The great writer, theologian, and apologist C.S. Lewis once said, “Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth thrown in: aim at Earth and you will get neither.”
Today, too many people are aiming at Earth and missing Heaven by a long shot. People work hard to obtain everything they’ve ever wanted. They push to get everything this world has to offer — cars, clothes, jewelry, appliances, or the newest electronic device. Many of these same people find their satisfaction in the things they own. They live for the thrill of getting some new item that they have long desired. Sadly, people cling to things and are consumed by the pursuit of things they think will make them happy, attractive, or fulfilled.
Today, our society is more materialistic than ever. People want, and work hard to get what they want. And, yet, they continue to feel unfulfilled and restless. They are consumed by the idea that there is something more out there for them — that what they have is not enough. Even though they may have everything they have ever wanted, they still don’t have it all.
This constant craving for material things is futile and foolish. The Bible says, ” Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.” We get bored with things after a while. Stuff does not last. It decays and gets old. It can be taken away — stolen, destroyed by accident, or destroyed in a natural disaster.
The stuff that we gain on this earth will one day perish. The Bible says in Second Peter 3:10 that “the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” Because this physical world and all that is in it will perish one day, it is foolish to place our hearts where our earthly treasure is. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 6:19-20: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:”
What are these “treasures in Heaven”? These treasures are eternal rewards that you will gain by becoming a follower of Jesus Christ. You will gain peace with God, joy because of your salvation, and fulfillment and purpose through your service to Jesus Christ. You will also gain Heavenly rewards that far surpass the value of anything you can gain on this earth. You can truly have everything you have ever really wanted. First Corinthians 2:9 says, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
Would you like to trade temporary earthly gain for eternal rewards? Would you like to give up your reliance on material things that can be taken away for eternal things that can never be taken away? If so, here are a few steps you must take.
First, recognize that your sins have separated you from God. Even though Adam and Eve were the first to sin, we must each take responsibility for our own actions. In honest repentance, agree with God about your sinfulness and admit your need for forgiveness. First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Second, realize that God loves you, and believe that the sinless Jesus Christ died for your sins—taking the punishment you deserve. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the only thing that makes it possible for God to forgive us of our sins and allow us to live in the New Heaven and the New Earth.
Third, accept Jesus Christ as your Savior from sin and sin’s consequences by believing that he died, was buried, and rose again, and receive Him into your life by faith. Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Before we continue, let me share this with you from Charles Ryrie’s book “So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ”:
THE KEY ISSUE IN UNDERSTANDING THE GOSPEL
Some of the confusion regarding the meaning of the Gospel today may arise from failing to clarify the issues. One is, What is it that bars me from heaven? What is it that prevents my having eternal life? The answer is sin. The second issue is, How can my sins be forgiven? I need some way to resolve that sin problem. And God declares that the death of His Son provides forgiveness of my sin.
“Christ died for our sins” — that’s as plain as it could possibly be. Sinners need a Saviour. Christ is that Saviour and the only valid one. Through faith I receive Him and His forgiveness. Then the sin problem is solved, and I can be fully assured of going to heaven.
I do not need to believe in Christ’s second coming in order to be saved. I do not need to receive Him as my present intercessor. But I do need to believe that He died for my sins and rose triumphant over sin and death. I do not need to settle issues that belong to Christian living in order to be saved. I do not need to pledge a portion of my future income in order to be saved. I do not need to be willing to give up smoking in order to be saved.
Matters of carnality, spirituality, fruit-bearing, and backsliding relate to the Christian life, not to the issue of salvation. Only the Lord Jesus, God who became man, could and did resolve that problem by dying for us. He had to be human in order to be able to die, and He had to be God in order for that death to be able to pay for the sins of the world.
Keep the key issue in the Gospel clear: We are sinners and Christ died to provide forgiveness for our sins.
THE DIRECTION OF THE GOSPEL
We also must keep the direction of the Gospel clear.
The good news is that Christ has done something about sin and that He lives today to offer His forgiveness to you and me. The direction is from Christ to me. It is never from me to Him. I do not offer Him anything. How could I? What could I possibly offer that would help meet my need? To offer the years of my life is to offer something very imperfect and something that can do nothing to forgive my sin. To vow my willingness to change is to affirm something I will not consistently keep; and even if I could, it would not remove the guilt of my sin.
Of course, when I receive eternal life from His hand, I bow before an infinitely superior Person. But as I bow as one totally unable to do anything about my sin. I bow as a recipient of His grace and never as one who donated anything to Him. In salvation I am always the recipient; the donee, never the donor. If I try to donate anything with respect to becoming a Christian, then I have added a work, and salvation is no longer solely and purely of grace. Keep the direction straight, and keep His grace unmixed with any work.
With that said, dear friend, If you accept Jesus Christ into your heart, you will begin a relationship with God that will last for eternity. You will be able to get on the straight and narrow road that will lead you to greater intimacy with God, and eventually to your eternal home in Heaven with Him. If you want to begin this relationship right now, you can pray a short prayer right now to let God know that you have decided to trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour so that you can spend eternity with him. Please repeat after me and mean it from your heart.
Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today and forever. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
Believe by faith. Share the faith. And keep the faith! God Bless You!