(Photo: Dan Delzell)
With all that you probably have going on in your life right now, why in the world should you give a hoot about whether or not your name is in heaven's reservation book? Well….for one thing….every breath you take is given to you by Almighty God. When He decides to "turn off your oxygen" so to speak, that will be it. Why wait until it's too late to make the most important reservation you could ever make?
What is this "reservation book" anyway? And why does my name need to be in it? God's Word describes the entrance into heaven and the book this way: "Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life." (Revelation 21:27)
So there you have it. No reservation….no entrance into heaven. No entrance into heaven means no second chance in the afterlife. The finality of Judgment Day will produce exuberant rejoicing on the part of some….and serious pleading on the part of those who don't have a reservation. Jesus is "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." (John 1:29) It is His reservation book....the "Lamb's" book of life. So if you want a reservation, you will need to make it directly with Him!
One thing which sin has done to all of us is that it messed up our ability to see spiritual things clearly. Sin leads us to think things which simply are not true. So don't believe everything you think….and don't assume things about heaven based on your opinions or your feelings. The Bible is the only roadmap we have to heaven….and it lays out the path very clearly.
The prophet Daniel prophesied about the end of time and the book of life: "There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people - everyone whose name is found written in the book - will be delivered." (Daniel 12:1)
Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25,26)
Well….do you? Is the issue of eternity even on your radar right now….or are you only concerned with the issues of your earthly life, and not focused one bit on the needs of your eternal soul. That is another thing which sin does to us….it leads us to place a high premium on things which perish….and to neglect the things which have the real and lasting value. Are your priorities where they need to be, or are you foolishly ignoring your soul and your Creator?
What do want to hear Jesus say to you on Judgment Day: "Depart from me," or "Welcome home." If you are not willing to think about heaven now, you won't be in a position to change your situation then. Jesus offers eternal life right now to anyone who wants to receive it. You don't receive it then….you receive it now….and you experience it then. Your experiences on earth, even if you are a believer, are far below the level of joy and perfection that believers will experience in paradise.
Science will not convince you of the truth of this message. Only God can convince you of it….and He will do that by teaching you His Word….if you ask Him to do so. Assuming that you will go to heaven one day is a very dangerous assumption for anyone whose name is not in the book of life. If your reservation has not been made….if you have not repented of your sin and trusted Christ to forgive you….if you are relying upon your works rather than His cross to save you….then your assumptions about heaven are seriously misguided.
The Bible says, "If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:15) It is critical that your name be in that book. Our Lord made it clear: "He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels." (Revelation 3:5) You absolutely need a reservation to get in!
Can I just call heaven and make my reservation? Sort of. You call on God. You admit you are a sinner. You turn away from being the manager of your life….and you hand over control to Jesus. You trust Him to wash away your sins with the blood He shed for you on the cross. That is faith. Your name is written in the book of life if you have faith in Jesus….if you trust in His work on the cross to save you. Those who are born again through faith in Jesus immediately begin to live for Him.
Where is your faith today? Where is your trust? Where is your focus? Is it only on this life….or is it also on heaven's reservation book? You cannot do anything beneficial for God's mission here on earth until your name is first written in His book of life. Securing your eternity with Him opens the way for your life on earth to really matter….and to be involved in projects which count for eternity.
You probably have some friends and relatives who have not yet made their reservation for heaven? If you don't attempt to reach them with the good news, who will? On the other hand, if you don't care enough about your own soul to come to Jesus with your heart....how in the world will your family members who don't know Jesus ever get to Him? How will they get to heaven if you are not even interested in having Jesus bring you there? You acceptance or rejection of Jesus today will have a huge ripple effect in your family.
You may be very busy in your life and career….but how busy are you for the Savior? If your name is in the book of life as a believer in Christ, then the Holy Spirit dwells inside of you and He is producing His fruit in you as you abide in Christ. Remain in His love….and stay on the narrow road. It is the only road that leads to paradise. (see John 14:6)
The truth is that many people spend more time reserving a nice hotel for their vacation that they spend reserving their place in heaven. Just because Jesus died on the cross for your sins does not mean that He will force you to join Him in heaven. Once you take your last breath, it is too late to get your name in heaven's reservation book if it isn't in there already. How strongly do you want to live forever in heaven?
Jesus said, "The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." (John 12:25) In other words, you can choose to love this world….or choose to love your Creator and Savior. You can believe that Jesus died to save you….or you can reject that good news and dismiss it as irrelevant to your life.
Make no mistake about it….you will be taking a trip to your final destination after your body dies….and then this message will mean everything to you. So why not review your priorities right now? You are one day closer to Judgment Day than you were yesterday. If you don't lock in your reservation today, you likely never will. Turning down God's free gift of eternal life only makes a person's heart even harder toward Christ and His plan of salvation.
Are you ready to make your reservation for heaven? Here are some words which you could use in talking with the Lamb of God about His book: "Lord Jesus....I am a sinner. I repent of my sin and turn to you. Save my soul. You are the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. I believe you died for my sins on the cross. I humbly ask you to wash away my sin, and to write my name in your book of life. I really do want to go to heaven Jesus. With your help, I will live the rest of my earthly life serving others for your glory. Fill me with the Holy Spirit. Help me to get connected right away to other Christians. And thank you Jesus for giving your life on the cross and rising again so that I can have everlasting life with You in the perfection of paradise. In Jesus' name. Amen."