If God were to invite you to enter heaven today, would you take Him up on it? Imagine God telling you: "This is a one-time offer. And if you accept it today, you will never go back to earth. But you will be guaranteed eternal life in paradise."
And then imagine God saying, "But if you decline my offer today and decide to stay on earth right now, there is no guarantee that you will come to heaven when you die. Your soul may end up going in the other direction."
Would you do it? Would you leave everything behind and take the one-way trip to heaven? And by "heaven," I am talking about the real place which the Bible describes as an eternal home of perfect peace. In heaven, believers are thrilled to worship and serve their King, and they never encounter temptation or sin. Once in paradise, believers experience abundant joy which never diminishes even slightly.
The topic of heaven comes up in conversations regularly, but how often have you ever seriously considered going there? I mean on one hand, it seems so "far off" and distant. And yet, people of all ages will die today and enter one of two places. How about you? Are you prepared to meet your Maker?
Multitudes of people tend to focus their thoughts on anything except heaven. This world presents plenty of distractions along the way, and man is usually quick to pursue them. But is it worth it? Here is how Jesus answered that question: "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and yet loses his soul?" (Matthew 16:26)
Maybe you have never been concerned about the condition of your soul. But I will tell you this much: God is concerned about it. So much so that He sent His only Son to die in your place on the cross. Christ took the punishment you and I deserve to pay. Our sin before God is serious, but so also is God's love for us. And heaven is a real place even if you have not yet been able to wrap your mind around that fact.
What if you could enter heaven today? Would you do it? Or would you "take your chances" and hang around here a little longer? In the end, your eternal destiny has nothing to do with chance. It has everything to do with sin, forgiveness, righteousness, judgment, grace, heaven, hell, eternity, and the fact that your soul is immortal. God created you that way.
So if anyone would know how to get you and I safely to "the other side," it would be our Creator. If God came to you today with such a magnificent offer, would you take it?
The truth is that God really is offering you paradise at this very moment. And while He doesn't promise that you will enter heaven quite yet, He does promise to give you this amazing gift (guaranteed) the moment you repent of your sin and trust Jesus to forgive your sins. Once you take that step of faith by God's grace, you will instantly "inherit" eternal life. It's true. Check it out in Scripture. (see 1 Peter 1:3,4; Eph. 1:13,14; Romans 8:1; John 11:25,26; Acts 2:21)
Then what happens? Well, those who take God up on His offer instantly start living for the Lord. There is no such thing as a genuine believer who doesn't want to live for Christ. It just doesn't play out that way. You either believe in Jesus and follow the Good Shepherd of your soul, or you reject Christ and continue following your own natural instincts and desires.
And while God's gracious offer is available to you today, it may not be available to you tomorrow. You could end up taking your final breath later today. If so, are you ready to stand before the Lord? Are you ready to be held accountable for your transgressions? Have you been sealed with the Holy Spirit "for the day of redemption" (Eph. 4:30) by accepting Christ as your Savior?
If you are not yet "sealed," you are not yet ready to die? That is, if you want to go to heaven. Well, do you? God has already expressed His will and desire on the matter. And He backed up His will with His own blood. The least you and I could do is tell God what we think about Him sacrificing His only Son for our salvation. So have you had that visit with the Lord yet? If you choose to have your own personal "come to Jesus" conversation, you won't regret it.
You probably notice a sense of urgency in my words. Good. I hope you sense much urgency on this issue. Your soul's health is of the utmost importance, even if you do not yet give a hoot about the whole thing yourself. Your Creator says your soul is important enough for Christ to have sacrificed His life on the cross. This proves you are incredibly valuable to God, and He wants to spend eternity with you. Would you like to spend eternity with Him?
When people decline God's gracious offer of salvation, they tend to become even more closed to the idea. That's just the way things tend to progress. Your heart becomes either harder or softer toward Christ, depending upon what you do with Jesus.
You can accept Him, or reject Him. You can trust Him, or doubt Him. You can believe His words, or pretend He never spoke the truth in the first place. But whatever you do with Jesus won't change His eternal kingdom. It will simply determine whether or not you are there with Him to enjoy it.
This might be a new concept for you. God calls it "good news." (see Acts 8:35 and Acts 13:32) And you will too once you realize just how badly your soul needs Jesus. Have you come to this realization yet? If not, I urge you to allow God's Word to speak to your heart. The only guidance God has given us concerning the next life is what He tells us in Scripture. If it wasn't for God's Word, none of us would have a clue about heaven and hell. At least not until our soul departs our body at the moment of our death.
When that happens for you my friend, you won't need any more clues. You will be smack dab in the middle of your new home, and you will remain in that place forever. A wild thought? Perhaps, but nevertheless true, real, eternal, and absolutely certain to happen. God said so.