Checking in and an important Q & A

Hi friends. I had every intention of writing all about why I was away from my computer this week, but a death in the family always trumps a report on a girls’ cruise. Right? My Uncle Robert died this past Thursday and I’m writing this post on the way back from his funeral. He married my Aunt Bibby (who has always been like a second mama to me) 36 years ago. The funny thing is that I thought Aunt Bibby was “so old” when they married… And she was younger than I am now! It’s all relative, isn’t it?

Uncle Robert hadn’t been well for some years, so as we can for every believer, we rejoice in his total healing and full joy in the presence of Jesus. But that doesn’t make him any less missed by those left on this earth that loved him. It’s times like this that I’m so thankful that the scriptures promise that death is NOT the end of life! For those who love and walk with the Lord, it is just the beginning!

Which brings me to a most important question:  Do you know that if you died tonight, you would go to heaven?  Being a “good enough” person isn’t the answer.  There are some questions asked by most human hearts about salvation.  Maybe you’ve been asking these yourselves.  If you have, here are the answers from the Bible:

I consider myself a ‘good person’… won’t that be enough?

Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 3:10 – As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;
Romans 5:12 – Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned–

The creator of the universe is HOLY. God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 1Jn 1:5 He has set laws in place for his creation to obey. What are these laws? They begin with the 10 Commandments. While you might consider yourself ‘good’ compared to most people, how do you measure up against God’s law? Have you ever told the smallest lie? Then you are a liar. “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” James 2:10. Disobedience to God is sin.

Is sin really THAT big of a deal? If it is… what HOPE is there?

Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin [is] death, but the gift of God [is] eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Disobedience to an infinite eternal God deserves an infinite eternal consequence. God shows us His character and his laws in his creation, the world around us. He has also written his laws in our hearts… on our conscience.

He has also given us his WORD the Bible. No good judge would let the guilty go free, the criminal go unpunished. Neither can a holy righteous God allow sinful man to go unpunished… but God LOVES man whom he has made in his image and He has provided a way of escape by sending his only son to die in our place.

After what I’ve done to grieve God… HOW could He willingly die in my place?

Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Jn 3:16.

While he died on the cross, he was mocked, spit upon, and cursed. Yet Jesus cried out, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do…” (Lk 23:34) With such love, Jesus died in your place… knowing every evil act, word, and thought you would commit. What powerful love! He loves you unconditionally even to the point of death when you are at your worst!

HOW can I be saved?

Romans 10:9-10 – that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

You can never be saved by trying to be a good person, nor can you be saved through any amount of ‘good works’. Ephesians 2:8,9 says “For by grace have you been saved by faith. And that, not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works. Lest any man should boast.” You and I can be saved only by confessing our sins and placing our faith in God’s son, Jesus Christ who died and paid for our sins on the cross. We must also surrender our life to His lordship… placing him in charge of every area of our life because we now belong to him.

This prayer doesn’t “save” you, but if you need some help expressing what is on your heart, you can pray something like this:

Lord God, yes, I’m a sinner, and I want to give up the sinful way of living and live the kind of life You would have me live. I confess now that I believe that your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, died for me. He took the punishment for my sins on Himself, thereby offering me the forgiveness of sins and the opportunity for everlasting life, as is Your will for me. I now believe in Him, and receive Him as my Savior and Lord. Amen.

Did God HEAR me? Did He accept me?

Romans10:13 – For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

God promises that “to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (Jn 1:12)

Yes, God does hear and accept ALL who come to put their faith in Him. There is no need to fear death any longer because Jesus BROKE the power of death on the cross with his own blood. The price has been paid in full and it is God’s promise to receive all who come to him by placing their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

There is no need to fear “sin” keeping you from staying “saved”. Ephesians 2:8-9 says “For by grace you have been saved by faith. And that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” Praise God we can’t be good enough to earn salvation or to keep it, or bad enough to lose it. If Jesus is really Lord of our lives, and we’ve placed our lives into His hands, we are saved, and will spend eternity with Him.

What do I do now?

Romans 10:17 – So then faith [comes] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Your journey as a child of the King of Kings has just begun! You must begin by spending time daily in prayer and in God’s Word, the Bible. Start reading in the book of John. Get to know Jesus and how much He loves you. Don’t worry about what you don’t understand. Just obey what you do understand, and you’ll find the Scriptures come alive to you.

Pray about everything. Nothing is too big or too small for God! Philippians 4:6-7 tells us “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Find a church that teaches and preaches the Bible, plant yourself in it. You will need the strength of the fellowship of other believers. They will bless you, and you will bless them. You should also now confess Jesus, your savior before men. Share about your new faith in Christ with your family, coworkers and others whom God has placed on your daily path.

You now hold the good news answers to every human heart. Death has no victory over the believer in Jesus Christ.  It is only the beginning of true living! That’s what my daddy, Uncle Robert, all of my grandparents, and so many other loved ones are enjoying this very moment.  I praise God for the hope of eternal life!  Dear friends, do you have that hope?

About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com