Ask Father Paul 10-03-12
Answers to your questions about life, religion and the Bible
Pastors get some of the most interesting questions from people they meet and people in their congregations. Here are a few that I have received in my ministry over the years and via email for this column.
Dear Father Paul: I am a believer in Jesus, but I have doubts from time-to-time and am concerned that I might not be really saved and may not go to heaven when I die. Is it possible for a person to know for sure and for certain that they are saved and bound for heaven? -— K.R.
Dear K.R.: Indeed it is ... yes, it absolutely is. As a matter of fact, the Christian faith strongly teaches the security of eternity in heaven for its believers and is the only major world religion that offers mankind such a guarantee. All other faiths preach that you “might ... or might not” be admitted into heaven, even if you follow all their tenets. Simply put, their deity could choose to send you to heaven or to hell based simply on his whim at the time of your death. But don’t just take my word for this, check it out for yourself in the very writings, teachings and “Holy Books” of most all of the world’s other major well-known religions.
An eternal afterlife in some kind of heaven-like place is simply not promised in any other major world religion. It “may happen” they say, but it is not promised. Again, check it out. Don’t just take my word, do your homework. I suggest that you even talk with spokespersons for the other major world religions. Ask them yourself.
The Christian faith, on the other hand, does promise life with God in heaven for eternity to all those who love God and who receive for themselves the blood sacrifice of his son Jesus on the cross according to the Holy Bible.
This promise is received by faith in the words and promises of God as found in the Bible.
You are unfortunately listening to the lies of the Devil whom the Bible calls “the father of lies.” He will tell you, “If you were really a Christian, you wouldn’t sin.” But Jesus himself in the Gospel of John 3:16-17 (NIV) says this: ”For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” Yes, we sin, but the solution to sin is to struggle against sin, and when we do sin, repent and ask God for his promised forgiveness.
The Apostle John seals this idea that we do indeed, as believers in Christ, have the full confidence of an eternal home in heaven, when he writes this in I John 5:13-14 (NIV): “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. This is the assurance we have in approaching God.”
So why on earth would anyone reject God’s promise in favor of a “maybe” when eternity is at stake?
I urge you to stop doubting and believing the lies of the Devil K.R., and instead believe the truth about what God says to you as a believer in Christ concerning your future home.
Do you have a question? I will try to answer your question in the paper. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Father Paul Massey is pastor of Church of the Holy Cross Charismatic Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, Georgia. Church of the Holy Cross is a Spirit-filled, sacramental/liturgical church where Jesus is Lord. You are cordially invited to worship with us this coming Sunday. More information on the church, worship times, directions and pod-casts of Father Paul’s Sunday messages are at: www.holycrosschurch.wordpress.com