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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Is the Road to Heaven Paved with Bad Intentions?

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions; is the road to heaven paved with bad ones?

The first proverbial sentence is stating something that many have not acknowledged. You can intend to do and even do many good things and still wind up in hell. There are many roads to take but only one will take you where you want to go. Many of these roads will appear to go in the right direction for some time but only one of them will allow you to arrive at your planned destination. Heaven will be found on a one-way street.

The Apostle Paul makes the most succinct statement about the road to heaven. He says that we must confess Jesus as Lord openly and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead. The road to heaven is paved with outward actions and an inward belief. Why both?

Saying, "Jesus is Lord, " will not ensure your place in heaven any more than saying, "I am Elvis" will get you booked in Las Vegas. The continual outward action generally reveals what a person believes. The statement is given so that there is no doubt why you are acting like you do. Those who say that their faith is private and never tell anyone that Jesus is their Lord are denying their so-called belief. The statement is clear and yet surveys reveal that only 5% or less of Christians make this statement to those whom they have been called to evangelize. 

The statement "Jesus is Lord" is costly. It will assure you of lost friends and ridicule if you say it enough. It will make people avoid you if you really believe it. It is a significant statement of your faith for it takes a stand when there is a cost.

Saying "Jesus is Lord" is done by the way we live our lives too. It is in every relationship. If Jesus is Lord I will treat each person as Jesus does. I will love them and forgive them. I will encourage and be their friend. I will help them find the path to heaven.

Believing in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead changes the way you act in this world. This world is not our home. The God who raised Jesus will also raise us. I am not to make this world my home for I have a home in heaven. I am not to trust in the things of this world because my trust is put in the God of heaven. I am not to fear the dangers of this world for my soul is assured a place in heaven.

All the outward actions I do to prove I am a Christian will not replace a true belief in a living Jesus. The road to heaven is paved with outward actions and and an inward belief. Each day I get closer to heaven because my days are numbered. I will either prove myself to be on the right road or I won't. My journey will either be one of assurance or doubt. I will always doubt when my inward belief is not lived out in actions.

Are you on the road to heaven or do you just have good intentions?

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