I took last week off because I recently lost my grandpa. It was somewhat unexpected, at least that things would progress as quickly as they did, and my family lost a great man of God who left behind an amazing legacy of faith, wisdom, generosity, and hard work. He still went to the office every day at 95 until just days ago. Now he’s in heaven.
Saying goodbye is never easy, even when someone has lived a full life. But it’s so much easier when you know where they are. My grandpa is in heaven with Jesus, I know it for certain, and there is nothing more comforting than knowing he’s in the arms of THE Comforter.
Heaven isn’t a guarantee, though. It’s a choice. It’s not the choice to be a good person or to do enough good works or to make it to church often enough. It’s a choice to accept the free gift of salvation that Jesus offers. Anyone can have it, no matter who you are or what you’ve done, but you do have to accept it.
Hell is a real place and you definitely don’t want to go there, but you can avoid it! You can accept the gift of salvation and go to heaven instead.
The Bible says that we all fall short of the glory of God. We’re all sinners. None of us is perfect. We all deserve hell, because even one little sin disqualifies us from heaven, where there is no sin.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.Romans 3:23 NIV
Since we’re all sinners, someone had to pay the price for our sins. We can’t enter God’s presence with any stain or imperfection. We need to be blameless in order to do that, and we’re not blameless unless someone has paid our debt.
Jesus did just that. He died on the cross to pay for our sins so we don’t have to. His blood cleansed us so that we are forgiven and blameless, and we are free to spend eternity with God. All we have to do is accept his sacrifice, his gift of salvation.
This process is pretty simple – just remember the ABCs of salvation:
A – Admit: Admit you’re a sinner and ask for forgiveness.
B – Believe: Believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins.
C – Confess: Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”Romans 10:9 NIV
That’s it! Just pray to God out loud or in your heart – whatever you prefer. Say something like this:
Jesus, I know I’m a sinner in need of your grace. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I ask you to forgive me for all the times I’ve sinned against you, and I accept your gift of salvation. I accept you as Lord and Savior of my life. Come into my heart and live in me. You are in charge of my life, and I choose to follow you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
If this is the first time you’ve ever prayed this prayer, the journey doesn’t stop here! I encourage you to find a godly church and start attending regularly (even if that’s online right now!) and start reading the Bible, which is every Christian’s road map. (I like The Message for an easy-to-understand version.) Going to church and reading your Bible aren’t what get you to heaven, but they are important ingredients to grow your relationship with God. And growth is important, because, as with anything, if you’re not growing, you’re regressing. Make the commitment to grow in your faith – you won’t regret it!
It’s the best feeling to know that although my grandpa is no longer here with us, he’s somewhere better. I can’t wait to see him in heaven again someday and, even if you and I have never met, I hope to see you there, too. Make the best decision of your life: say yes to Jesus and spend eternity in heaven with him someday. ❤️
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV