Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Lucking Your Way Into Heaven

"I write these things to you who believe in the name of God that you may know that you have eternal life." -1 John 5:13 (ESV)

     Sometimes we lack confidence in our Christianity. We feel more like we're just hoping to get to heaven more than knowing we will. But what does the Bible have to say about this? Is it humility to say that you aren't sure? Is it bragging to say that you know you'll get to heaven? Today I would like to challenge you to think about these things as we study them, and to take the time to study these things out for yourselves.

     Is it bragging to say that I know I will get into heaven? Jeremiah 9:24 says, "but let him boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord." This verse is saying that it's okay to know and to tell others that you know the Lord and that He is perfect. It's okay that you proclaim your faith in Him. In fact, if you don't know that you will go to heaven, then you won't, and how can we be proper lights if we do not show others that we believe and have faith? How can they believe that salvation works if the one teaching them doesn't?

    Mark 16:16 says "He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." Now we are clearly not saved by faith alone (James 2:24) but we do need faith to be saved. I mean would you really think that God would let us into heaven if we spent our whole lives unsure of whether or not He is real? Because if you believe in God, and you believe the Jesus is His Son, and you believe that baptism saves us from hell, then you believe that as long as you are baptized and follow the whole Bible, you will be saved. In James 1:6-8, speaking about asking for wisdom says "but let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways." If we won't receive wisdom without believing, how will we receive eternal life without it?

     You cannot "luck out" and get into heaven. You have to put forth effort, and you cannot simply hope to receive eternal life. You cannot just cross your fingers and hope that God will have mercy on us. Today I would like to encourage you to, every day, ask yourself whether or not you know that you will get into heaven. If the answer is no, why not? Is there something in your life that you need to fix? Fix it! Is your faith wavering? Do you have a sin you need to ask forgiveness for? Today I would like to encourage you to ask yourself these things and to answer them honestly, and to not let your faith waver.