Are You On Your Way to Heaven?

Have you wondered how to get to heaven? Many people have ideas about getting to heaven. The sources for information that are readily available many times are the ones least likely to have the answers you’re looking for.

 There is an idea out there that if one has not offended humanity in some overt way, then heaven is surely possible. This is a popular belief of our day. Good works is a gospel quite prevalent in many religious sects. One must abide by a set of rules or do many works. This will surely reserve one’s place in heaven. The perpetrator of these lies leading people to hell is the enemy of our souls. The Bible says the devil, a predator, roams around seeking who he may devour (I Peter 5:8). He is successful in leading millions to believe in these ideas or others. Each of these mentioned is putting trust in oneself for salvation. It seems like a glance at humanity could bring an intelligent conclusion that salvation surely does not come from within the heart of humanity. But the enemy is vicious and clever, so the lies perpetuate from one generation to the next.

The Bible is clear that our works do not get us to heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9). We will express our faith through works once we are saved by faith in Jesus, but that is a compelling expression of our love and service to Jesus and His church, not out of obligation. The Bible is clear that no one is good, so all our sin is an offense to God (Romans 3:10-12). We all sin (Romans 3:23).

Many are missing the best information. There is only one way to fix the human heart. God made us in His image (Genesis 1:27), and He desires for us to know Him. God loves us. He loved us so much that He sent His one and only Son to die so we could have eternal life(John 3:16). Because there is only one way, there is no guessing. Jesus stated in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” The statement is clear and spoken with authority by the One and Only One who can provide the way. The only way to God is through Jesus.

The world religions make it complicated and exhausting to get to God. Thank God for Jesus!. Jesus never sinned. This fact made Him the perfect sacrifice. In John 1:29, John the Baptist said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” The purpose is clear why Jesus came to earth. Jesus came to take away our sin. Because He never sinned, He could take our sin. He bore our sin when He bled and died on the cross. Because our sin is an offense to Him, we cannot get to heaven because no sin is in heaven. We have to be righteous and when we receive Jesus then His righteousness covers us and we are declared righteous.

Jesus made the way for everyone to come to God through Him. Although He provided the way with His flesh and blood sacrifice, not everyone will choose Him. It is a personal choice that every person on the planet, past, present, and future, must make. What to do with Jesus? Those who choose Him can know that His resurrection ensures resurrected life for them too. The assurance is when He returns, every person who has put their faith in Him will be resurrected, whether in the grave or still alive (John 14:1-3).

Some people reject Jesus in their last bitter breath. Some receive Him in their last believing breath. But everyone will decide. It is not an objective decision. It is not an arbitrary decision. Philippians 2 tells us that one day every knee will bow. Every tongue will confess when Jesus comes again. What you find the hardest to do now will be forced out of you because no one will be able to be in His presence, see His presence, or know the reality of His coming without being in submission. But it will be too late at that moment. Every human on the planet, past, present, and future, has to decide whether they will make that choice now. Now is the time. It will be too late the moment you die, or in the moment He appears. Now is the time.

I’ve included verses that will help you ponder so great a salvation. The most important decision you can make now is what to do with God’s Son, Jesus.

As you read these verses, I pray that you will believe these verses. I pray you will receive Jesus as your Savior. Jesus is the only One who ever claimed to be God. In John 10:30, Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.” This so clearly declared Jesus is God. This is a life-changing statement of truth. Only Jesus could state this.

Please read and ponder these verses today. Jesus is the only way to God. I hope you decide to receive Jesus and claim Him as Lord of your life. He is so wonderful. He will be your dearest friend every day of your life. You will find His friendship the best and His love for you dear and kind. He is worthy of trust and He has a plan for your life that you would never think of on your own. If you decide to follow Him, you will wonder what took you so long. I know others who would agree with me about this. Please give your heart and life to Jesus today. I’ve never heard anyone say they regret it. Jesus is the way to heaven and once you know Him, your place is reserved.

If you are reading this and already have this relationship with Jesus, then please share this post with someone you know who needs to know how to get to heaven.

How to get to heaven:

John 3:16 & 17- “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.

Romans 3:23-for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…

Romans 6:23- For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is
eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 2:8-9 – I mean that you have been saved by grace through believing. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. 9 It was not the result of your own efforts, so you cannot brag about it.

Acts 2:21 – And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

John 11:25 – Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live.

Romans 10:9 – If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Years ago, my husband and I shared this wonderful news with a group and when we led them to consider these truths, one man declared aloud to his wife, “Now we know how to get to heaven.” This man was around 90 years of age. The Lord was merciful to him and let him live long enough to believe and receive Jesus in his heart. Maybe wherever you are now, you too will receive this wonderful gift of grace, given freely by Jesus the Son of God.

Now is the time. May today be the day you can say with assurance, “I understand now how to get to heaven.”

