At this point in your life are you standing, spiritually speaking, on a firm foundation? Every person lives out his life, however consistently or inconsistently, on the basis of some foundational beliefs, upon some set of presuppositions that he considers to be true. These beliefs may be well thought out or they may be more or less held without ever having given them serious thought. Whatever your current beliefs are, you need to take the time to give them serious thought because there may be more at stake in your beliefs than you realize.
In any discussion of foundational beliefs one issue that must be considered is death. If death is sidestepped or ignored, we are ignoring a blatant reality of life. The truth is, we cannot hope to find meaning in life if we cannot find meaning in death. We need to ask ourselves, “After death, what then?” Our answer to this question rests upon some foundation. Whether our answer is true depends upon the truth of our foundation.
In order to bring this discussion into sharper focus, consider the following questions:
(1) If you were to die today, are you confident that you would go to heaven (if you believe that such a place exists)?
(2) Assume you did die today, and you found yourself standing in the presence of God. If God reviewed your life and asked you for a reason why you should be permitted to enter heaven and live with him throughout all eternity, what would your answer be?
The Bible has much to say about issues and questions such as these.
First of all, the Bible clearly teaches the reality of both a heaven and a hell. When a person dies he will exist in one of these two places. Where you spend eternity depends upon your response to the call of God as given in the Bible. If you suffer the punishment of hell it will not be because God unjustly sent you there, but it will be punishment, entirely justified, because you chose to rebel against your very Creator. And failure to respond to the call of God is rebellion against him.
The Bible tells us that heaven, or eternal life and fellowship with God, is a gift given freely by God.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
We are told that this gift is completely undeserved, and furthermore, that we cannot possibly do anything to earn it.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
(We) are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:24
Although this gift is freely given, not everyone has possession of it. Many people die without ever receiving it. The Bible tells us plainly how we can have possession of this priceless gift. The receiving of this gift is referred to in the Bible as salvation, and those who have received it are referred to as saved. The question is, “Have you been reconciled to God and given the gift of eternal life?”
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