by Pat Franklin (feel free to copy this)
Are you going to Heaven? It’s a real place, you know, a wonderful place, but modern ‘thinkers’ rubbish this and would have you believe that there is no such place. No God, no Heaven, no Hell. How convenient for them, as they can then do anything they like. The Bible has some very bad news for them. There is a God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit; there is a place called Heaven; and, worst of all for them, there is most definitely a place called Hell. How do we know? Because God has not left us ignorant. He has revealed all this to us in His book, the Bible, which is really a divine library of 66 books written by 40 authors over 1500 years.
It is the most important book in the world, like no other book because the real author is God Himself, the Holy Spirit, who inspired men to write it. The Bible itself claims divine inspiration in several places including: ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God…that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.’ 2 Timothy 3:16,17 So God has provided a manual which we can read if we choose. In that manual there is some very bad news, the worst news you will ever hear.
That news is that you and I and everyone else who has ever been born has offended God by our sins and He cannot allow us into His Heaven. Because He is perfectly just and sinless Himself, His sense of justice demands that we must be punished. “But I’ve been a good person; my good deeds outweigh my bad deeds,” you might say. “There are many people worse than me.” But what does God say? I’m afraid He does not agree with you. He gave the ancient Hebrews the Ten Commandments and later revealed His high standard – if you break even one of them, you are counted as having broken all ten.
This is terrible news. Let’s look at those commandments. No 1. I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt have no other gods before Me. No other gods – including money. Which is more important in your life? God wants His rightful place in your heart. There are lots of false gods, but only one true God. Which are you worshiping? If He is not the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, you are worshiping a false god. No. 2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image (statue or “holy” picture) …thou shalt not bow down (kneel before them) thyself to them nor serve them, for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God… Roman Catholics and Greek Orthodox simply delete this commandment, because they like their statues and icons.
Then they turn commandment No 10 into nine and ten to make up the numbers. They think they know better than God. Please get a Bible and turn to the book of Exodus Chapter 20 to check for yourself. You must NOT venerate as holy any man made thing – nothing! Hindus worship many false gods, and some have a whole pantheon of little statues in their homes. How they need to hear this commandment! No, 3 Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain. How many times a day do you hear “Oh my God” or “Jesus!” or “Oh for Christ’s sake” spoken blasphemously everywhere you go and on practically every film that comes out of Hollywood? The 'gods' of world religions are not blasphemed.
Only the true God is blasphemed. God is listening and every blasphemy is being recorded. There are books in Heaven and they are going to be opened on the day of judgement. No. 4 Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. God invented the seven day week and He wanted to bless His ancient Hebrew people with a rest day. If He hadn’t put this in, they would all have been working a seven day week.
They ruined it all by inventing over 1500 rules involving the Sabbath day, making it a burden instead of a blessing. As Christians we do not have to keep the Sabbath because we are in God’s Sabbath rest all the time, living under grace, not Law. No 5 Honour thy father and thy mother – that thy days may be long… How many of us really do this? How many teenagers today know the seriousness of despising their parents, that there are awful consequences hinging on how they treat mum and dad? How many consider the “long life” promise attached to this; how many people have died before their time because of their treatment of parents? No 6 Thou shalt not kill. You may think you are safe on this one, but the first letter of the apostle John (1John 3:15) tells us that if you hate your brother you are a murderer. You do not have to actually fire a gun or wield a knife. The hatred is in your heart and God sees.
Now our society has turned its back on God and made it legal to kill helpless babies by abortion. No wonder God is turning His back on us and allowing us to sink ever deeper into moral depravity. When this happens to a civilisation, it eventually collapses in on itself or is destroyed by an enemy. We think it can’t happen to the West, but we are so wrong. God is not mocked; we reap what we sow. Soon the medical murders will include culling people who are inconvenient – and our generation that aborted babies will ourselves be murdered by our nice, friendly doctors. No 7 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
You might think you’re OK on that one until you read what Jesus said, that even if you lust after someone in your mind, you are guilty of this awful sin. No 8 Thou shalt not steal. No 9 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. No 10 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife or goods. The great apostle Paul thought he was doing pretty well until he read No. 10 and realised he was full of covetous desires. Everyone who has ever lived is guilty before God.
The Bible puts it this way: ‘There is none righteous, no not one.’ And what happens to sinners when they die? Jesus made it abundantly clear that they are thrown into the lake of fire, a real place of torment for all eternity. But this is not fair, you might cry. We can’t help being what we are, fallible, sinful people; we want to be good, but we just can’t manage it all the time! What must we do to be saved?
The Bible tells us there is no forgiveness without the shedding of blood. ‘Without shedding of blood is no remission,’ says the Bible in Hebrews, Chapter 9:22. Must we shed our blood or sacrifice animals to pay for our guilt? No, dear friend. There is a way, only one way, a narrow way. God has made a way for sinful man to be reconciled with Him. He Himself became man, took on flesh and did what no man could do – live a sinless life so that He Himself could be the perfect, sinless, sacrifice for the sins of all who put their trust in Him. He shed His own holy blood, not for Himself, but for us! ‘For this is the blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.’ (gospel of Matthew Chapter 26 verse 28). That is the gospel, the good news.
How can I be sure of benefiting from this amazing gospel, of being forgiven and going to Heaven? Jesus told us the way. He said: ‘ I am the way…no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ Dear friends, the Lord Jesus Christ IS the way.
We have to believe in Him, put our trust in Him. What exactly is it that we must believe? The scriptures tell us in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 15, which sets out the gospel so simply: that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures (according to all the prophecies concerning His first coming); that He was buried; and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures (the prophecies about Him).
Then Paul tells of the many people, over five hundred, who saw the Lord Jesus alive again before He went back to Heaven. Many so-called Christians today do not believe these things. They deny that Jesus is truly God, and they deny the historical facts of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. One terrible day He will deny knowing them. They don’t know Him and He will not recognise them when they stand at eternity’s bar. ‘But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.’ (Luke 12:9) Please do not be among the dismal tribe who deny the Lord of Heaven and earth and yet think they are good enough to get into Heaven. Make up your mind to put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ today. Get hold of a Bible and read the New Testament. It is the best thing you will ever do.
If you believe the simple gospel, you will most assuredly be forgiven every sin you have ever committed. You will be sealed with the Holy Spirit and you will belong forever to the One who suffered and died for you. You can pray right now and ask God to forgive your sins in Jesus’ name. You can ask Him to make you one of His people. Here is the promise of God in Paul’s letter to the Romans, Chapter 10, verse 9: ‘That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.’ Saved! Can you believe in your heart? Will you confess with your mouth? This means you should tell someone that you believe in Jesus, and that He is the Saviour. And whatever that may cost you on this earth is as nothing compared to the glory that will be revealed when you meet your Saviour.
‘Well, I want to be saved and go to Heaven, but I want to wait until next week to say that prayer, because this week there are some things I plan to do that God wouldn’t like.’ One young man actually said that. He made an extremely foolish decision. He was going to wait one week and commit some more sins in the meantime. God is not mocked, folks. That young man never saw ‘next week’. He was killed in an accident before he had another chance to accept the gospel and put his faith in the Lord Jesus. Note: Please feel free to copy all this and pass it on or post it on your website, with attribution to thefreepressonline.co.uk, please. Pat.