(Photo by Selma Komisky)
Make Heaven Crowded
By Tori Martin
June 29th, 2021, the day every British football fan, young and old, had been waiting for (55 years to be precise!) – England was finally in a cup final! Football was finally coming home! The excitement in the air on the evening of the final was electrifying. The game started brilliantly with England scoring the first goal, “come on, we’ve got this!!” I remember confidently declaring! But my hope quickly escalated into a nail-biting, “I don’t think I can actually watch this” when the England squad found themselves in the agonizing position of a penalty shoot-out! The nations’ hearts were in their mouths as a rollercoaster of amazing goal saves were pulled out of the bag from both teams. However, despite the squads’ hard work, the nation experienced football heartbreak after missing 3 penalty opportunities – England’s dream of reaching our final destination was over – football was not coming home.
Our good works on the pitch – simply was just not enough.
Many people wrongly believe that to reach our ultimate final destination, Heaven, we have to play a good game. The pressure of getting to Heaven by good works is just too much and impossible. And it is exactly that, it is impossible. If our salvation was based on us playing the perfect game of life, we’d be the biggest losers. Heaven would be a very quiet and empty place for sure. But then in steps Jesus who, by His sacrifice changed this beautiful game for every single one of us. Because of Jesus, we can have the victory -we will get to go home.
Let’s just think about that for a moment – what Jesus did for us is mind-blowing! A real crowd pleaser! This is the single most fantastic news that we could ever hear and we should not be keeping it to ourselves! This is a kinda, “read all about it”, kinda news! In fact, sharing the good news is a commandment. If Jesus said it, we need to do it.
“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15 ESV
No one has to go to hell. Hell does not need to be a place people will call their forever home but, unfortunately, for many, it will be. Many of us Christians are too afraid of the rejection or ridicule we may receive or, we get paralyzed by the fear of not having all the answers to support what we are proclaiming and therefore would just rather not share. It’s a pathetic excuse if we are really honest with ourselves. Jesus deserves so much more. We owe it to Him.
“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!” Romans 10:15
Like the gifted and talented players in the Euro 2021, let’s use our feet and start moving with purpose. Not quite sure how? Ask God to silence any spirit of fear or rejection. Study the Gospels. Ask God to put you in places of opportunity and invite the Holy Spirit into your situations, allowing Him to lead you and speak through you. Pray that the Lord will remove the scales from people’s eyes. I promise you, it will come more easily than you could imagine and often, (not always I know) most people are really open to listening and discussing. I personally have experienced this first hand, and it’s always been from the people that I never ever thought would be even the slightest open for such discussions yet just by being taking that small yet powerful step of courage to share, God moved and planted a seed where Jesus could grow. Every single person deserves to know the truth. Unfortunately yes, not everyone will be open to listen or welcome the good news, and we don’t need to be afraid or feel guilty if someone rejects it. Only God can change someone. Someone’s salvation is not our job, but sharing the goods news of our salvation is.