They say there are two things we can be sure of in life: death and taxes. Actually, there’s a third thing we can be sure of – Heaven!
I don’t know if I will meet Olive in heaven or not. Olive herself is not sure. With 89 birthdays behind her, she had never met anyone before who was absolutely sure they were going to heaven.
Her home is simple; her old rocking chair well-worn; her hands are wrinkled; her movements are not as nimble now – frail is the word. Pictures of loved ones hang on her walls – precious memories as she stares into the sunset of her life. Most of her friends have gone and now she recognizes more names in the cemetery than in the local news.
Very soon Olive’s old chair will be empty – changes will be made to her little home. It will probably change hands. But where will Olive be? When I asked her, she didn’t know. She ‘hoped’ she would be in Heaven. She felt she had tried to live a ‘holy’ life. She said: “60 years ago I responded to the minister’s altar call but the good feeling I got when I went up to the ‘front’ left as quickly as it came.”
In her 90th year – she is hoping that everything will work out in the end. She hopes that God will look at her good life and decide to take her to Heaven. But Olive is taking a big risk.
In fact, the Bible says it won’t be that way at all. When I opened her Bible to show her that she could be absolutely sure she was going to heaven, her eyes brightened for a moment. But then she settled back into her chair and said she was too old to change. “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I’ve been going this way for 90 years; I will just stick with my prayers and my church and hope for the best.”
My story about Olive ends here – but that is not the end of Olive. When she leaves this life, she will step out into eternity. Are you like Olive – you don’t know for sure?
Everyone who is going to Heaven has a very personal moment when they started. People clearly recall important events in their life like their child’s birth, or their wedding or graduation day. Anyone who is going to Heaven remembers that special moment when they started for Heaven. They remember placing their personal trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and experiencing the joy of sins forgiven and being at peace with God.
Olive is a good citizen. Often she went to church three times on a Sunday – two different churches. She said her prayers, took the sacraments and was baptized. But none of that counts with God as a way of getting to Heaven.
If we could get to Heaven that way – then why did Jesus have to die? If we could do it on our own by baptism, prayers, penance, or by being a good citizen – why, would we ever need a Saviour? If we could get to Heaven our own way, then the death of Jesus on the Cross was a big mistake on God’s part.
The fact is: we are all sinners, regardless of the good things we do. “For ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23. No one meets God’s holy requirements for admission to Heaven. Not even one sin will enter Heaven. And we have no power to remove or erase or offset any of our sins.
There is only one way for your sins to be forgiven. “The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son cleanseth us from ALL sin.” 1John 1:7 For Olive or anyone else to think that a good life will be the password to Heaven is an insult to God. What about Christ? What about His precious Blood? What was the purpose of His death? Do you think that His death was good but not good enough? Or that He did 90% and you must do your 10%?
Ephesians 2:8-9 says: “For by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God; not of works, lest any one should boast.”
The Bible says you can know for sure you have eternal life. “These things have I written unto you…that you may KNOW you have eternal life.” 1John 5:13.
Those who know Christ as their own personal Saviour have eternal life. Jesus said: “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3. Sins are forgiven in this life only. It’s too late after you die. If you don’t have a moment in life when Christ became personal to you, you will never be with Christ. Your destiny is determined by what you do with Christ in this life.
I am sure, ABSOLUTELY SURE, of heaven, not because of anything I have done but because of what Christ has done for me. I trusted HIM as my Saviour. As a sinner, I simply accepted Him. He wants to be your Saviour today. He wants you to go to Heaven when you die. But without HIM you will never be there. You need Christ. Will you accept Him right now?
Are you sure