Someone I know well is dying. He is a young man in his forties and has just been diagnosed with an inoperable and aggressive brain tumour. All his life he has ignored the Lord and those who love him are praying that he will come to know Jesus before it is too late.
I was talking to a friend about this recently and she said, “Oh, he’ll be all right. He won’t be refused.” This friend is a regular church-goer, but I wonder what sort of teaching she has received. It shocked and saddened me that this person was not more aware of the terrible price that Jesus paid for our entry to heaven and that we actually have to acknowledge that before we can be received by our heavenly Father.
It made me aware that so many of our fellow ‘Christians’ have never actually committed their lives to Jesus and that they will find themselves excluded unexpectedly, because they have never received forgiveness for their sins. I once heard someone teach that hell is full of forgiven sinners, which shocked me until I began to think about it. Jesus died to pay the price of all our sins, all that have ever been committed and all that ever will be committed, so that we could all go to be with Him, but first we need to recognise that we have been saved from the rightful penalty for our sins – death.
Sometimes people will say, “Oh, he (or she) is such a good person, God will receive them”, but it says in Isaiah 64:6: ‘But we are all like an unclean thing and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags’, and Paul, in Ephesians 2:8-9, writes ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast’. So our ‘goodness’ is not good enough for God, only Jesus could ‘unlock the gate of heaven and let us in’ as it says in the hymn, ‘There is a green hill, far away’.
There is no other way than through the cross of Jesus Christ!
If you have never prayed the prayer to invite Jesus to be Lord of your life, (or if you would like to renew your commitment), please pray the following prayer:
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for dying on the cross for me so that I might be forgiven all my sins. I confess them before You now and thank You for Your cleansing. I now choose to commit my life to You and invite You to be Lord of my body, soul and spirit, to be guided by You day by day. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Thank You, Jesus, Amen.
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