Standing in front of the school secretary, I listened in disbelief as she told me that my five year old was not on the list for admission to kindergarten. This is the same school that my second grader has been at for the past three years. I thought we filled out everything that was required for his entrance to kindergarten in the fall. How could this be?
This was our home.
This is where all of our friends were.
I thought this was a sure thing.
While this is a big deal in our little world, it is not the end of the world. Let me tell you what is.
Not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord” will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. (Mt. 7:21) Narrow is the gate that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Mt. 7:14). I don’t want anyone to be mistaken about entrance to Heaven, which is a very real place. So is Hell. Just like I thought I was all set for our elementary school, there are many who think they are a shoo-in for Heaven.
You might be a really good person, generous and compassionate, but it is by grace alone that we are saved, not by works (nice things we do), so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8)
You might be a good rule follower, never breaking the law, honest to a fault, but the Bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) It is these sins that separate us from God, and a price must be paid, that price being death. (Romans 6:23
You might have been baptized as a baby and even have a preacher in your family tree, but choosing to follow Jesus is an individual commitment that must be made by you alone. The Bible says that we will each stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account of our lives, one on one, just us and Jesus. (2 Corinthians 5:10)
Before you start to feel like there is no hope, that there is nothing you can do about this whole “getting into Heaven” business, let me share some good news with you: the gospel of Jesus Christ. The word gospel actually translates as good news. If you’ve ever watched a football game, you’ve seen this.
For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son so that all who believed in Him would not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Here’s the thing, God knew we would sin. In the days of the Old Testament, before Jesus, every sin needed to be atoned for, a price paid, through a blood sacrifice. Because of His great love for us, He sent Jesus to be a once and for all sacrifice for our sin. When you come to God and acknowledge yourself a sinner, and confess with your voice and believe in your heart that Jesus died for your sins and was raised from the grave after three days, you will be saved from an eternity in Hell. You will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
Now, you may not believe any of this. You may be of a religion or a lifestyle that says none of this matters. But, smokers who don’t know anything about the dangers of tar and nicotine still get lung cancer. People who don’t understand reproduction but have sex still get pregnant. And sinners who don’t believe the word of Almighty God will still go to Hell. It doesn’t really matter if you think differently today. The consequence still applies.