As I took my eldest daughter to school this morning, the cold weather made me wonder about which is better: hot or cold? Do you prefer hot or cold weather? I’ve always said that I prefer cold weather over hot weather for a simple reason: you can put on enough to stay warm, but you can’t get naked enough to stay cool. When we moved to Fort Worth in 2003, we incidentally chose the hottest day of the summer, and one of the hotter ones in recent years. The temperature was around 110° F. I forget how many gallons of iced tea, water, and Gatorade we drank that day as we moved furniture from the moving truck to the apartment, but I do remember it was blazingly hot! And did I say it was very, very hot?
But that North Texas heat is nothing compared to hell. In Texas, it will cool down in the summer, and the winters get cold (albeit not as cold as Minnesota). Yep, the torment of Texas heat eventually passes, but the heat and fires of hell last forever. The saying goes that if you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait a couple hours—it’ll change. Well, if you don’t like the idea of hell, accept Christ—He’ll change you!
Believing in Jesus is more than a “get out of hell” pass. It’s a life-changing event. It changes your perspective on life, and changes your destiny for eternity. Jesus said that he came to give a life more abundant (John 10:10), meaning a life of hope, joy, mercy, and freedom. Without him, we are trapped in our sinfulness, facing judgment, and living in hopelessness.
Being a following of Jesus is more than just trying to live by certain principles. It’s more than attempting to earn enough credits that God will bless you and let you into heaven. It is a lifestyle—one of finding ways of showing God you love him because He first loved you.
How do you obtain this freedom? How do you receive this gracious gift of eternal life in heaven instead of eternal death in hell? First, you must realize that you are in need of God’s salvation. You must acknowledge that you need Jesus. Scripture says that we all have sinned and all fall short of God’s perfect glory. Further, it teaches that only those who are perfect can get into heaven. Thus, without help, we are condemned already because we have sinned. Even the slightest sin tarnishes us.
Next, you must believe that Jesus died to pay for sin. He took man’s sin upon himself, so that all who believe in him can, and will, be saved. Only through faith in Jesus alone for salvation can you be saved. You can’t earn it by works. Religion cannot save you. Only by God’s grace, received through faith in Jesus, are you saved. If you believe this, then you must confess it.
Will you accept Jesus today?