TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Yesterday, my husband was baptized at church! He was baptized as an infant and later confirmed in the Catholic Church, but he decided he wanted to be baptized by choice. I’m so excited for him and proud of him!
Wayne actually made this decision last summer and had hoped to be baptized in the fall. But in late September, Wayne’s dad ended up in hospice and he spent much time traveling to Ohio during October and November. The baptism was delayed because of the circumstances we were dealing with… It wasn’t ideal, but they were understandable. He needed to be with his dad during that time.
Which brings me to my point today… Baptism is an act of obedience, but it’s not crucial to salvation. We know this from the thief on the cross who asked Jesus to remember him. Jesus didn’t say, “Too bad for you, buddy—don’t see how you’re going to get baptized between now and then.” No—He said to the man, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43 ESV).
Baptism is an important decision, but the most important one is the decision to follow Christ… the decision to declare Jesus as Lord of your heart… the decision to give Jesus your life… That’s the decision that can’t be delayed no matter what is going on in your life.
There is life after death and it’s our choice whether we spend it in heaven or hell. And while deathbed confessions are very real and possible, it’s a risky way to live your life. Especially if you get hit by a bus and don’t have time for a deathbed confession (or it happens so fast, you aren’t even aware that you need one)!
While some want to believe that a loving God won’t send anyone to hell, that’s not true. It’s not God’s intention for people to go to hell, but He is just and fair in addition to being loving. It’s because of His love that He allows us the choice to follow Jesus. But loving or not, His holy nature cannot tolerate our sin and the only way we can secure our eternity in heaven is through accepting Jesus.
It’s not a maybe. Revelation 20:15 ESV says, “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” However, a very famous “preacher” (I use the term loosely) was once on Larry King Live and said he wasn’t sure whether or not an atheist would go to hell. His interview was a disgrace to the pulpit and to the very Word of God. (I won’t name names, but you can figure out who I’m talking about easily with a quick Google search.) He missed a golden opportunity to share the Gospel and his cowardly response on national television is one that has misdirected countless souls and I beg you—check your sources! Understand that anyone who speaks contrary to God’s Word is not speaking God’s Word!!
Every writer writes to a specific audience and for me, I write this is kind of a journal that I share with others and a way to study. But I also write for those who are already believers or who are prodigals returning to Jesus. I say that because you may think there’s nothing relevant here for you. But just as our pastor urged us to remember our own baptisms yesterday… we should make it a priority to remember that time is short. If we call ourselves followers of Christ, then each and every one of us should be praying for and witnessing to those who need to accept Jesus. It’s a choice that is time sensitive and should never be delayed! Life is too full of uncertainties!
Today, as you pray, thank God for His loving ways. Thank Him that in love, He gives us a choice. Thank Jesus for being our mediator whose sacrifice allows us access to Him. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you feel a sense of urgency for the lost and to convict your heart to pray. And if you don’t have a relationship with Jesus and you’ve been putting off this choice, please don’t delay. Please understand that even if you still have 50 years left, you’ll never regret a moment you spend living for Jesus.
SHARING ••• Please feel free to comment or share this blog with others. Also, download a free Bible-In-A-Year Reading Plan when you subscribe to www.MyGraceFullLife.com!