Be Sure of Heaven
As a young girl I once saw an old black-and-white Cecil B. DeMille film on the life of Jesus, titled "King of Kings." The film was very moving, and when I watched the crucifixion scene, I began to weep. I realized Jesus had died for me and that my sin had nailed Him to the cross. As a result, I confessed my sin to God and told Him I was sorry. I thanked Jesus for dying for my sin and asked God to forgive me. I told Him I believed Jesus had risen from the dead, and I invited Him to come live in my heart. I don’t remember any dramatic sensation afterward, but I knew my sin had been forgiven and I had been born again. That prayer began a love relationship with Jesus that is more real to me than any other. And I would like to share it with you...
Only God, through Christ, has the power to forgive sin.¹ It doesn’t matter how big the sin is or how small, it doesn’t matter how long ago it was committed or how recently. It doesn’t matter whether it was spontaneous or malicious. God will forgive you if you come to Him at the cross of Jesus Christ.
God forgave the men who nailed His Son to the cross when they asked Him to forgive them.² So why do you think He won’t forgive you when you ask? What do you think is beyond the forgiveness of God? Abortion? Adultery? Abuse? Hate? Hypocrisy? Doubt? Divorce? Drunkenness? Or Immorality? Or Murder? Or _____? You fill in the blank.
There is nothing you have ever done that He cannot or will not forgive if you will humbly ask Him.
A few years ago I found myself groping for a way to explain this to a woman who had been on death row for multiple murders and would be executed within ten hours of my visit. Tears glistened in her eyes as she looked at me beseechingly, needing assurance of the salvation she had claimed by faith six years earlier. That very night she would be stepping into eternity, and she was desperate for reassurance of her forgiveness by God. I asked her if she had ever been to the ocean, and she nodded "yes." I asked her if, as she had walked along the shore, she had seen small holes in the sand where ghost crabs had darted in and out. Again she nodded. I then asked if she had seen any larger holes, like those made by children digging. Beginning to look puzzled, she said "yes," she had seen holes like that. I persisted gently to see if she had ever seen huge holes created by machines dredging a channel or burying pipe lines on the beach. Her brow furrowed as she again acknowledged a quiet "yes." I then leaned toward her and pressed my point, "Velma, when the tide comes in, what happens to all those holes?"
A soft light began to gleam in her eyes, and a smile played at the corner of her lips as I answered my own question. "All the holes are covered equally by the water, aren’t they?
God’s forgiveness is like the tide that washes over all the ‘holes’ of your sins and covers all your sins equally." And Velma stepped into her heavenly home fully assured of her acceptance by God.
Praise God for the sacrifice of Jesus that is sufficient to cover all of your sins. All of them! Even "small" sins like gossip or worry, "medium-size" sins like losing your temper, "large" sins like murder—all sins are covered equally by the blood of Jesus. You will never be held accountable for the guilt of your sin because Jesus has taken the punishment for you. The price for your redemption has been paid! The sacrifice for your sin has been made! You are forgiven! Eternal life is yours! Heaven is open!
- You don’t have to do more good works than bad works.
- You don’t have to go to church every time the door opens.
- You don’t have to be religious.
- You don’t even have to be good!
But you and I must confess our sin to Him personally, specifically and honestly if we want to receive forgiveness. God promises, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."³
So confess your sin to God now, and begin to enjoy the blessed assurance that you are forgiven!
If you believe the message you have just read is true, you can pray this simple prayer by faith:
Dear God, I confess to You the hardness of my heart, the meanness of my thoughts, the coldness of my spirit, and the sinfulness of my life. I’m so sorry. I know it was for me – and because of me – that Jesus died. Please forgive me of all my sins – big, medium and small, past, present and future. Thank You for Jesus, Who washes my filthy garments of sin white as snow. I know now that I am clean and forgiven and dressed for eternity in heaven with You. I choose this day to turn away from my sin, and start living for You. Thank You for just giving me Jesus! Amen
If you've just prayed this prayer in your heart, we'd love to hear from you! Drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scripture references: 1)Matthew 9:1-8 2)Luke 23:34 3)1 John 1:9 (NIV)