HAPPY THANKSGIVING! This month in America, we celebrate Thanksgiving, that is, giving thanks for everything in our lives, because “…we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” 1
A HEAVENLY CALLING…
As my Christian brother Bill was transferring recently to a prison hospital to die, I shouted to him, “see you in heaven!” Another man overheard me and asked “Did you tell him you’d see him in heaven?” At first I thought he may be questioning my salvation, but it turns out that he wasn’t sure he’d go to heaven.
Let me ask you, “Have you come to a place in your thinking where you know for sure that went you die you will go to heaven?” If you are not sure, you should be concerned, but I have some great news. You can be sure of your salvation.
A better question might be: “Suppose that you were to die tonight and stand before God, and He were to say to you, ‘Why should I let you into my heaven?” There is only one correct answer to this question and it has nothing to do with your good works. It’s all about Jesus.
HEAVEN IS A FREE GIFT…
I know that this may be hard for you to understand, since you are used to working for everything you own, but salvation is neither earned nor deserved. It’s free!
“God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” 2
I thank God for the gift of salvation. Today, I understand that a just God had to punish sin. Therefore, He placed my judgment for sin upon His Son, so that I could be made right with Him. That’s mercy!
This was the beginning of my freedom from fear, guilt and addiction. By faith, the Holy Spirit came into my heart and regenerated my spirit. That is,
“When God our Savior revealed His kindness and love, He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of His grace He declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.”3
A HEAVENLY VISION…
I thank God for eternal life and the vision He gives to us from His word. Listen to what the apostle John saw in his revelation of Jesus Christ.
“Then I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, and the same voice I had heard before spoke to me like a trumpet blast. The voice said, ‘Come up here and I will show you what must happen after this. ‘ And instantly I was in the Spirit, and I saw a throne in heaven and someone sitting on it. The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones – like jasper and carnelian. And the glow of and emerald circled His throne like a rainbow.”4
The door of heaven is open to those who trust in Jesus alone for their salvation. Jesus sits on the throne, and He promises saying, “Those who are victorious [in Me] will sit with Me on My throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on His throne.”5
A NEW HEAVEN…
This may be the first time these promises concerning heaven. Those who receive God’s Son as their Savior are promised eternity in heaven. What hope the following scene gives us.
Then I saw as new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride dressed for her husband.
I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, ‘Look, God’s home is now among they people! He will live with them, and they will be His people. God Himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All of these things are gone forever.”6
My friend, Jesus is the answer for eternal life. Wont you receive Him into your heart today?
A PRAYER FOR YOU…
Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me and dying for me on the cross. Your precious blood washes me of every sin. You are my Savior, my Lord, and my righteousness, now and forever. I believe You rose from the dead and that You are alive today. Because of Your finished work, I am now a beloved Child of God and heaven is my home. Thank You for giving me eternal life and filling my heart with Your peace and joy. Amen.
Scripture References (NLT):
1 Rom. 8:28
2 Eph. 2:8,9
3 Titus 3:4-7
4 Rev. 4:1-3
5 Rev. 3:21
6 Rev. 21:1-4