(Photo by Zac Martin)
How-To Pack for the Road to Heaven
By McKenzi Matsick
Every human being has a destination. We are born sinners into this world due to the sin Adam and Eve committed in the garden. Because of that, we are under a curse, and the consequence is death for eternity by going to hell when our body on this earth dies.
However, Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for us by sacrificing His perfect body in place of our own so He could be the bridge for us to have a relationship with God again.
So, either your destination after your life here on earth will be in heaven, or it will be in hell – forever.
With that said, here is a “how-to” on preparing yourself for eternity if you decide to surrender your life to Jesus and accept Him as your Lord and Savior:
1. Salvation and Baptism
In Romans 3:23 (KJV), it says, “”For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” As stated above, we all have fallen short of God’s glory because of our sin. To follow up this verse, Romans 6:23 (KJV) states, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” This is telling us that yes, the price and consequence of sin is death, but through Jesus, we can live forever. How? This is how in Romans 10:9-10 (KJV)…
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
If we repent (turn away completely) from our sins and confess and believe that Jesus IS who the Bible says He is, we will be saved from the wrath of God that is to come.
We don’t stop there, though. Even after you choose to follow Jesus, you have to tie your faith in with your works and lifestyle – including getting baptized, which is a public confession that you have chosen to follow Jesus. It’s an exciting time! This is explained in Romans 6:4 –“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life,” – and James 2:14-26.
2. Word of God
You’ve decided to follow Jesus. Welcome to the family!
But, what’s next?
One of the ways to grow in the Christian faith is by reading the Word of God daily. In Psalm 119:11, David makes the statement that he has hidden God’s Word in his heart so he might not sin against God. When we apply Scripture to our daily walk, we continue to learn about HOW to initially walk out the rest of our lives the way Jesus did.
Whether you read in the Old Testament or New Testament, you will be sure to learn about men, women, and even children who lived a life that had its ups and downs, but when touched by the grace of God, they were able to persevere. The Bible also provides key wisdom to be able to discern and fight against the devil when he attacks.
3. Prayer & Worship
Through prayer and worship, we release our thoughts, cares, anxieties, etc. to the Lord and glorify Him for who He is.
The Bible says to, “…pray without ceasing…” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). This means that we should never stop praying. If you have a need, God wants to know. Prayer and worship allow us to cry out to God from a humble, low place.
Worship could look like thanking God for who He is and what He’s done in your life, and it could also look like singing praises to Him!
4. Service & Community
It is so important that we serve others the way Jesus did. This is how we can develop a healthy community by loving others. In Matthew 25:40, Jesus says that what we do to others also reflects how we treat Him in our lives.
When we treat others with grace and truth, we are glorifying God. Christ demonstrated what a true servant’s heart should be here on this earth.
These four points all briefly touch on the main ways that we are to live a life pleasing and honoring to the Lord while reaching out and sharing the Good News of the gospel to others until the day we leave this earth.
I hope you found encouragement in this, and I pray as you grow in your walk with Jesus, you surround yourself with people who can grow in their walks too, with you! Following Christ is such a gift, and there is freedom in His name alone!