Do we really love God with all of our heart, strength and mind? Jesus said this was the most important commandment (Matthew 22:36-40). He went so far as to say that if we did this, we would inherit eternal life with Him (Luke 10:25-28). Love is a verb, something we must actively do. Saying a prayer to commit our life to Christ is a fine first step, but it is not what gets you to Heaven; we must actively love the Lord with all that we are. There are many ways to demonstrate that love, many of which are detailed in Matthew 25:31-46, a passage in which Jesus tells us that if we don’t feed the hungry, care for the sick and shelter the homeless, we will not inherit eternal life.
For the last century or more, Western Christians have taught the unbiblical concept of leading someone in “the sinner’s prayer”. Becoming a follower of Jesus is not accomplished by saying a prayer and having good intentions; it is accomplished by actually following Him. To follow Jesus means we will act as He acted, do the things He did, and obey the commands He gave. To follow Jesus means that we love Him more than life itself, that He is without exception the most important priority in our lives.
It is easy to understand what it means to feed the hungry or care for the sick, the poor, the orphans and the widows. It is a little less straightforward to come to grips with how we love Him with all of our heart, mind and soul. Keith Green used to define a Christian as “someone who is bananas for Jesus”. I think that sums it up pretty well. When you fall in love with someone, that person is all you can think about. You can’t focus on anything else and may even lose your appetite for food. Your feelings for the other person consume you. Unlike our physical relationships that wane over time due to discovering the other person is not quite as perfect as we had first imagined, our relationship with God is everything we dream it is; we are never disappointed by Him and we never learn anything about Him that dampens our enthusiasm. In fact, the more we get to know Him, the stronger the flame of our love will burn.
If you want to go to Heaven, you have to devote your life to serving Christ. This means you will also be spending your life serving others, as this is what Jesus commanded us to do. Every dollar you earn will be earned with the thought of how you can use it to further His kingdom. Every action you take will be done to carry out His mission in some way. Everything we think, do, and say must be done with an eye towards reflecting His love to a dark and desperate world. Following Christ is not a trivial decision; it is a weighty choice fraught with peril. However, for those who persist, eternity awaits to be spent with the object of our affection.
Christ loved us so much that He humbled Himself and died for us. He calls us to do the same in return. Our lives our not our own but rather instruments to be used in God’s service to bring Him glory. If you want to know you will go to Heaven, then you must do the things that Jesus said would get you there. Love Him with all of your heart, soul and mind. Care for the poor, the sick and the hungry. Look after the orphans and widows. Devote this life to Jesus, and He promises to see that you spend eternity with Him.
Question: If you died today, are you certain you would go to Heaven?