Can I Be Sure I’ll Get into Heaven?
By Rick Warren
“Those who hear my words and believe in him who sent me have eternal life. They will not be judged” (John 5:24 GNT).
Jesus’ death and Resurrection release us from judgment.
You may imagine a day of judgment where you’re standing outside the gates of heaven in a really, really long line, and you’re slowly moving forward, one step at a time. As you get closer, you start to sweat and wonder, “Am I going to get in? Am I going to make it? Is God going to use a giant TV screen to show every dumb or evil thing I’ve ever done? Will my every sin be exposed?”
I have good news for you; it’s a promise of Jesus Christ. The Bible says in John 3:18 that those who believe in Jesus — his death and Resurrection — will not be judged.
Here’s the real picture: You’re standing in line waiting for the judgment. Jesus sees you and says, “I know you. We’ve been friends for years. You put your trust in me one year during Easter. Come with me. Get in the express lane. You get the fast track. You get to bypass the judgment.” Is that good news? Oh, yeah!
I have a friend named Buddy who said that, when he was a little kid, his Sunday school teacher taught him that God was sitting in heaven, writing down every bad thing that Buddy ever did. She actually made the class sing a song every week that went, “My Lord is writing all the time. Writing, writing, writing all the time.” Buddy said, “It scared me. I just thought, ‘I’m never going to make it to heaven. My list is getting longer and longer.’”
Is that the way God treats us when we come and put our faith in Christ? No! In fact, God is erasing, erasing, erasing all the time. Forgiving, forgiving, forgiving all the time. He’s sitting in heaven, hitting the “delete” button.
Why? Because the Bible says “God is love” (1 John 4:8 NIV) and love “keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5 NIV). If you put your trust in the love of Jesus Christ, your sins are wiped out.
“There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1 NLT).
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Talk It Over
What do you think of when you hear people talk about a “day of judgment”?
How does confidence of a future in heaven shape your daily actions and choices?
If God doesn’t keep a record of wrongs, why is it still important to try to do the right thing?
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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