Wednesday, April 1, 2015

This Hope We Have

Photo: Cath Schneider

Too many people cling to the hope that they might be good enough to earn Heaven. My hope is different. My hope is an anchor that holds me through the storm, strong and secure. Not a hope that I will be good enough, but a hope that springs from knowing that I am forgiven enough.

No matter what may come my way, my hope will keep me standing strong in the midst of the darkest times. This hope has been tested and tried. I'm here to tell you it's the real deal. Through some of my worst fears, my faith has brought me through.

I know where I'm going when I die. Do you? Are you sure? Because if you think that you'll be good enough to get there, you're sadly mistaken. Nobody could ever do enough good to outweigh the sin in our lives. We're ALL sinners, not just some of us. That sin is exactly what cuts us off from Heaven (Romans 3:23). The ONLY way to Heaven is through Jesus (John 14:6). We can't ever work hard enough to get to Heaven on our own, it's just not possible (Titus 3:5).

That's what this time of year is all about. The anniversary of Jesus' death and resurrection on the cross should remind us of how little we can do to deserve the free gift of grace we receive from Christ. Jesus gave up His life so that we might live. His sacrifice guaranteed our place in eternity. But the only way we can claim our place in Heaven is to accept His gift. It's like at the movie theater. Pretend the person in front of you bought your ticket. The only way you can use the ticket they bought you is if you take it from them and present it to the attendant. You can't get into the movie without receiving the gift given to you.

Heaven is so much better than a movie. And it cost so much more. Why not accept the invitation waiting for you? You'll never make it on your own. Thinking you can get into eternity on your own merit is simply foolish. It's also a slap in the face of our Savior. If we could get to Heaven by ourselves, that would invalidate His selfless sacrifice. No. Jesus didn't die for nothing. He died for everything. He IS the Way. The only way. Take Him or leave Him, but quit pretending that you could ever be good enough to be in the presence of a perfect God and King. The blood of Jesus cleanses us and makes us perfect in God's eyes. But that is the ONLY substance that can wash the sin from our lives.

Don't believe me? Find a solid, Bible believing church to go to this Easter. If they're the real deal, they'll spell it out for you. You're welcome to check out Fresh Life at one of our many campuses or online. Your soul will thank you.

Always,

Jackelyn Stange

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