Have you ever been told you’re going to hell?
For years my wife and I attended church but one evening we discovered something startling …. we were not saved but headed to hell. This happened one evening when our Pastor asked, “If you died this evening, where would you go?” I told him I’m going to Heaven. Then he asked, “Why?” I responded …. “Because I’m a good guy!”
The Pastor waited briefly, then told me, “you have the wrong answer.” His words shocked me to my core as I have come to believe “like father, like son”. Therefore, I sensed I was leading my boys to hell.
This motivated me to act … but I didn’t know what to do!
Two weeks later, I was invited to attend a CBMC luncheon with Congressman Bill Armstrong being the lunch speaker. He shared his story about growing up attending church. One day a young man came into his office and asked him the same question I was asked by my Pastor. The Congressman had the same answer and the young man told him “he had the wrong answer”.
I felt like God was directing the messaging to me and me only. A member of CBMC, Bob Merwin, came to my office and offered to disciple me through Biblical foundations. Six weeks later, I took a leap of faith, repented from my sin nature, asked Jesus to take control of me and became a follower of Jesus.
In “Not a Fan” author, Kyle Idleman, shared that after speaking in Houston, a man came up to him with tears in his eyes. The man began telling him the story of how his daughter went to college and turned her back on the faith. When he finished, he didn’t ask Idleman why she did it or what went wrong. He wasn’t looking for an explanation. Instead, with one sentence he put his finger on what he thought happened: he had raised her in church but didn’t raise her in Christ.
In other words, he had raised her to look right on the outside but didn’t teach her about the inside, so she never had a real and living relationship with Jesus. He had made her feel guilty for the wrong things she did, but somehow, she missed the reality of God’s amazing grace. He taught her to be a fan and not a follower of Jesus!
Fans of Jesus know about Him, but they don’t know Him! A fan is an “enthusiastic admirer” who’s headed for hell. Fans want to be close enough Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires any sacrifice. Fans may be fine with repeating a prayer, attending church on the weekend, and slapping a Jesus fish bumper sticker on their bumper.
But is this the extent of the relationship Jesus wants with us? NO! He wants us to develop an intimate relationship with Him. WHY? Because an intimate relationship with Jesus is eternal life.
There is nothing more important in our lives than our salvation. Most men, even those who attend church, may be completely missing out on the power and the grace of Jesus Christ and an eternal relationship for eternity with Jesus. Don’t let that be you. Your soul, and the souls of your wife and children depend on it.
Here are some thoughts for you ….
Ask a mature Christian friend or your church Pastor for help;
Find people connected with CBMC, Navigators or Forging Disciples – all which are staffed with experienced followers of Jesus who can help you know Jesus and gain eternal life – and then stay with them so they can guide you down the path to become a committed follower of Jesus; or
Don’t change anything, keep doing what you’re comfortable doing like many men do …..