Some say I border on the morbid, as I contemplate life. One day you’re breathing and living life, then in the blink of an eye your existence on earth ceases. Recently, I had the opportunity to discuss this very subject with a friend, Ruthie (not her real name). “Sandra, I’m not sure I have a place with Jesus in eternity”. Like many, Ruthie’s experiencing doubt regarding her place in the afterlife. “Ruthie, sometimes I too have this same concern”. She looked at me with amazed or shocked eyes as if to say, You! If you could have doubts I’m in big time trouble. “Ruthie, Satan can make all of us doubt. It’s a goal he never stops pursuing. You are not alone”.
My friend, like many others, is afraid she won’t have done enough for God. The reality is none of us could ever do enough. God’s Word, the Bible says none of us will achieve good enough standard to live with Jesus for all eternity following our death Romans 3:10. That’s why Jesus, the son of God, was born. We cannot be enough or do enough right things to counterbalance our wrongs done against God (sin). Imagine someone loving you enough that he would sacrifice everything to get you out of jail and pay your lifetime of debt. Jesus did just that. Jesus is our get out of jail free card. Free to us, but cost Him everything. Jesus paid the price not only for yesterday’s sin, but today’s and future ones.
Ruthie and I read together, “Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling Council He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher, who has come from God….” In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a 2nd time into his mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘you must be born again’ the wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:1-8
“Ruthie, through your act of surrender in baptism you became born of water and Spirit. You truly believe Jesus is the Christ the son of God and you have love for Jesus; correct?”
A long pause and then her reply, “Yes, but I have done some pretty awful things. Many I’ve done since I became a Christian. Sandra, you just don’t know”.
We talked about Jesus death covering even the ugliest act we have done or could imagine doing. God sees through the deeds to our heart which says, “Lord, I’m truly sorry. What I wouldn’t do to take those actions back”. We explored the bible passage further. “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” John 14-15
In the Book of Acts, the jailer assigned to watch over the Apostle Paul asked the question, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Paul replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…” In the book of Romans, we read “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
“Sandra, I get all that, but still….” her voice trails off while her mind, I suspect, went to those dark place in her life.
“Ruthie,the devil himself, places voices of doubt within. His voice says, we are not good enough, we haven’t done enough, and we can’t be forgiven for what we’ve done! I know full well the voice which says, ‘If you were truly a Christian, if you really had the Holy Spirit in your life, you could not have done such a terrible thing’.”
God knew we would be vulnerable to doubts and the schemes of the devil. God does not want us to doubt. He had John write “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the son of God, so you may know you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:13
“Ruthie the Lord wants us to have confidence in our eternal home, in our salvation, no matter our circumstance. And no matter what our minds might try to tell us. It’s much more about our heart – our belief in Jesus then it will ever be about what we do. I know you love the Lord”
“Yes, I do”, came her reply as her eyes began to swell with tears.
“Ruthie don’t doubt Christ’s love for you. God’s desire is for you to have assurance, have confidence in knowing you are His child destined to live with Him for eternity!”
Many scriptures, in the Bible, speak to our belief in Jesus as the way of salvation (life with Jesus following one’s death). I encouraged Ruthie to look up those scriptures, write them on a piece of paper, or a large post-it note and stick them on the inside cover of her Bible. She will have a handy reference to fight off the voices which tell her, she is not a child of God and therefore not going to be with Jesus in the afterlife.
Until next time,
My friends, we do not know the moment or hour in which we will take our last breath. If you would like to know more about Jesus and spending the afterlife with Him, please leave a comment or shoot me a private email.
“The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ. God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin. Having faith in him sets us in the clear. God decided on this course of action in full view of the public—to set the world in the clear with himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins he had so patiently endured. This is not only clear, but it’s now—this is current history! God sets things right. He also makes it possible for us to live in his rightness.” Romans 3:22-26 The Message Bible