The Way to Heaven :: John Lysaught

When we navigate through life, we need a destination to reach, a point of completion in our lives. One must first decide what the destination is in order to begin the journey. Christians have a destination, and that is Heaven with our Lord Jesus and Father. Nonbelievers have a destination, and that is hell.

Jesus is our way. He is the only way to Heaven. Through Him is our access to God the Father. There is no other way to Heaven or access to a relationship with God. No matter how much unbelievers try and search and search, they will not find their way to Heaven, but will find their way to hell.

In John 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” This doesn’t say by good works, by living a good life, by being kind to others, etc., but says through Jesus. There is no way around this. No loopholes, no shortcuts, or by any other means but through Jesus. If one does not go through Jesus to go to the Father, they are destined for hell.

The world wants people to think differently. Society (those that say there is an afterlife) wants people to believe that they don’t need Christ to attain life everlasting in Heaven. The world tells people if they live good lives and are good people then they will get to Heaven. This is a lie. This is a lie from Satan to snare and trap people to go with him to hell. And people believe this lie!

Look at Romans 10: 9-13:

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

A belief in Jesus is all that is needed. There are no footnotes or strings attached to this. A heartfelt belief is all that is needed. So simple, right? So why is it so hard for people to accept this truth? Where is the difficulty in this? It is from our sinful, rebellious nature and the lies of Satan!

Don’t listen to the lies of Satan. Jesus is the only way to have a relationship with the Father (John 14:6). He is our Savior of this desolate world. He is so awesome that when we stop and take a few moments to ponder this, the awe of Him is almost too much to fathom.

We see in John 6:44 that Jesus tells us, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

That word draw? In Greek it means to “drag,” much like dragging a sack of rocks from one point to another. When we are dragged to Jesus, one of two things will happen: we will respond positively or negatively. We say yes or no to the calling of Salvation.  We choose the world or Jesus.

When we say yes to Jesus, our eternity changes in an instant. We are no longer damned to hell but destined for heaven. It is through our acceptance of the Way that we have access to the Father.  Through our conversion we become sons of God, heirs to Him and joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).

You get that? We are part of God’s family when we accept the free gift of Grace through Jesus. We become adopted sons and daughters (Ephesians 1:5) and therefore become heirs to Him in eternity.  What a great thing this is when we accept the gift of Salvation!

Remember that Salvation is a gift to us and we can accept or deny this gift. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” You notice something here? It is said “not of yourselves.” This means that we cannot do anything to affect our salvation.

Verse 9 says, “Not of works.” Nothing one does can earn him or her salvation. Good works, good living, good giving, etc., does nothing for us to earn Salvation. We cannot put a deposit down on Heaven. We could do good deeds and live wholesome lives every single day, but without Jesus as our Savior, without accepting His free gift, we are destined to hell.

This makes nonbelievers angry. They don’t think a loving God would send these types of people to hell.  What they don’t understand is that God is also a just God and people send themselves to hell.

God is a just God. In His justice towards man, it is the sentence of death to those who sin against Him.  And you know what? We are all sinners, and committing sin is unlawful in the eyes of God. We all deserve damnation for sinning against God, but God has mercy on us through the sacrifice of His Son because He loves us and wants us as His own (John 3:16).

God can’t have a relationship with us because of sin, but through Jesus as our sin sacrifice, we are washed clean of sin and are therefore sinless in the eyes of God. This is paramount to our faith. Through our belief and faith in Jesus, our destination to hell changes to heaven.

The world hates us because of this. They hate God; and since we are children and heirs of God, they, by default, hate us.

Hopefully we won’t have to wait much longer for Jesus to call us to our real home with Him. We wait patiently and eagerly for Him to meet us in the air. We are expectantly waiting for that blink of an eye when we will be changed and will leave this horrid world. This will be a momentous occasion in world history. And for those left behind? Well, there are hard times coming then.

We all get to choose our path. God will drag us to Jesus, but it is our choice to answer yes or no to Him.  We choose which way we go: to heaven or hell. We don’t deserve grace; but God gives it freely through His Son whom He gave to be a sacrifice for our sins so that we would be reconciled through Jesus unto God.

What will you do? If you are saved, urge those close to you to heed the call of God. If you are investigating this thing we call Christianity, time is getting short to make that decision. Get off the fence and jump into Christ and what He offers to all of us sinners.

We all make a choice of our destiny. It is which way we want to go, up to heaven or down to hell. Not choosing the way of Christ will lead to hell. Choosing Jesus leads to heaven.

If you want Jesus in your life, now is the moment to ask Him to forgive your sins and accept His free gift of Grace. This is the most important decision to make in your life: heaven or hell. I pray those of you who are reading this choose Jesus.