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

I John 5:13

© Valerie Rumfelt

God’s Love Is Not Blind

freestocks-org-552875-unsplashAnd I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart, so they will obey my decrees and regulations. Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God. But as for those who long for vile images and detestable idols, I will repay them fully for their sins. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”

Ezekiel 11:19-21

As Valentines Day approaches, may I recommend a sharp focus on Jesus! He meets all our expectations. He never fails. The world groans. It is predictable. If you follow Jesus, then you are in a relationship with the only One who gives hope and provides us perfect love. Remember, this world is not our home when we know Jesus. We don’t have to follow the world’s customs.  Valentines Day can be a time for followers of Jesus to tighten our grip and be all the more devoted to the One who saved our soul and who lives in our hearts!7a4be2db-ecc1-4f6a-a9a7-b5cc097922a9

Because of Him we have a new heart. We have His unconditional and intentional love. He loves us with an everlasting love and He sees us. Here’s four ways God shows us His love and we can know His love is not blind.

God’s love is NOT blind – Lost people act like lost people and He sees. He is not turning a blind eye. Lost people do wander in darkness and produce much wickedness and evil. It is up to us, His children, to live exemplary lives, to live set apart, to pray for hearts of the lost to to be transformed through the power of the Gospel. And we His children are commanded to witness, to share the gospel on a regular basis.

God’s love is NOT blind – Even believers can produce surprising amounts of wickedness and evil which He sees. Although we are His children, we still give in to our sin nature for a moment or even a season. When we do, His discipline, designed to chase us back will come. (Proverbs 3:12). As for consequences, those soon become self-evident. Grace is wonderful, but it is to be cherished and keep us humble. God’s love is not blind to our confessions and desire to turn back to Him and follow His ways. (1 John 1:9)

God’s love is NOT blind – He sees the good things His children do out of love for Him and He brings brings a harvest(Galatians 6:9). This is particularly encouraging if you’re in a thankless and under appreciated environment. God’s love is not blind, and it is thrilling when we sense His approval of who we are becoming as we obey Him.

God’s love is NOT blind – For His children, we are given grace and mercy in all of life’s seasons whether we are devoted or not. God’s love is not blind. It can’t be overstated how kind God is to His own. But just as God is love, we should be motivated by love to desire to obey Him and this should give us good testimonies and ensure a pure heart before Him.

As believers, we are to walk humbly before our God. God is all-knowing. We can rest in His love and know His love is not blind. For His devoted ones observing this world, this is a comfort to us.  God sees all and He has a justice system that is not based on human emotion. God does not change.  He will punish the wicked. He will uphold the righteous.  img_1444

Here are a few action tips for believers living in this dark world:

  • We can sharpen our spiritual disciplines in prayer, Bible reading, witnessing, sharing with those in need, fasting, memorizing and meditating on scripture, taking care of our bodies, praising Him, holding our tongues, committing to kingdom work through the local church.
  • We can remember that God is light and in Him there is no darkness, at all. Make times to focus on Jesus.
  • We can take a break from the news.
  • We can examine our own lives and ask God to show us any ways that don’t please Him.
  • We can humble ourselves and ask God to fill our hearts with His love for this world.
  • We can pray that the hearts of people won’t be hardened especially those who are in places of authority.
  • We can remember God loves the righteous and the unrighteous. We can remember that we used to be enemies of God.
  • We can strive to live in such a way that the Lord takes pleasure in us and provides His protection to us.

img_1584With all that is going on so rapidly in our world and in our country, it is comforting to know that God’s love is not blind. It is also important for His children to look for where God is working. Ask His Holy Spirit to show you and then thank Him for these good things. We must pray for those in authority over us and live our lives in a way that pleases Him. We are God’s way of reaching the world. When He looks at His kids, we want Him to see us actively involved in His work. After all, God’s love is NOT blind.

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 5:43-48

©Valerie Rumfelt

Mary of Bethany

Just a few days before Jesus would die on the cross for the sins of the world, there is an account of a woman who took an opportunity to worship Him. Her display was remarkable and loving and remembered throughout all time.

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John 12:1-8 is the passage. We find Lazarus hosting a dinner for Jesus. Martha is serving. Mary is near Jesus.

It is six days before the Passover Feast. Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived. Lazarus was the one Jesus had raised from the dead.

2 A dinner was given at Bethany to honor Jesus. Martha served the food. Lazarus was among the people at the table with Jesus. 3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard. It was an expensive perfume. She poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the sweet smell of the perfume.
4 But Judas Iscariot didn’t like what Mary did. He was one of Jesus’ disciples. Later he was going to hand Jesus over to his enemies. Judas said, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold? Why wasn’t the money given to poor people? It was worth a year’s pay.” 6 He didn’t say this because he cared about the poor. He said it because he was a thief. Judas was in charge of the money bag. He used to help himself to what was in it.
7 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “The perfume was meant for the day I am buried. 8 You will always have the poor among you. But you won’t always have me.”

What splendid love Mary displays.

As onlookers to this beautiful story, we admire Mary because of her outward evidence of inward devotion toward Jesus. She gave all she had to worship Jesus and show her love to Him.

To Mary, Jesus was the only one in the room. She is compelled to worship Him in this precious and costly way.

