Does everyone go to heaven? Many people like to think that. There is a belief known as “Universalism” that teaches that ultimately, everyone goes to heaven. That belief is becoming stronger in our day.
“Universalism” is an easy belief system to hold on to. After all, we would like to think that when everything is said and done, everyone goes to heaven. No one gets left out.
But, “Universalism” is wrong. Why? Well, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6). Now, either that statement is true and the only people who go to heaven are those who believe in Christ or, Jesus is a lier. I don’t think our Lord is a lier so, the only way to heaven is by accepting Jesus.
That belief will get you labeled as a “hater” today. Maybe even a “narrow-minded” person. I like to refer to myself as an “open minded conservative” but, on this, there is only one way to heaven and that is through Jesus.
If Jesus is the only way to heaven, we need to share this with others. Instead of debating if there is any other way a person goes to heaven… we need to urgently share the message that Jesus is the only way to heaven with others.
1) The way – without Jesus there is no GOING.
2) The truth – without Jesus there is no KNOWING.
3) The life – without Jesus there is no GROWING.
Join me as we share this message with others.
Memorial Day is a time to remember the men and women who gave their lives in service to our country. They paid the ultimate sacrifice. They served.
What about you? Are you serving? Every Christian should be.
In the gospel of John, the thirteenth chapter, Jesus washed His disciples feet. Washing feet was a practice normally assigned to a servant in the home. It was a menial task. So, when Jesus washed His disciples feet, they knew Jesus was doing the most basic act of service. In doing this, Jesus was giving an example to His disciples to serve others.
Jesus said, “And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet.” The word “ought” means “indebted to” or, “obligated to.” Essentially, Jesus was saying, “Ok, I’ve shown you what you need to do now, do it!”
What about you? Are you serving? Are you doing anything that gives you an opportunity to help others? Every Christian needs to serve. God has given each one of us at least one spiritual gift and we need to use it for God’s glory.
I love this poem…
“Two little lines I heard one day,
Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart,
And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Only one life, yes only one,
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,
And stand before His Judgement seat;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
Make sure you are doing something in the form of service in the kingdom of God.
Everyone wants approval. We are human and we are wired that way. Because of that, when we are kids, we might go along with everyone else because we want the approval of the crowd.
Teenagers face this big-time. It’s called peer-pressure. Many teens have such a strong desire to be liked, they may do something they don’t feel comfortable doing in order to get the approval of their friends. Many teen-agers start smoking or drinking for this very reason.
Adults do the same. Let’s say someone buys a new car or renovates their home… their friends may end up doing the same thing.. because they want approval.
In the twelfth chapter of the gospel of John, the Bible says there were some people who believed in Jesus but they wouldn’t admit it because they were afraid. John comments about them; “For they loved human praise more than the praise of God” (John 12:43).
That statement could be repeated about lots of people. How many times have people done something because “they loved human praise more than the praise of God.”
Today, maybe you are struggling with something. You want to do the popular thing… the “trendy” thing… but deep down you aren’t comfortable with it yet, you don’t necessarily want to buck the trend. So… you go along to get along when you’re not really comfortable doing it.
We should all want the praise God more than the praise of men. Let’s put this way; at the end of time when we are judged… it isn’t going to matter if people like us… what will matter is, does God approve of our lives? In order for that to happen, we need to live for the praise of God rather than the praise of men.
James Taylor has a song that goes;
“You just call out my name, And you know wherever I am;
I’ll come running, To see you again.
Don’t you know winter, spring, summer or fall,
Hey now, all you got to do is call,
And I’ll be there, yes I will,
You’ve got a friend.”
I love that song. The melody is good and the lyrics are great. But, although I think I know the intention of the song, there are times when you can’t call a friend.
There are times in life when maybe you can’t get in touch with anyone. There are times when maybe you have no phone service because your battery is dead. Or maybe you are in a place where you get no signal. You may have friends but there may be times when you can’t get in touch with them. What do you do then?
In I Samuel 30, the Bible says “David found strength in the Lord His God.” At this particular time, David had no one he could go to. He couldn’t talk to any of his men and his family had been taken. So, the Bible says “David found strength in the Lord his God.”
I like that verse… but, what does it mean? How do you find strength in the Lord? You find it in prayer and in Bible study. You read a verse to encourage you. You sit quietly before God and you begin to realize that God will give you strength.
So, today… if you are lonesome or hurting and there is no one to talk to.. just like David, we can find strength in the Lord. Think about it; the sovereign, omnipotent God of the universe walks to help us. God can strengthen us…
“It’s not fair!”
