A friend of mine enjoys camping in the middle of the woods, alone and far away from people. It doesn’t matter to him if it’s clear, raining, or snowing. He loves to wake up to a cool morning, smell the fresh air, build a campfire and cook his breakfast. Myself, I prefer waking up in my own bed, building a fire in the woodstove, having a cup of freshly brewed coffee, and cooking breakfast in the microwave.
Though I’m not much for camping, I have observed the New Testament uses the imagery of a tent to describe the physical body. This is an appropriate euphemism since tent-life is temporary for most of us. I’m sure you’ve noticed that as we age, the condition of our tent changes. Mine sure has. Once strong and flexible, it now sags and is much weaker and fragile. But, regardless the current age or condition of our tent, there is coming a day when it will be packed up and we will go home.
Where will your “home” be? Have you ever seriously considered where you’ll live after you die? Many consider death to be a dismal topic and try to avoid talking about it. But it behooves us to be prepared for the inevitable. If there is no God, then everyone’s conjectures are equally valid. But if there is a God (and I believe there is), the Bible declares itself to be His instructions to prepare for both life and death.
The single-most important message of the Bible is that God loves us and wants each of us to live in Heaven forever, a place with no more pain, sickness, sadness, or death. But such a wonderful home comes at an extremely high price! So high, in fact, that none of us can afford it. That’s the bad news. But there is Good News: when Jesus died on the cross, He paid that high price, making it possible for you and everyone else to enter Heaven’s gates. But each of us must individually pick up our entrance pass from Jesus before we die. Otherwise, the Bible declares we will stand before God as Judge with no winning defense. Now that’s terrifying! But if you do pick it up, you will immediately be ushered into Heaven when you breathe your last in this life. What a difference!
So how does one pick up his or her entrance pass? By asking Jesus to forgive you for the things you’ve done wrong (the Bible calls this sin) and inviting Him to be the Leader of the rest of your life. This is summarized in 1 John 5:11-13.
“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this [eternal] life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
In other words, being welcomed into Heaven is all about having Jesus in this life. God wants to clear any confusion and have us know today where our “home” will be when it’s time to pack up our tent!