If You Were To Die Today, Would You Go To Heaven?

If you were to die today would go to heaven and be with the Lord forever? Do you know for certain, without a doubt? Jesus says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). Our number one priority in this life must be to go to heaven. Nothing is as important as this. We simply cannot afford to miss Heaven.
The Lord tells us in Matthew 7:13-14 that only few people will go to Heaven, but the vast majority will be eternally lost in the burning fires of Hell. This is not a pleasant thought. But all of us will make the choice as to where we will spend eternity. The only way, to even grasp how long eternity will be, is to think that after we have been in Heaven or Hell a billion years, eternity will have just begun.
Our soul is the most precious thing we possess. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul” (Matthew 16:26). Our soul is worth more than the entire world put together. If we lose our soul in Hell, we lose it all.
Jesus wants us to pay attention to what He is trying to tell us. He says in Matthew 13:41-43, “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” Our Lord is trying to warn us if we will only listen. He has already paid the awful price for our salvation and He doesn’t want to see it wasted.
For a child of God, sin in our life will keep us out of Heaven. Because of unrepented sins, our name will be taken out of God’s Book of Life. Revelation 22:19 says, “and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.” Has your name been taken out of God’s Book of Life? If it has then this is a very serious matter. Revelation 20:15, “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” God wants to forgive us. As a Christian, how do we get our name put back into the Book of Life? “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Jesus has promised “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).
If you are not a Christian, how do you get your name into God’s Book of Life, so you can be saved and go to Heaven?  Our Lord says in Luke 13:3, “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Jesus also says, “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32).  Our Lord then tells us, “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned” (Mark 16:16).  If a person misses Heaven, he will only have himself to blame.

Lottery Winner…Or Loser?

Noteworthy News
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
By Joe R. Price
A Massachusetts woman won $758.7 million Wednesday night in the Powerball lottery, “the largest grand prize won by a single lottery ticket in U.S. history” (abcnews.go.com). After taxes, that’s about $480.5 million.
Whenever these jackpots get to be enormous, like this one did, we hear of people rushing out to buy lottery tickets. We also hear the odds of winning are less than getting struck by lightning. (One source set the odds of winning this jackpot at 1 in 292 million – (abcnews.go.com).
Is gambling sinful only when one cannot afford to lose? (Oh yes, the lottery is a form of gambling.) That is not the Bible way of determining sin. But some say, “I can afford to lose what I spend on gambling. It’s just fun recreation.” (Notice, no Scripture is offered to support this defense.) Let’s try that logic on some other things. For instance, what if someone said, “I can afford fornicating when my spouse is away from home. No one will know, and no one is harmed. It’s just fun recreation.” Or maybe, “I can afford a bottle of vodka once a month. I can afford it, and nobody gets hurt. It’s just fun recreation.” Do you see how ridiculously absurd that sounds? (Sometimes we must “answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes,” Prov. 26:5).
Gambling is a sin for any number of Bible reasons. It will be put away by Christians who seek heavenly things (Col. 3:5-10). Gambling is energized by motives of greed, covetousness, and discontentment (1 Tim. 6:9-10; Lk. 12:15). The lure of getting rich quick can be very powerful, so, we must reassign our values (Col. 3:1-4). Then, there is the matter of poor stewardship, not to mention the premise of gambling is winning someone’s money – not at all a godly expression of loving your neighbor as yourself (1 Tim. 6:17-19; Matt. 22:39). Then, there is its addictive aspect, capturing people in a loop of compulsive conduct that destroys lives (2 Pet. 2:19).
These are some of the reasons why gambling, in all its forms, must be rejected by all who love God and not the world. “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt. 16:26)

On Making Prejudgments

One of the major obstacles we have in our showing compassion to those in need, is making prejudgments about who we “think” is worthy of our compassion.
Jesus addressed the problem in a parable that’s been labeled, “The Good Samaritan,” to answer the following question that a lawyer posed: “Who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:25,29).
Jesus told of a man who traveled on the notoriously dangerous road from Jerusalem to Jericho. As he traveled, he fell among thieves, and subsequently was robbed, beaten, and left for dead (Luke 10:30).
Two so-called “religious” Jews (a priest and a Levite) passed him, but they walked by on the other side (Luke 10:31-32), possibly thinking that they would be religiously defiled if they stopped and rendered aid (see comparison in John 18:28).
Soon, a Samaritan came along the road and demonstrated unconditional compassion on the wounded stranger by providing for his needs (Luke 10:33-35).
The audience to whom Jesus was telling this story to, would have gasped when he said the word “Samaritan,” because Jews despised Samaritans (John 4:9; cf. Acts 10:28).
It’s interesting to note that the Samaritan could have limited or qualified his compassion, simply because the man was a Jew. But he did not limit his neighborly kindness to those he “thought” were worthy. Instead, he merely observed a human being in need and resolved to help him.

Misunderstanding “Legalism”

What is this awful “ism” called “Legalism”? Whatever it is, it must be pretty bad. The very use of the term automatically pictures one who has no love for the Lord, no understanding of His matchless grace, and no concern for a right relationship with God based on faith. This concept of “legalism” pictures one who claims salvation based on his own works by which he supposedly puts the Almighty in his debt. It cannot be denied that some religious individual may view things this way. But there is ample evidence that there is an equally dangerous misunderstanding of legalism on the opposite end.
In a series of articles on “The Gospel of Romans,” an installment entitled “Legalism” has the following:
“I have heard preachers admit that they were legalists but I’m sure they had no idea what constitutes legalism. These are those who will say that salvation is not based upon works, but turn right around and say that justification is based upon obedience to a set of commandments. They both say exactly the same thing. To say that salvation is ‘conditioned’ upon one’s obedience to the commandments, and then deny salvation by works is a contradiction. Whenever a reward is offered for meeting certain requirements, the reward is EARNED whenever the requirements are met! Reward is based on ‘doing.’ Justification is based upon faith and it is not a ‘reward’. It is a ‘state’ — a righteous relationship.” — Ensign, May 1991, page 82.
The presumption that obedience to commands of Christ in the gospel and salvation by works “say exactly the same thing” is incorrect. “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only” (James 2:24). The New International Version reads, “You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.” “What he does” in this passage is not “faith alone” but not devoid of faith. It is a simple formula. Belief is always alone when stripped of obedience to Christ. Faith is not alone when expressed in obedience.
The real question is whether salvation is conditional or unconditional. The drift of the above quote leaves one with the definite impression that salvation is conditioned upon nothing at all. The anti-legalist presumes salvation by works and salvation by conditions are equal. Since salvation cannot be by works (of any kind at all) it cannot be conditional. Therefore, salvation is the unconditional gift and responsibility of the Almighty God. One who is saved became the sole object of God’s intent to save someone. This is the end result of this misunderstanding of legalism.
That salvation is conditioned upon faith cannot be questioned. But faith cannot save one who will not obey Christ (Hebrews 5:8-9). To the contrary, faith will only save when it is expressed through obedience (Galatians 5:6).
Legalism may be bad — but salvation by faith that obeys the commands of Christ is good — it comes directly from the one source of all that is good. By the way — it is never very good to base a theory on a complete misunderstanding of something like “legalism.”