Ready for Heaven?

    On Thursday afternoon, I stood beside Rosemary VanVleet and prayed with her family that she could be ushered into her new home in heaven in peace. As we finished praying, there was a marked difference in her breathing. A few minutes later, she did just that. With Vernon sitting at her side, holding and gently stroking her hand, she left this earth behind and stepped into eternity to live in heaven. Just three days before I spoke with her at Lutheran General Hospital and asked her if she was afraid. She looked good that evening, was smiling and talkative. But we all knew that her time was short. She quickly said to me, “No, I know where I am going! I don’t know how people who don’t know the Lord do it!”
    Today, Rosemary is in heaven.
    Where are you going? There is no other question that could begin to compare in importance to that question. I am amazed at how people will spend so much energy thinking through and preparing for retirement, which may last twenty years, if they are in good health, but give little thought to where they go after that.
    Some have said to me, “It is presumptuous to say that you know you are going to heaven. You can’t know that until you die!” But the Bible says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life (1 John 5:13). God’s Word was written so that you do not have to leave this question unsettled. He wants you to know today where you will spend eternity!
    In fact, the Bible indicates that by leaving this question unsettled, you seal your own eternal fate in condemnation. In our natural state of sin, we are separated from the life of God and condemned. Jesus came to the earth, died on the cross and rose again from the dead to provide you with His resurrected life––eternal life in heaven! The good news of the Bible is that if we repent of our sin and believing that Jesus died for us and rose again, receive Him into our life as Lord and Savior, that we will be saved. By receiving Jesus Christ as God’s gift, we can know that we are going to heaven.
    Do you know? Have you responded to God’s grace by believing in His Son and committing yourself to being His disciple? Using Jesus’s words, have you been born again?
    Rosemary accepted Christ when she was a little girl and followed Him her entire life. And now for all eternity, she will be with Him. Maybe you are getting ready for retirement just fine. But if you are not ready for eternity, your twenty years or so in retirement will mean nothing. Are you ready to meet God? That’s the real question. If not, today is the day to get that settled!

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