By Toni Ford
My pastor started a three-week sermon series this past Sunday based on Matthew 4:19 (NIV version), which says, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”
This Fishers of Men series is all about us learning how to share Christ with other people. I must be honest in saying that normally I would not be very excited about spending three weeks learning how to be “fishers of men.” At this stage in my life, however, the desire and urgency I am feeling to share Christ with others while becoming bolder about my faith is stronger than ever before.
Therefore, for anyone who reads this week’s devotion, I would love to ask you, “Are you sure you are His child and know where you will spend eternity?”
I realize there might be many different beliefs about life after death, but all I ask is that we ask ourselves, “Am I sure that what I believe is the real truth, and would I stake my entire life and eternity on what I believe?” We are reminded in Psalm 103 that life is short: “The wind blows, and we are gone, as though we had never been here.” This life here on earth will end at some point for each of us, but eternity is forever and never ending.
In Luke 16, we find Jesus teaching His disciples about heaven and hell in the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. The Rich Man has all he needs while here on earth and is extremely happy with his life, while Lazarus has very little and endures many trials. However, their roles change when they both die, and the reason is that although Lazarus had little on earth, he knew the Lord. The Rich Man never believed in the Lord, so one went to heaven and the other went to hell.
Jesus longs for each one of us to come to Him, accept Him and believe in Him by faith. Some believe that before they can come to Christ, they must get their life “right” or “in order.” That belief is so far from the truth and from the heart of Jesus. He says to come to Him first and then He will help you get your life straight.
Salvation is not about being or doing “right.” Salvation is also not about religion or which church you attend. Salvation is about relationship with the one and only true God, Jesus Christ. We don’t have to do it on our own, and He accepts us as we are. Our only responsibility is to receive Him and acknowledge that we are willing to surrender our own agenda and life to Him.
Romans 10:9-10 (NLT version) says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.”
If you are not sure where you will spend eternity, I would encourage you to take the time now to ask Jesus into your heart and pray this prayer wherever you might be right now: “Lord Jesus, I invite you to come into my life today. I ask you to forgive me of all my sins and make me a new creation. I surrender my life to you and ask you to change me. Thank you for eternal life and that I am your child.”
If you prayed that prayer or if you have further questions, I would love to hear from you. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. May the Lord bless you indeed!