so often when things are going bad (maybe we yell at Him?) but are we truly putting Him first like the first commandment states? Do we love Him? This is really what He wants. He wants to know us. He longs for us to really Know Him. He is hoping for us to tell Him our deepest desires, our hurts and above all, our devotion to Him. Maybe Your not quite sure why you should love Him. Well, let me explain what He did for YOU.

God had a plan from the moment the first humans sinned. He decided He would send His only Son (who is perfect, since He is a part of God) to die in our place. See, before Jesus came, God would forgive sins as blood was shed in repentance. He would accept blood from a lamb, etc. as an offering of repentance. When Jesus Christ came, He became the Perfect Lamb. He willingly laid down His life, so that we could be forgiven. His blood was shed for you. For your sins. Your guilt and shame. He loves you so much He died for you. If you are willing to receive Him into your life and your heart, ask Him for forgiveness, and you will be set free! Oh the joy of having your sins forgiven by your Creator! It is the most wonderful, amazing thing. Only those who have experienced it understand. Yet, some will never. Some will walk away. Are you willing to open your heart, to allow God access into the deeper areas that no one has gone before. He really does love you beyond comprehension. Let Him save you from the place of torment He has planned for those who are unwilling to repent. Be willing to love Him. To know Him. He is listening to Your heart.

Will you pray with me?
God, I thank You for drawing me to Yourself so that I can be set free. I believe Jesus Christ died for me. For my sins. Lord, take my life. Come into my heart. I want to be new! Change me so that I can live for Your glory. Use me for Your kingdom. Help me to understand. I ask for wisdom and guidance so that I can live for You for all eternity. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer, please let me know by leaving a comment below.

First things first, get yourself a Bible. Begin to read. Then, re-read it again. As you seek to know Him, He will show Himself to You. Talk to Him often. And, it's very important to find a Church that believes in being born again and is adamant that the Bible is the infallible word of God. God will direct you. On your way, tell everyone you can about what God has done for you! If you have any questions, please comment below.

Congratulations on becoming a Child of God!
And may God continue to bless your life.

John 1:12,13
But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even them that believe on His name: which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

No comments: