Dear Friends in Christ:
The story is told of a Sunday School teacher whose assignment was to explain to the six-year olds in his class what someone had to do in order to go to heaven. In an attempt to discover what the kids already believed about the subject, he asked a few questions. “If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale, and gave all my money to the church, would that get me into heaven?” “NO!” the children all answered. “If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would that get me into heaven?” Again, the answer was, “NO!” “Well then,” he said, “if I was kind to animals and gave candy to all the children and loved my wife, would that get me into heaven?” Again they all shouted, “NO!” “Well then, how can I get into heaven?” A boy in the back row stood up and shouted, “YOU GOTTA BE DEAD!” J
This story is very humorous, but it illustrates a very valid point…that there is nothing, absolutely nothing we can do to earn our way to heaven. We cannot do enough good works, can’t go to church enough, we can’t do enough to make it! If you place your hope of eternal life in something, only to find when you stand before God that it will not get you into heaven, you will be very surprised. There are no makeup exams at the judgment seat. The Bible stresses that we must understand that our eternal destiny is determined by our choices in this life; and we have get it right before our time comes. It is not uncommon to have people who faithfully go to church say, “I’ve lived a good life and done the best that I could do.” Or, “I am a basically good person and I’ve never tried to hurt anyone.” These are the wrong answers. Instead, the Bible gives us the answer: we are saved by grace…God’s unmerited favor to us. Aren’t you thankful for Ephesians 2:8-9? The apostle Paul majestically declares to us: “For by grace you have been saved through faith (in Jesus); and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” So, it is clear that by grace through faith we are saved. It is grace on God’s part and faith on our part and not of ourselves. That is, our salvation is not affected by human effort. It is a gift of God without money or price. And no one will ever be able to boast of him/herself, “I have earned salvation.” One purpose of the Scriptures is to show in the ages of eternity the riches of God’s grace. Thus there will be no room for boasting by any one! God is good! Amen!
May is upon us! Spring has come! Confirmation service is Sunday, May 22. Be in prayer for our students as they take this big step of the confirmation of their faith in Christ. Stay updated of all that is happening in our churches by utilizing the website, monthly newsletter, Facebook and, of course, our weekly bulletins.
God bless you richly this spring and coming summer season. If I can ever be of any service to you, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am honored to serve you.
Peace in Christ,