We are sadly mistaken if we believe we can live however we want in this life and still spend eternity with Christ. Saying a scripted prayer or responding to an invitation given at the end of a church service may signify your first steps to living a life solely devoted to Christ, but they are not your ticket to eternity in Heaven.
Only those who truly repent of their sins–and that means you turn away from them in sorrowful contrition and acknowledge you have trespassed against the standards of the Holy King–and surrender to Jesus as the Lord of your life, only those will find their life in Him. No one who claims to love Jesus but lives in allegiance to this world will be saved (1 John 2:15).
I do believe there are legitimate deathbed confessions of Christ that result in those individuals going to Heaven, but those are few and far between, so let’s set them aside for this discussion. I’m talking about people who profess to be Christians but bear no fruit and live lives indistinguishable from those who reject Christ. There is no way one can genuinely surrender to Jesus and deliberately live in ways that oppose His will and commandments (John 14:15).
The great preacher Jonathan Edwards once said, “How can you expect to dwell with God forever, if you so neglect and forsake Him here?” This life is our proving ground. If we can’t serve Him now, we won’t serve Him later. We show what is most important to us by what we allow to capture our attention. If what has your attention is not Jesus, then you aren’t living for Him. You are living to satisfy your selfish lusts and desires. We cannot forsake Jesus in this life and expect to embrace Him in the next.
Many think they can do whatever they want with their life as long as they “get right” with God before they die. Others believe a loving God will not punish them for their indiscretions in this life. I think Voddie Baucham has it right when he says, “It amazes me that we believe this: that God would crush his Son, but let you slide. Not for a minute.” God hates sin, and He will judge all who engage in it. Our disobedience requires a price to be paid. If you will surrender to Jesus, His death will pay the price for you. If you reject Him, you are on your own.
Don’t fall for the lies of the slick-speaking charlatans. You will have to give an account of your life. Unless you surrender to Jesus in the here and now, you will spend eternity in the lake of fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41-45). You will not see Jesus. You will never experience the immense love He has for you. Don’t put it off another minute. Get on your knees right now and surrender to Christ. Call on His name and live the rest of your life for Him alone. He is the only way to eternal life (John 14:6).