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What’s Your Ticket to Heaven?

ticket toheaven
All the love in the world cannot and will not get you into heaven. The world would like us to believe that church membership, love for humanity, devotion to humanitarian causes and good deeds will add points to gaining a ticket to heaven and eternal life.

WRONG! Sorry to burst your bubble, but only a personal relationship with Jesus will get you through the pearly gates. Oh how we like to envision that everyone who is ‘good’ and passes into the hereafter is heaven bound; but based on bible scriptures and the words of Jesus, it just isn’t true.

The enemy of this world, Satan, is a master of deceit and has convinced many that our ticket to heaven is by our good works. Our only way to eternal life comes only through our acceptance of God’s grace. Good deeds and efforts are meaningless to God if we haven’t put our faith in Jesus.

What is God’s grace?

God sent His son, Jesus, to die on the cross and shed his blood in payment for our sin. It is that sacrifice alone and a soul stamped with the blood of Jesus that gains us entry into the gates of heaven.

“But we know that no one is made right with God by meeting the demands of the law. It is only through the faithfulness of Jesus the Anointed that salvation is even possible. This is why we put faith in Jesus the Anointed: so we will be put right with God. It’s His faithfulness—not works prescribed by the law—that puts us in right standing with God because no one will be acquitted and declared “right” for doing what the law demands.”  Galatians 2:16 (VOICE)

Say what? Let me clarify.

The above scripture and many others confirm this truth. Our good works are meaningless to God if we believe them to be a redemptive way to earn our way into heaven. Not happening!

It’s God’s grace and faithfulness, not our works that acquits us of our sin and gives us right standing before God. Grace is found in the death, burial and resurrection of His son, Jesus. Our acceptance of this grace is called salvation.

Faithfulness is an extension of God’s grace to continually work within our life to accomplish his purpose and goodwill. Only by doing HIS works for HIS purpose under HIS grace is anything we do counted righteous.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”
Proverbs 19:21

I encourage everyone to do good works while living on earth. But if you are counting on your works to earn you a seat at the banquet table in heaven, think again.

The only way to get a ticket stamped for heaven is to accept Jesus as your savior and acknowledge that His blood sacrifice at the cross is your only redemption from sin.

Remember the thief next to Jesus on the cross?

In death he asked Jesus “Remember me when You come into Your kingdom!” (Luke 23:42) This thief had likely done nothing good in his lifetime, yet he was given admission into God’s kingdom by grace alone.

“Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43

It’s hard for us to accept that there is nothing we can do now or ever to earn the grace of God. It goes against everything this world tells us. Yet, that’s the beauty of grace, it’s a gift.  We can’t buy, earn or barter with grace. Our only option is to accept it.

What will be stamped on your ticket at death?

Will it read Redeemed by God’s Grace or Redeemed by my own self-worth and good works? It’s probably a question you should ask yourself sooner than later. No one knows the time of their death but, today, as you read this post you have been given an opportunity to buy your ticket to heaven in advance, before it expires.

people are destined to die once and then face (God’s) judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27)

God’s judgment is based on your acceptance of His grace, on the salvation He offers through His son, Jesus. It’s simple, direct and without fanfare.

This simple prayer, if prayed in earnest, sums it all up:

Heavenly Father,

Make yourself real to me. Your Word says if I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in my heart that God raised him from the dead, I will be saved. (Romans 10:9)

I believe Jesus died on the cross for the sin that separates me from having direct communication with you. His blood paid for the redemption of my soul. I want my death ticket to be insured, non-refundable and stamped REDEEMED by the blood of the Lamb.

From this day forward, let my actions, words and deeds be counted as righteous in your sight.

Amen

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I SPY

IMG_8692As the grandkids bound through the door last night, they could hardly contain their excitement. They were headed to Tennessee to spend a week with their ‘other’ grandparents, Nena and Poppa.

“Do you have are bags ready?”

“Sure do,” I said. “They are right there with your names on them.”

Whenever the grandkids take a road trip South, I prepare them bags filled with food snacks, games, and coloring sheets. Their mommy limits the amount of time they can spend on electronic devices; so the goodie bags come in handy and keep them occupied then they travel.

As I helped my daughter load up her Jeep, she picked up a 2-gallon container filled with cereal, rice, and uncooked pasta shapes. “What the heck is this?”

“Oh, that’s an I Spy bottle; I showed the kids how to play it last night.”

“Mother, where do you come up with these ideas? Please tell me they don’t unscrew the cap.”

“No, the cap is glued on and can’t be removed.” My daughter breathed out a sigh of relief as she carefully surveyed the container.

I Spy in a Bottle uses six picture cards that show various small objects hidden inside the container. The rice, dried pasta, cereal and assorted beans prevent the player from seeing them without shifting and moving the contents around to reveal the hidden items. The game starts over when all the pictured items have been revealed to the player.

What things are hidden in your I Spy bottle?

Life is our road trip and the pictured game cards are either snapshots from God’s Word or snapshots from this world. Our heart is the container and we have a choice of how we fill it. Even when we make the right choices, we can bury hidden sins in our heart.  We must shake and turn ourselves in the direction of God to allow hidden sin to surface and be revealed. When we do, we give that game card to Jesus in exchange for forgiveness. But the game doesn’t end.

I Spy is ongoing until death.

Our road trip in life tends to perpetuate and recycle past sins. Sin is in our nature, it’s in our disposition, and it’s in our humanness. It’s not just in our physical body; it’s in our minds, affections, feelings, emotions and will. Our only defense against sin is to read study and ingest the Word of God.

“Thy Word I have treasured in my heart,” said David, “that I might not sin against you,” Psalm 119.