by Pat Franklin
Apropos of the discussion on Terry James' visions of Heaven, I remembered a TV program in England few years ago in which people told of near death experiences. None of the people seemed to be Christians, and yet they thought they had been to Heaven or were on the way to Heaven. The main thrust of the program was that you did not have to worry about dying.
I only remember one of the testimonies because I found it so chilling. A man who had been in a bad accident and nearly died said he had left his body and found himself on a train. There was no sign of the man being a Christian, but he said he felt great peace and happiness. And here's the thing - there were other people (or beings) on the train dressed in long robes and hoods, all with their heads turned away from him.
Yikes, I thought. That's a train I never want to ride! I would not want to be there when those beings turned to face me! I could just imagine the ugly leers of demonic beings laughing at the man as he was plunged into Hell. He, on the other hand, thought the hooded beings were on the way to Heaven with him. He was happy about the vision and said he was now not at all scared about dying.
The Lord Jesus made it so clear how we get to Heaven. We do not deserve to be allowed in, but God in His immense mercy has made a way for us to get there. Jesus said: 'I am the way...' (John 14:6) He Himself is the way, faith in Him, acceptance of Him into our hearts and lives. Without Him, it is the ghost train to Hell, I am afraid. 'No man comes to the Father except through Me,' Jesus said. (John 14:6)
One of my favorite scriptures is John 6:47. 'He that believes on Me has everlasting life.' Wow and double wow. I don't deserve it, but I believe in Him, so now I have perfect assurance of Heaven, not because I deserve it but because Jesus promised it! Christ died for sinners, of which I am most certainly one. You too, dear reader, can get your ticket for Heaven. It is free, but it cost Jesus everything. He chose to leave Heaven with all its glories and be born into a poor Jewish family. He endured being rejected by the very people He had created and dying a terrible death on the cross, the holy Lamb of God, giving Himself as a sacrifice for your sins and my sins. All that so that we could be with Him forever!
Won't you put your faith in Him today? He died for you, but you have to accept Him and His sacrifice on your behalf. If you too reject Him, and think you are good enough in your own right, I am afraid you will find yourself like the man on the weird train. Deceived and headed for Hell.
Or maybe you just don't accept any of this, and think when you die you return to dust and that is it, finish. Nothing. This is the most dangerous gamble. You are gambling that there is no afterlife, thereby rejecting God completely. Jesus addressed this and pronounced your judgement when He said: 'Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: but he that denies me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.' Luke 12: 8-9
If you stand up for the Lord today, He is going to stand up for you. If there is anyone reading this who has never come to the defining moment of opening their heart to Jesus, today is the time. None of us know if we will have a tomorrow. Today is the day of salvation.
Here is a good prayer: 'Lord Jesus, I want to know You. I want You in my life. I open the door of my heart to You. I believe You, the Son of God, died on the cross for me, were buried, and rose again on the third day, just as the Bible says. Please forgive all my sins. Please make me one of Your people.'