Lukewarm? :: By John Lysaught

There are two misconceptions that Satan puts on the world. One is that Heaven is available to unbelievers that lead good lives. The second is that hell is only reserved for the worst of the worse. So, the people of the “world” feel comfortable with their generalized beliefs in heaven and hell. How sad.  Even when faced with the truth of the Bible and the need for salvation in Christ, they still believe the lies of Satan.

I see that there are three types of people. The first is those living for themselves, believing the lies of Satan. The second is the lukewarm believer, and the third is the true believer. The first is the easiest to see. These people are selfishly living their lives for themselves without accepting Christ. The second are those who have one foot with Christ and one foot in the world, wanting the benefits of both living for self and Christ. The last, the true believers, are living each day for God, not themselves, and are heaven- focused.

I’ve been all three, in the order listed above. I’ve lived for myself and myself only. I accepted Christ but had one foot in the world, living a lie to myself. And now? And now, I do my best to live for Christ each day with serving Him and being heaven-focused. I want to focus on those that are lukewarm in their relationship with Christ. Being hot or cold is pretty easy to discern in ourselves, but being lukewarm can be a challenge.

Regardless of what you may think, or if you disagree with me, I believe that each person falls into one of the categories I listed above. I want people to know that if they live in the world or are lukewarm, change is possible. What is important is that if you are living lukewarm, you can be all-in for Christ.

Colossians 3:2 tells us to “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” We need to focus on the things above (God) and not this world.  We can do this by keeping our eyes on God and not man or the things of man. When we have Christ in our hearts, our eyes will be on Him and not the things of the world. This has to be constant, not just when we feel like it.

It doesn’t take that much effort, but really, it just takes a change of heart. Matthew 6:21 tells us that where are treasure is, is where our hearts are. The question to ask yourself is what is your treasure? If you want your treasure to be Jesus, then work for that each day.  Don’t give up on yourself.  The Holy Spirit will lead you and convict you to do this if this is what you really want.

Don’t lie to yourself though. Examine your heart to see where it is. Psalm 139:23-24 tells us, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Conduct a thorough exam of your heart; and if there is something in there that needs to be cut out, pray for this to happen.

Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Only with a clean heart and a renewing of our spirit can we fully seek Christ’s marvelous grace and power in our lives. We need to have right hearts to live fully for Christ. Anything less is questionable. We can’t love and hate at the same time. We can’t love parts of the world and love Christ at the same time. We need to turn our backs to the world and turn our faces to Christ.

If we don’t, we are falling short. We can’t be lukewarm Christians. Revelation 3:16 says, “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” This statement is very clear and concise. If you are lukewarm, be wary of what you are doing, and change now. Not tomorrow or when you are older or down the road sometime; do it now.

I use this verse to remind myself of the importance of not being lukewarm in my faith. Have I? Yes. Do I still? Sometimes. But when I catch myself being lukewarm, I quickly repent and refocus my mind to Him.  To me it’s a heart thing. If my heart is set on the things above, how can they be muddied by the things of the world? They can’t. It takes a conscious effort to put the things above to the side to satisfy the lusts of the flesh.

Satan wants us to think it is okay to be lukewarm. He wants us to believe we can have the best of both worlds. We can’t though. We need to choose one or the other, and this takes an honest appraisal of ourselves. Don’t believe Satan’s lies. Don’t get tripped up by lukewarm messages at church or lukewarm justifications from others. Open your Bible and see for yourself what it says about being righteous and doing the will of God.

Being lukewarm in our faith is believing the lies of Satan. If you are just floating through life with faith in one hand and serving self in the other, it is wrong. 1 John 3:10 tells us, “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”

Ok, so what is righteousness? If you are unsure, it is living justly and is doing the will of God (definition found on click here for a full definition). What is the will of God? John 6:40 sums it up this way: “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” And, if you believe in Jesus, you will need to follow Him and follow His example in life (1 Cor. 11:1). Here are a few examples of what following Jesus means:

Matthew 16:24, “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

A lukewarm believer does not practice righteousness and is not doing the will of the Father. A lukewarm believer is trying to live in the world and with Christ at the same time. Eternity is not something to mess with or take lightly; and when living a lukewarm life, this is exactly what is happening.

Being all-in for Christ is how we should live. From our waking moments until we go to bed for the night, our thoughts need to be on Him, not self, or in between. This can take effort at first if you haven’t been practicing this, but with a little self-discipline, it will happen. It takes every moment of your day having Christ in the forefront of your mind. It takes keeping Him in the background of your thoughts. After a while, it becomes natural to do this – it becomes a habit.

Brothers and sisters, search your heart of hearts for your standing with being lukewarm. Let the Word reach into your innermost parts to show you where you are. If you are lukewarm, change, and change now; for we don’t know when Christ will take us home.