If I were to ask you to answer the question “If you died today would you go to heaven, and why?”… what would you say?
- Yes…I have never killed anybody or robbed a bank.
- No…there is no afterlife…this is all we get.
- I hope so, but I’m not sure.
- Yes… I tithe my income.
- Have to see if I can do enough to earn my way in.
So, let me help you figure out what the Bible has to say about this question.
Ephesians 2:8-9…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.
For it is by grace…a free gift, unmerited favor, forgiving love. Mercy is when you don’t receive what you deserve (eternity in hell)…Grace is when you receive what you don’t deserve. (eternity with the Lord)
You have been saved…Saved from yourself and your sinful nature. Saved from the eternal consequences of sin…the wages of sin. We are saved thru faith in Jesus; we get Salvation from God’s wrath that our sins deserve.
Through faith…Faith that Jesus is your Lord and Savior, who lived and died in your place, who rose so you can have eternal life.
And this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God…No human effort can accomplish even part of it…you can’t do anything to earn your way into heaven…it’s a free gift.
Not by works…Nothing you can do. You cannot earn or buy forgiveness….the good news is that you don’t have to…Jesus did it all for you on the cross.
So that no one can boast…No one can take credit for salvation. You are saved in spite of who you are, what you do, think and say.
What does this all mean?… thru faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior…you are saved! You have eternal life! You will spend eternity in heaven. It’s God’s promise… he paid the price!
So, let me ask you again…“if you died today would you go to heaven, and why?”
Hopefully…you answer that with an emphatic… Joy filled… absolute… YES!
So, you are saved…..now what? Well the next verse answers that question. Ephesians 2:10…For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
We do not do good works to try and save ourselves… but because we are saved, God has plans for us!
For we are God’s handiwork…You are a masterpiece, handmade by God, a work of art! I imagine He has your picture on His refrigerator.
Created in Christ Jesus to do good works…To do acts of kindness to God’s Glory. How has God “wired” you…what are your passions, gifts, abilities…and how can you use them to glorify others and accomplish God’s plan. Remember that, you may be the answer to someone else’s prayers.
Which God prepared in advance for us to do. God has plans for you to accomplish. Plans that are unique to you. Plans that He has equipped you to accomplish. Not because you have to do them to be saved…but plans for you to do in response to being saved.
Jeremiah 29:11… For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I suggest that you have quiet time with the Lord. Thank Him for loving you, forgiving you, promising you a place in His heavenly kingdom. Then, ask Him to show you the plans He has for you. Who has He created you to be? What plans does He have for your life, your relationships, your finances, your career, your recreation and relaxation.
After you have a handle on that…what plans does He have for you in regard to the coronavirus situation? How can you stay safe and healthy? Who can you help? Who needs a prayer, a phone call, some cookies dropped off to, a bill paid, an invite to a Skype or Zoom type visit, info on church resources, what personal changes should you learn and make in your life?