I still remember where I was when I heard it; the question that has the potential to alter one's entire view of life. The question that is so simple, and yet at the same time, so difficult to get out. The question that demands an answer and determines your destiny.
"When you die will you go to heaven?"
Looking back I am certain this question, and all of the circumstances surrounding it, were carefully planned and put into action by none other than God Himself. After all it is God who draws us to Himself, He only uses people as His mouthpiece.
I had attended church regularly as a little girl, but not so much after my parent's divorce.
And then, during the year I was 12 years old, my relationship with my mother had become so filled with tension that I moved in with my Grandparents. Directly behind them lived a Pastor, his wife and 3 sons. Not surprisingly that family was everything mine wasn't, including filled with laughter, fun and faith.
One evening as the Pastor's wife and I were chatting she asked the question:
"Will you go to heaven when you die?"
"I think so." Was my uncertain reply.
"Do you want to be sure?"
(OK who doesn't want to be sure? Of course I wanted to be sure!!!)
"Then you just ask Jesus into your heart through prayer. Do you want to do that now?"
That was all there was to it. She prayed, I prayed, and Jesus took up residence in my heart. How do I know?
Because my life was never the same after that day. No, it wasn't (and still isn't) perfect, but I began to know a hope and a future that I had never known before. Reading my bible, even if I didn't understand it, filled me with excitement.
Unfortunately there were many times over the years when I chose my own paths over godly ones. In fact I have chosen to go down some very dark alleys of rebellion, for which I have endured costly consequences, and yet I know that I was never alone. God allowed me to choose the path but He never left my side and throughout it all He never stopped calling me back to Himself.
A short time later the Pastor's family moved away and I haven't seen or heard from them since. But sometimes I wonder......
--Does she have any idea that the seed she planted over 30 years ago has been tended and cared for and harvested in a big way?
--Does she know that because she was bold enough to ask the question, the man I married has come to a saving faith in Jesus?
--Does she realize that my mother has re-confirmed her faith after attending church with our family?
--Does she know that my children, the next generation, will be spending eternity in heaven?
I guess if I don't get a chance to tell her all of these things here on earth I will definitely be relating them to her in heaven! Will you be there? Do you want to know for sure? If you have already made that decision then let me ask you this:
Who asked you?
Who have you asked?
Easter Sunday was especially meaningful to my family this year as we celebrated the baptism of my two youngest children. Does life get any better than knowing that each of your children has confirmed their heavenly destiny through public confession of Jesus Christ as Lord and submitting to the cleansing of Christian Baptism?
I am so glad that "once upon a time" someone had the courage to ask....