The Only Way To Heaven?

The Only Way to HeavenEver been lost? When exactly was the moment you knew it to be a certainty? Did you try and bluff yourself into believing you were almost lost, or did you admit you really needed directions? We know when something’s wrong, but don’t always have the good sense to admit it and seek corrective action. This behavior is not only dangerous, its borderline foolish, and can prove fatal if not corrected in time.

Clouds in arrows

Everyone has been “geographically” lost at some point in time. Some people are “spiritually” lost at this point in time. Finding your way in both situations is important but one happens to be a tiny matter of life-and-death! The main difference is that one direction has ‘unchangeable’ consequences.

You have heard people talk about how you get to heaven. If you’ve heard ten people discuss the issue, you’ve heard at least eleven different points of view. Is there really one way to heaven? For a question this serious, the only way to resolve it absolutely is to go straight to the source. Jesus was asked about the kingdom of heaven and how to obtain it. This is his answer:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21

Does that settle the matter? Are the words of Jesus enough? No? Try this.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Why won’t you believe someone who came back from the dead on his own?  If you don’t believe Jesus is the only way to heaven, who would you pick?  What does the future hold for you?  Well, that’s simple enough.  Here are some Biblical scriptures that will answer your questions.

  • “But we know that when he appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is”.  1 John 3:2
  • “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus”. Ephesians 2:6
  • “I tell you the truth; whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life”.  John 5:24

I would like to think that heaven with its streets of gold, gates of pearl, foundation of chalcedony and sardonyx, might be absolutely happy, and our eyes will experience complete darkness (for a bit), to protect us from the blazing brilliance, omnipresence, omnipotence and gloriousness of God.  After you get up from being on your knees…well, you can fill in the rest for yourself.

Heeere kitty, kitty, kitty…

Here Kitty, Kitty,KittyLions have always been a favorite of the circus, the zoo, even entertainment acts in Las Vegas.  Lions have been featured in movies such as: Tarzan, The Wizard of Oz, The Lion King, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and many others.  Lions have been used as a mascot for introducing MGM movies with their ferocious roaring.  Lions are referred to as the original king of the jungle.  They are fiercely competitive, nurturing, and majestic in stature, exceptional hunters, and territorial, are trained as pets, but, make no mistake about it; they are a wild animal by nature with killer instinct.

Big KittiesLions have always been a favorite of kings.  The Egyptians kept lions and carved images of them in stone.  The Assyrian kings liked to hunt lions.  The Persian king kept some lions in captivity.  The Romans kept lions to fight each other, bears, even gladiators.  Some emperors even threw Christians to the lions!  Three times in the Bible people were attacked and killed by lions.  In each case it was a form of punishment!  Need a chilling read?  Read 1 Kings 13:1, 1 Kings 20 and 2 Kings 24.

One time the lions didn’t attack and kill.  What happened?  When Daniel refused to stop praying toward Jerusalem, he was thrown into the lion’s den.  The Bible says that God sent an angel that shut the mouths of the lions!  Those poor cats couldn’t even drink water through a straw.  The Persian king Darius liked Daniel, a lot!  When he saw that Daniel’s God rescued him he was astonished. The angry king ordered those who falsely accused Daniel to be thrown into the lion’s den—along with their wives and children!  What happened next you ask?  “And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.”  Daniel 6:24

In accordance with Persian custom, this cruel punishment was transferred to those who had conspired against the king by provoking him into an unjust action.  Look at Ester 7:9-10.  The king’s great anger resulted in the execution of the evil officials and their families.  Evil deeds often backfire on those who plan cruelty.  Although Daniel was captive in a strange land, his devotion to God was a testimony to powerful rulers.  Day in and day out Daniel prayed and built up a faithful consistency of what to do in times of trouble and prosperity.  Daniel was faced with faith in God and death.  Daniel never saw obstacles, he saw opportunities.  If you find yourself in new surroundings, take the opportunity to testify about God’s power in your life.  Be faithful to God so he can use you to make an impact on others.

How Sweet It Is

How Sweet it isWhen was the last time you over-indulged?  Capital Punishment Style?  With Habenera Heartburn—Insufferable Indigestion—Mount Vesuvius Acid-reflux—Migraine inducing Nausea—Behemoth Bloating with Boa Constricting belt tightening. Did two boxes of Alka-Seltzer help?  A quart of Pepto-Bismol?  A case of Tums?  An injection of liquid Protonix or stronger?  Was an EMS ride to the ER included?  Did the ER nurse get the fluids running right away, or did you have a couple more hours endurance in the crowded waiting room?  Costly trip, huh?  Expensive ice cream?

Gluttony is a weighty matter.  It’s addressed in the Old Testament (OT) book of 1 Samuel; along with some of its consequences.  Eli was an OT priest and judge of Israel who had two sons; Hophni and Phinehas and “They were wicked men who had no regard for the Lord”     1 Samuel 2:12.   Serving as helpers to the high priest, they were allotted a portion of the sacrifices to eat, but they demanded more—much more.  How bad were the boys?  They took advantage of their position to satisfy their own lust for power, possessions, and control.  Their contempt and arrogance toward both people and worship undermined the integrity of the priesthood.  Eli knew they were evil, but wouldn’t correct them.  These boys stole the first-fruits before they were offered to God on the altar.  They were a couple of ruthless chow-hounds. A prophet predicted the destruction of Eli and his family.  The two sons dying on the same day was a sign that validated this prophecy.  Was it any coincidence that Eli died within hours of his sons?  No!

The Bible gives us a detailed record of Eli’s death.   1 Samuel 4:18 says, “Eli fell backwards off his chair, by the side of the gate.  His neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man and heavy.”  Eli was an OT person with a modern problem.  The recognition and respect that he earned in public did not extend to his handling of his private and family affairs.  He might have been a decent priest but he was a terrible parent.  Oh, he responded to others problems, but he definitely didn’t solve any of his own.

When you serve the Lord, putting Him first, it leaves a sweet taste that lingers. When you serve yourself first, and over-indulge, Satan’s pride enters in and turns the sweetness to bitter.

There is a lesson here in over-indulging; know your limitations.