It is futile for us to plan for our future and ultimately our destiny without making God a part of the plan. James 4:14 tells us our life is but a “vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” The reality is that every single one of us will one day close our eyes in time and wake up in eternity. Approximately 150,000 people all over the world pass from time into eternity every day, and one day each one of us will be one of those 150,000.
Are you ready today and do you know where you would be and what you would see if you closed your eyes in time and you woke up in eternity? What does it mean to make God a part of the plan? The reality is one day you’re going to live forever, somewhere. Death is not the end; death is only the beginning. How do you make God a part of the plan as you plan for your future?
Jesus says in John 3 that you must be born again, and He says it twice so it must be important. He said, “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” What does that mean to be born again? First of all, it’s recognizing that you have sinned and because of your sin, you’re separated from God. God is holy and that means He is sinless and we are not. Because He is holy and sinless, heaven is a place of perfection. Not even one sin can enter heaven or it wouldn’t be heaven, it would be a place of corruption like earth. The reality is that “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8) Every one of us has sinned. Romans 3:10 says, “There is none righteous, no not one.” And Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Someone may think, “I’m okay, I’m a good person.” But Jesus said in Matthew 19, “No one is good except for God.” Jesus was teaching that you’re using the wrong standard for heaven. Everybody can find someone they are better than, but the reality is while you can find someone you’re better than, you can find someone better than you. Jesus was teaching heaven isn’t built on comparison because it’s a place of perfection. That means it’s a pass/fail test, and we all fall short of God’s perfect standard of heaven. Good is not what gets you into heaven, it’s perfection. You may be a good person, but you’re not a perfect person and that makes us all desperate for redemption.
Jesus was teaching heaven isn’t built on comparison because it’s a place of perfection.
This is not about your church affiliation or your denominational tradition or learning the catechism or being baptized…it’s about trusting in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Has there been a time when you have asked Jesus to forgive your sins? It’s not what you do for God that gets you into heaven, but it’s what God has done for you. Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” And Titus 3:5, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.” It’s the work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary and not your work at all that allows you to enter into heaven.
Have you trusted in Him? Have you put your faith in Him? Has there been that moment in your life that Jesus called being “born again”? You didn’t come into this world as a child of God. Sometimes we think everybody is a child of God, but that’s not at all what Jesus taught. You come into this world physically alive but spiritually dead because you’re born in sin. You’ve been born as a member of Adam’s fallen race with that fallen nature to sin. Consequently, you come into this world as a son of Adam or a daughter of Eve, but John1:12 says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God.” When you put your faith in the Son of God, only then are you born again as a child of God and only then have you been forgiven.
So has there been a moment in your life when you trusted in Jesus personally and what He did on the cross of Calvary to deliver you from sin’s penalty? Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death.” Yes, one day you’re going to die because of your sin, but Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” That is what brings eternal life in the Lord Jesus Christ.
When you put your faith in the Son of God, only then are you born again as a child of God and only then have you been forgiven.
What do you do? It’s simple, and Jesus wants it to be emphatically clear. He doesn’t want you to hope or wonder or wish or guess about going to heaven. You can know today with certainty that your home is forever in heaven. Romans 10:9-10, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:13, “For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.'”
If today you will call on the name of Jesus and say, “Jesus, forgive me of my sin and give me redemption,” He will save you instantly and deliver you from sin’s penalty, and today you can know for certain that you have life eternally.
In James 4, James tells us about the brevity of life, the frailty of life. Jesus is teaching it is sinful to plan for your future without making God a part of the plan. God is warning you and wooing you. He wants people to understand this life is not all there is and it’s not all that matters. Most of the time that’s exactly how we live, but today can be the day of salvation!