Every hear anyone say that? More than likely you have or, you have said it yourself. It’s used quite a bit today.
There are times when a person is right if they say “this isn’t fair.” That happens. People don’t always do the right thing and fairness goes out the window.
But, even though life isn’t always fair, we have to keep moving. Just because we aren’t treated fairly, doesn’t mean we can stop and dwell on something. Life isn’t always fair.
The ball doesn’t bounce your way at ties. Your stock doesn’t perform like you had hoped it would. You don’t get the breaks but someone else does. Those things happen.
Maybe something has happened to you that wasn’t fair. You have two options; dwell on the unfairness and never move forward or, forget about it and press on. Hopefully you choose the latter option.
In sports, the best team doesn’t always win. In athletics, the best kid doesn’t always get rewarded. There are times, a less qualified candidate gets the job. It happens. Life is not always fair.
Today, if you are mulling over some “unfairness” that’s happened to you, stop dwelling and move on. The “unfairness” you experienced is not going to be reversed so, by God’s grace, move on.
Are you willing to get your hands dirty? No, I’m not talking about doing any gardening. I’m speaking in a symbolic sense. Many times, we don’t help people or, we don’t get involved in certain situations because we don’t want to get our hands dirty… We don’t want to “bother” with someone who has made mistakes.
In the book of I Sanuel 22:2 says that “men who were in trouble or in debt or who were just discontented…” were going to David. That’s an interesting verse…. Men who were in trouble… in debt… or just discontented. These people were likely not members of the Rotary club or the gardening club… but they were people. Yes, they had made some mistakes… who hasn’t? But even though they had made mistakes, they were going to David.
So, back to the original question; would you be willing to get your hands dirty? Would you church be willing to get it’s hands dirty? Would you or your church reach out to someone who is in trouble.. in debt.. or just generaly discontented?
You remember the story of The Good Samaritan? Jesus said a certain man was beaten and robbed and left for dead. Along came a priest who wouldn’t touch the man. Then came a Levite who wouldn’t touch him. Then, a Samaritan came along. He stopped to help the guy. He put the man on his donkey and took him to the nearest town. He left him at the inn and told the innkeeper he would be back and would pay him what he owed. Jesus said the Samaritan had the right idea. He helped the man.
What about us? Would we have stopped to check on this guy or would we just move on?
There are lots of people out there who are in trouble, in debt or just disoriented. They may have even have a bad reputation. Are we willing to help them? I hope so. Most of us, at some point in our lives have been “in trouble… in debt or disoriented” and someone helped us. Let’ help someone today.
Have you ever felt a little bad that you couldn’t afford to something for your kids? I think most of us have. Another family does something for their kids and your kids are talking about it and you would LOVE to do the same for yours but you don’t have the money. Or, maybe another family takes a trip. You would love to do the same but you can’t afford it. Or, it’s graduation time and one kid gets a very nice gift. You would love to do the same but you can’t.
Proverbs 15:16 says… “Better to have little, with fear for the Lord, than to have great treasure and inner turmoil.”
Think about the words “Better to have little with fear for the Lord…”
I’ve heard many people who grew up in the depression say something like, “We didn’t have much but we had a lot of love.” What they mean is their family was poor but they loved one another… they had a close-knit family.
Today, if your money is tight and you just can’t do somethings you would like to, set it aside. It doesn’t mean you are a failure or any less of a parent as someone who can do those things. Do what you can do and that’s enough. Love is not spelled “M-O-N-E-Y.” Many times, Love is spelled “T-I-M-E.” Money may be spelled “F-O-O-D” meaning you at least had something to eat. Other times it may be spelled “S-U-P-P-O-R-T” meaning your parents didn’t have much money but they were at your ballgames… they were there to support you. Money may be spelled “E-N-C-O-U-R-A-G-E” meaning your parents may not have had much money but, they often encouraged you.
So, you are not a millionaire? Maybe you can’t spell “m-i-l-l-i-o-n-a-i-r-e.” I understand… Dont’ dwell on what you can’t do… focus on what you can do.
Last Sunday was Mother’s Day. As Holli was opening her cards, one of them was home-made. One of my kids had written a funny poem for Momma on Mother’s Day. All the cards were special but that one may have been a little more.. It was home-made. Today, love the Lord. Fear the Lord. Serve the Lord and give to your kids what you can afford. It’s better to have reverence for the Lord and little than to have a lot and great turmoil.