Judas, the one who would later betray Jesus was in the room and opposed this act of love. Judas’s weakness was he cared only for himself. When he tried to deceitfully point out Mary’s love toward Jesus as being misguided, the selfishness and darkness in his character are exposed.

The difference between Judas and Mary is stark. Judas tried to garner favor for his position by pulling in the poor as his cover. He not only revealed his true colors but tried to deceive those around him into thinking he was concerned for the poor.

Jesus, of course, was the One present concerned about the poor most of all. The fact that Judas tried this tactic with Jesus present exposes even more about Judas’s unfavorable and repulsive character.

Mary, on the other hand, is generous in her expression of love. To be clear, it was a display. Unabashed, Mary seems oblivious to the dark character sitting near her in Judas and still displays a lavish love for Jesus using a lavish product. She is one to admire and esteem.

Jesus knew both hearts, of course, and welcomed Mary’s love and worship while penetrating the darkness of Judas with a direct command to leave Mary alone.

This story thrills me. Jesus, willing to fellowship with friends and foes alike, ready to defend the pure in heart, receives an extravagant love and appreciates the sacrifice. In only a few words, He exposes the motives and forces of evil sitting near Him in Judas.

The people in Jesus’ day didn’t understand they would soon lose Him to a brutal and sacrificial death on their behalf. Even in this passage, Jesus tells those present that He will not always be with them. They couldn’t grasp that He’d soon be gone. No matter how many times Jesus spoke of His coming death, they could not understand.

In a few days, each day leading to the Resurrection holds a different meaning. Let’s ponder Mary. This brave lady used her opportunity to worship Jesus in the face of evil.  In a few days, she would be at the foot of the cross with other women who loved Him. Let’s be like Mary, unashamed to worship the One who saved us and faithful enough to live for Him until the end of our days.

Perhaps the most striking lesson to be learned from Mary of Bethany is her unwavering devotion to Jesus. She not only followed Him; she worshipped Him. She hung on His every word. No matter what was happening around her, she never lost sight of Him. Jesus defended her pure love, and He ensures her story is told through the ages.

She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he said. Luke 10:39

 

4 Quotes That Changed My Life

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Who doesn’t love a good quote? A good quote has at its origin a pithy quality and sums up a truth about the human experience we relate to.

The following quotes likely won’t be famous, but none the less, they’ve impacted my life. All have a memory associated with them.

4 Quotes That Changed My Life:

Honey, if we knew it all, we couldn’t stand it!

    ” – I remember standing in the living room of one of my mother’s friends when I heard this. It’s like yesterday, my tall mother and her tall friend chatting away, and my little self, paying attention. I was a curious child. They must’ve been talking about something terrible that had occurred because the question that swirled in my head and soon emerged was about why couldn’t God let us know things. This phrase was the answer my mother’s friend said to me. I didn’t understand it then, but her experience walking with God prepared her to answer me this way, and I never forgot it. Her answer’s been indelibly printed in my mind and remains an active concept to me. The phrase points to God’s wisdom in all things and His protection of our emotions.
  • Faith is not a feeling” – At a meeting of Campus Crusade for Christ in college, I first heard this. The speaker introduced this idea, and it is a concept that has pulsated in my mind throughout my life. Truly faith and feelings can rarely coexist. Without faith, the Bible says it is impossible to please God. As women, we let our feelings and emotions make decisions for us. Faith relies fully on God and His wisdom.
  • Go do something normal” – My husband first said this to me and just him saying it brought comfort to me at the time. We’ve all had times when we didn’t feel like our typical self? We could be confused, fearful, uncertain, plagued by doubt. Anytime this happens, it’s good to find the familiar, call a friend, brush your teeth, exercise, listen to a sermon, write some scripture. At times, this angst comes at night, ushering in a sleepless night. Whenever this happens, don’t focus on it. Instead, work around it. Go do something normal.
  • You can’t go with God and stay where you are” – It was at a marriage conference at Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina that I heard Henry Blackaby utter these profound words. There are times when God is calling a follower of His to do something. If we don’t do it, then we’ve decided to stay where we are. When we do this, we miss the joy of the following Him in obedience and you can be sure of this, you will regret your no. Sometimes these calls from God require an address change. Sometimes they require courage to speak, the decision to let go, the tenacity to face the hill and begin, or maybe to change your schedule. Going with God could be obediently staying where we are when the urge to leave is strong. Going with God is staying in step with His spirit. It’s an adventure. It is irrevocable. If you miss it, well, you’ve missed it. Gone forever.

Maybe these quotes will keep you pondering today about your walk with God. We miss so much of what God has for us. These quotes teach me that I don’t have to know everything, God is big enough to carry me through whatever is coming, I can trust Him in faith. There are times I’m going to feel off or uncertain, but the feeling will pass as I press on through the day, and if I go with God, He will be with me. God is speaking, are you listening?

And theLordsaid to Moses, “I will come to you in a thick cloud and speak to you. The people will hear me speaking with you and will always trust you.” Then Moses told theLordwhat the people had said. Exodus 19:9

©Valerie Rumfelt