If You Died Today ...?
Friend, ARE YOU A CHRISTIAN? Wait a minute before you answer. IF YOU SHOULD DIE TODAY, ARE YOU SURE YOU WOULD GO TO HEAVEN? Perhaps your reply is the same as most people: "How I wish I could I could be sure of that!" Suppose you could be shown from the Bible how to be sure of going to Heaven, would you be willing to do what the Word of God says? Remember that Jesus Christ said: "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine..." (John 7:17).
The Bible is composed of sixty-six books written by men inspired of God (II Peter 1:21). Each book has been written for a purpose. For example, the first book, Genesis, was written to tell us about the creation of the world by God. The last book, Revelation, tells us about the final events of human history and the end of the world. The book of Romans, written by the Apostle Paul and addressed to the Church in Rome during the first century, was written to teach us HOW TO KNOW FOR SURE THAT WHEN WE DIE, WE WILL GO TO HEAVEN.
Let us look then to see what the Word of God in Romans says about this extremely important subject. In Romans 3:10, we read: "There is none righteous, no not one." The Bible is clear. It says that there is not a person who can be classified as righteous before God. This means, my friend, that you, like everyone else, are a sinner before God. Do you not agree?
Now in Romans 3:23, we read: "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Here the Bible says that you are not only a sinner by nature, but also by experience. You have sinned before God and failed to live up to His standard of absolute perfection and holiness. Is this not true?
Being a sinner before God is very serious. Many people think: "Well, so we are all sinners, then I am no worse than anyone else!" But what comfort is it to be one amongst many passengers on a sinking ship or a falling plane? You must understand the DANGER OF BEING A SINNER. Romans 6:23 says: "The wages of sin is death." God says that the only pay that one receives who continues in sin is death. If this death were only physical, it might not be so serious. But we read in the Bible that THIS DEATH IS THE ETERNAL EXISTENCE CALLED HELL (Revelation 21:8). Yes, every person who dies in his sins will be "cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death" (Revelation 20:15). This means that sinners (and this includes you, my friend) are destined for Hell to be forever separated from God and everything that is good. IF YOU DIED TODAY IN YOUR SINS, WHERE WOULD YOU GO?
But GOD IS LOVE. He does not want anyone to perish, die in his sins, and go to Hell. It is exactly for this reason that Jesus Christ came into the world. Romans 5:8 tells us: "But God commends His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." God knows all about our sin. He knows us better than we know ourselves. Yet He loves us just the same. BECAUSE OF THIS GREAT LOVE, HE WANTS TO FORGIVE AND SAVE YOU. He offers you the assurance of knowing that when you die, you will go to be with Him forever.
The verse says: "Christ died for us." There was no other way we could be saved. The Bible says that when Christ was nailed on the cross, God "laid on him the iniquity (sin) of us all" (Isaiah 53:6). Jesus suffered your condemnation so that you would not have to feel the pains of Hell. He died as a substitute in your place. Why? Because God loves you!
God has done His part. Christ died for you. NOW THERE IS ONLY ONE THING THAT HE ASKS YOU TO DO TO BE SAVED. Listen to Romans 10:9: "If you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved." He has made it so simple that a young child can understand it. Don't make it difficult with your reasonings by adding church membership, baptism, good works, etc. Just accept, follow, obey, and love, and believe on Him as your living Saviour. Romans 6:23 says that eternal life is the "gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord." You may have this gift by simply receiving it with a thankful heart.
What does the Bible say will happen if you fulfill these two simple requirements? YOU SHALL BE SAVED! Do you believe, my friend, that God would lie to you? Of course not! Then if you will do in Romans 10:9, GOD WILL KEEP HIS PROMISE. He will save you!
My friend, you only need to know four things to be sure that when you die, you will go to Heaven.
First, you are a sinner before God.
Second, you will go to Hell if you die in your sins.
Third, Christ died for you so you could be freed from this condemnation.
Fourth, you will be saved eternally if in true sorrow for your sin and with sincere desire to live for God you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.
Don't you want to be ready for death? Wouldn't you like to know that God has forgiven your sins? Don't you wish to spend eternity with a loving God rather than in the torments of Hell? Aren't you ready to exchange your sinful life for new life in Christ? All these blessings can be yours by merely accepting God's conditions for peace.
Jesus explains how you can experience all this in Luke 18:9-14. There, a man desired to be forgiven and made right with God. What did he do? He offered a prayer of sincere repentance to God. He said: "God, be merciful to me, a sinner." Christ added this word to the story: "I tell you that this man went down to his house justified (right with God)." BY A SIMPLE, SINCERE PRAYER, ACCORDING TO JESUS CHRIST, ONE CAN BE SAVED.
Why not pray this prayer from your heart: "God, have mercy on me, a sinner, and save me, I pray in the name of Christ, your Son, in whom I trust and accept as my only and sufficient Saviour. Amen."
If you have sincerely offered this prayer to God, you can be sure that He has heard and answered your prayer. He has saved you! BELIEVE HIS PROMISE!
Now you must confess Christ before others "for with the heart man believes unto righteousness, but with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Romans 10:10). PROVE THAT YOU HAVE ACCEPTED GOD'S SALVATION THROUGH CHRIST BY SHARING YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH A FRIEND. Read Romans Chapter 12 to find out what God expects you to do as a Christian. Obey what you read there, and you will see just how truly wonderful and satisfying the Christian life is.