I will admit that I am taken aback by the R.I.P. “floats”/posters/cards that “miraculously” appear when one passes away.
Yes! We should feel bad, the loss. Missing the personality that defined that individual and no other!
Ever taken a ‘peek’ into the hereafter? How could you? You are still here!
If you were to peek; for definitely one reason or another you will either want to stay or never go back!
I am aware that we have shared over and over what remains as a consistent fact. Yes! In times past we did not have worldwide internet access; so accounts if not written were told. At this point, we are all connected.
One thing that amazes me is the consistency…Different walks of life, different professions, I am want to say ‘religions’; but it is evident in The Word that if one does not accept or realize Jesus as Lord – no dice!
Many people believe that the answer to the question of how to get to heaven is to be a good person. For some, being good means not being bad. One or more of the following may describe you: You haven’t murdered anyone. You don’t steal. You don’t curse, too much. You don’t lie, too often. You’re not a drug addict. You don’t cheat. You rarely gamble. Your conscience is clear because you aren’t nearly as bad as the people you read about in the newspapers or see on television. You’re just like everyone else you know and you can’t all be going to hell. So, you’re pretty sure that after you die God is going to let you into His heaven, right?
Many others believe that the answer to the question in how to get to heaven revolves around doing good deeds. One or more of the following may describe you: You give money to beggars or food to the homeless standing on street corners. You’re actively involved in civic and community affairs. You generously donate your time, talents, and/or your money to non-profit and charitable organizations. You’re better than most of the people you know. In fact, you’re so good that you‘re convinced that, after you die, God will absolutely let you into His heaven, right?
There are others who believe that their religious rituals will be their ticket into heaven. This may describe you: You embrace religious beliefs that tell you how to live a spiritual life. Your religion may tell you that there is a God, but it does not tell you how to have a personal relationship with Him. And, despite all of your religious rituals, your religion does not guarantee that following those rituals will get you into God’s heaven, right?
How to get to heaven – Believe the truth!
The truth is that there is only one way for any human being to get to heaven and that is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Every human being is, by nature, a sinful being. The Bible says that our efforts at doing “good deeds” are not acceptable in the sight of God (Ephesians 2:8-9). God alone is holy. God alone is good. So, God has made a way for sinful human beings to enter into His heaven.
God is the only perfect Being in the entire universe, and He came to earth 2,000 years ago, as a man — Jesus. His mother was a virgin by the name of Mary. But, Mary was not impregnated by a man, but by the Holy Spirit of the Living God. She gave birth to the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
God’s laws required that a life be taken to save a life. Mankind was so sinful that the animal sacrifices of the Jewish people could no longer cleanse them of their sins. So, God sacrificed Himself, through the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, so that our sins could be forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ. During His time on earth, Jesus led a perfect, sinless life.
Jesus Christ died on a cross. He was buried in a tomb for three days and, on the third day, He was raised from the dead. After forty days, He returned to heaven, where He currently reigns. He will return to earth a second timeto claim those who have confessed their belief in Him.
How to get to heaven – Make it Personal
Jesus died so that those who believe in Him would no longer be condemned to an eternity apart from God. If you want to be assured of going to heaven after you die and you believe that Jesus Christ died to save you from the penalty for your sins, answer these questions.
Do you understand that you are a sinner, and you believe that Jesus Christ came as the one and only Redeemer of sin? Are you ready to receive God’s gift of His Son, Jesus Christ? If so, believe in Christ, repent of your sins, and commit the rest of your life to Him as Lord:
“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
“Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
If you decided receive Jesus today, welcome to God’s family. Now, as a way to grow closer to Him, the Bible tells us to follow up on our commitment.
- Get baptized as commanded by Christ.
- Tell someone else about your new faith in Christ.
- Spend time with God each day. It does not have to be a long period of time. Just develop the daily habit of praying to Him and reading His Word. Ask God to increase your faith and your understanding of the Bible.
- Seek fellowship with other followers of Jesus. Develop a group of believing friends to answer your questions and support you.
- Find a local church where you can worship God.
Remember this: “Do not neglect the gathering of yourselves together…”
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.“
The early Christians clearly emphasized the importance of fellowship. Acts 2:42 notes, “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” In the early church, “day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people” (Acts 2:46-47). But why is Christian fellowship important?
The New Testament word for “fellowship,” koinonia, expresses the idea of being together for mutual benefit. Hebrews 10:24-25 shares this idea, saying, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Two reasons fellowship with other believers is important are because it helps express love to one another and it encourages good works.
A third important reason for Christian fellowship is its impact on unbelievers. Jesus told His disciples, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). The love Christians have for one another can influence others toward faith in Jesus Christ.
Still another important reason for Christian fellowship is the ability to pray together. Early believers were committed to prayer, both individually and in groups. In James 5:14-16, elders were called together to pray for the sick as well as for those who had sinned. This required being together.
Christian fellowship is also important for church decision-making. In both Acts 6 and Acts 15, the early church gathered together to make important decisions about the future direction of the church. These required community, prayer, and close discussion.
Christian fellowship is required for baptism. A new Christian cannot baptize himself or herself because it is not a public profession of faith. Christians gather together to celebrate a person’s baptism and serve as witnesses of the person’s commitment to a new life in Jesus Christ.
Christian fellowship is required for communion, or the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper doesn’t quite work the same for an online church. This ancient practice requires time together with other believers to remember the blood and body of Christ.
Though many believers today do not recognize the importance of fellowship or local church involvement, Christian fellowship is essential to spiritual growth. Many aspects of our spiritual lives depend on being together with other believers to encourage, teach, serve, and share life together.