The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

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Religion

December 5, 2009

Why do you want to go to heaven? To avoid hell? Or is there more to it?

From the Pulpit

Do you have any desire at all to love Jesus? Someone asks, “What do you mean, love Jesus? I love Jesus with all my heart.” Do you really love Jesus? What is it about Jesus you love? His sacrifice? His mercy? His grace? Or what He can give you?

I have a question I was asked, and I like to ask it to all those who love Jesus. The question goes like this: If you could go to heaven, and have no pain, no suffering, never thirst or be tired, live a life of complete joy but Jesus wasn’t there, would you still want to go?

When I ask this question, most people immediately say, “Well, no, I want to go where Jesus is,” which of course is the appropriate Christian answer. But seriously, upon pondering all this, would you still want heaven if Jesus wasn’t there? Makes you think, doesn’t it? We all think of heaven as perfection – streets of gold, no clouds, the only light being produced by God Himself, no pain, no fear, no worry. It’s a perfect place. But without Jesus?

See, the answer we come up with, if we dig down in our hearts, indicates why we serve God. It shows us why we do what we do. Are you serving Christ because you love Him, or because He can keep you from going to hell?

Is Jesus your Savior, or is He your Lord? You say, “It’s the same thing.” No. But He cannot be one without the other. If He is not your Lord, then He is not your Savior. You cannot expect Jesus to save you from your sins and then live your life how you want to. Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but ONLY he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I tell them plainly, I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”

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