My life prior to turning 40 was probably like a lot of people who believe they are “just fine” with their religious beliefs and think they’re Heaven-bound. However – and I give a lot of credit to Prayer Warriors that I didn’t know I had at the time – one day, I realized that I did not have a relationship with Jesus and was White Throne Judgment bound. That day, I called out for Jesus to forgive me and come into my life and save me. From that moment on, I knew I had become one of His flock, and I praise the Father every day that my soul wasn’t required before then. Although I know that I am not perfect and will slip and sin as long as I’m here in this human body, My Jesus forgives me when I ask (1 John 1:8-10) (ESV – all emphasis is mine)
Satan has a way of twisting the truth, and he influences a lot of folks into thinking they’re absolutely okay with their eternal destination. He convinces them that if they really need to think about Jesus, do it twice a year, but remember Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny first, and Jesus just as an afterthought.
With all the evil and turmoil happening around the world, it’s a wonder that our Heavenly Father hasn’t turned this earth into burnt toast. He isn’t surprised by anything that is taking place and actually has given us all the signs that would be here just before our Savior takes us up to avoid the worst 7 years this earth will ever experience.
As given in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
Our Heavenly Father knows our hearts, and He knows all who have received and accepted His Son, Jesus, and likewise, all who have not. He is very much aware of those who are on the very cusp of calling out for their Salvation, and as Peter said, He doesn’t want anyone to be condemned forever. The issue is who will turn and call out to Jesus and who will not but will turn to the ways of this world.
Jesus and others prophesied that in the last days, there would be an increase in false prophets and antichrist activity, which would draw many away from the Savior. In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus tells about the broad pathway that leads to eternal destruction, and the straight and narrow path that leads to Him and eternal Salvation. In the Bible, our Father has provided all we need in order to know the rewards and also the consequences of our choices.
The ABCs of Salvation are found in Romans 10:9-13. That’s Admit we’re all sinners; Believe Jesus is the true Son of God and is the only way to Salvation; and Call out to Him to be saved. And yes, it’s just that simple. There is no other way, as given in John 14:6; Acts 4:12; John 3:18; 1 John 5:10-12, along with many other such references in the Bible. Without the Savior, there is no relationship with the Father and, therefore, no Home in Heaven.
For all who try to claim there’s no sin in their lives, Romans 3:10, Romans 3:23, and Romans 6:23 cover this topic very precisely – everyone on this earth is a sinner.
All who will have failed to receive and accept Jesus as their Savior when they take their last breath here will go through a judgment that will determine their personal degree of eternal punishment. There will be no pardons or short-term sentences there. All will be in the lake of fire forever. What’s so sad is they will be shown exactly how they could have avoided being there.
The joy that will be experienced by all who are truly a part of the Shepherd’s flock is somewhat described in a Fanny Crosby song from 1894. Yes, it’s a very old Hymn; however, the words are just as true today as back then. It’s titled “My Savior First of All.”
1.) When my lifework is ended, and I cross the swelling tide; when the bright and glorious morning I shall see. I shall know my Redeemer when I reach the other side, and His smile will be the first to welcome me.
Ref.) I shall know Him, I shall know Him, and redeemed by His side I shall stand. I shall know Him, I shall know Him by the print of the nails in His hand.
2.) Oh, the soul-thrilling rapture when I view His blessed face and the luster of His kindly beaming eye. How my full heart will praise Him for the mercy, love, and grace that prepared for me a mansion in the sky.
3.) Oh, the dear ones in glory, how they beckon me to come, and our parting at the river I recall. To the sweet vales of Eden they will sing my welcome Home, but I long to meet my Savior first of all.
4.) Through the gates to the City, in a robe of spotless white, He will lead me where no tears will ever fall. In the glad song of ages, I shall mingle with delight, but I long to meet My Savior First of All.
Reading the verses of this beautiful and inspiring Hymn, we remember Fanny Crosby was blind all her life. Can you just imagine her overwhelming joy when she passed from here and into the presence of our Savior?! Her first real sight would be the smiling face of Jesus.
For believers, we have the example of the thief on the cross in Luke 23:42-43, where Jesus told him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Then in Philippians 1:22-23, Paul states, “If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.”
On the other side of the coin, we have those who died without having received and accepted the Savior. The best example of this would be the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31. In summary, both passed from this earth. Lazarus was “carried by the angels to Abraham’s side.” We have to remember that Jesus had not been to Calvary as of this time. All who died in the will of God up to that time went to a place of peace and tranquility.
For the Rich Man, it was totally different and very painful. He even called out to Abraham to have Lazarus cool his tongue with a drop of water. All who perished prior to Calvary that were out of the will of God were subject to this torment. From Calvary and going to the end of this earth, the lost ones will go before the Great White Throne Judgment and be cast into hell forever (Revelation 20:11-15).
Please know that no one has sinned so greatly that the blood of our Savior cannot cleanse them. All who truly call out to be forgiven and ask Jesus to be their Savior will be saved. That’s found in Joel 2:32, Acts 2:21, and Romans 10:13. That’s a promise from the Father, and He cannot lie (Titus 1:2).
What was given as end-time events by Jesus, Paul, Peter, John, and others are all here, and for the first time ever, all at the same time. Their progression is gaining speed daily, and the next major event on the prophetic calendar will take place just anytime now. That would be the Rapture to remove all true believers before the antichrist and his false prophet make their appearance.
All who are left behind for that final 7-year period before the actual appearance of Jesus on earth will go through a most terrible time. Anyone who will turn to Jesus will be subject to martyrdom. We’re told in Zechariah 13:8 that two-thirds of the Jews will be killed. The rest of the world will not fare much better.
To avoid going through that time is not hard, as some would think. The only hard part is to believe you can be saved by the simple ABC steps given above. Many believe there has to be much more in order to “buy” or “earn” a spot in paradise. Just remember these words, “Jesus paid it all; all to Him I owe; sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow.”
It’s a gift that Jesus gave us with his life-blood on Calvary. To try to do anything except believe and have faith that His word is true would be a terrible insult.
He’s waiting for all who will truly call on Him for that gift. Today would not be too early. Make the best decision you will ever make in this lifetime, and become a part of His precious flock.
Hope to see you at Home!