The Most Important “Plan Ahead” Decision You Will Ever Make
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. – Romans 10:9 NIV
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. – Acts 4:12 NIV
There is no question that planning for your financial future is very important ……. for about 80 or 90 years max. After that, it may still be important to whoever inherits your estate. But it certainly becomes a non-issue for you.
What really matters is how you plan for eternity. You have a choice. You can either spend eternity with God or apart from Him. God isn’t going to make you be with Him if you don’t want to be. He certainly wants to be with you.
The Problem of Sin
We can’t get to Heaven on our own account. Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” God is holy (Psalm 99:5). Because He is holy, he can’t tolerate sin or have it in His presence. But God loves you and He made a way for you to be with Him.
The Bridge to God
God is not only holy, He is also just. As a just judge, He requires payment for sin. So God sent His son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross as payment for our sin.
God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement through the shedding of His blood – to be received by faith. Romans 3:25 NIV
If anything is more amazing than what God did for us, it is that Jesus willingly laid down His life on the cross for us. Jesus said,
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to take it up again. – John 10:18
Jesus died for us and rose again, conquering death and making a way for us to live forever with Him in Heaven. Now that’s love!
Salvation Through Faith
All we have to do to receive Christ’s gift is to believe and repent. Jesus said,
“The time has come,” He said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Mark 1:15
We are to turn from our sin and trust Jesus as Lord of our life. When we do this he will send the Holy Spirit to help us.
The New Testament has many verses that talk about being “in” Christ. When we repent and believe in Jesus as lord and savior, we are filled with the very spirit of God, the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead on the 3rd day. This is what it means to be in Christ. The Bible says when we are in Christ, we have the ability to live victoriously and be fruitful through the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. – Romans 8:1 NIV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. – 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV
And we have incredible strength and power.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13
A New Identity
You may have heard a Christian say, “I’m just a sinner saved by grace.” While it is true that we are saved by the grace of God, once we are saved, God gives us a new identity. We no longer have to fail in sin again and again. We are free from the chains of sin (Romans 6:1-2). We are to walk in our new identity. We are to live by the Spirit not by flesh. Galatians 5 provides a contrast between living by the spirit and living by the flesh.
I heard a pastor explain it this way: To live by the Spirit doesn’t mean we will never struggle with any of the items in the Works of the Flesh category, but if we live in this category without regret or repentance, then we have to question whether we have truly made a commitment to Christ. Walking with the Lord, we should continually see progress in moving from the flesh category to the spirit category.
Ask Christ to be your Lord and Savior
If you are ready to make Jesus your lord and savior, you can do so by praying something like the following. The important thing isn’t that you say specific words, but that you surrender your will to Jesus and turn from your sin to follow Him.
I want you to be Lord of my life. I believe that you died on the cross to pay for my sins. I turn from my sin now and ask you to be my savior and lord. Please give me your Holy Spirit so I can walk in your ways. Thank you for saving me and loving me.
If you made a commitment to Jesus right now, please let me know. I would love to celebrate with you and pray for you. You should also let someone you care about know. Don’t keep this amazing news to yourself! It’s also very important to get connected to other Christ followers. Start attending a local church that preaches the Bible and holds a high view of Jesus. Get yourself a Bible and start reading the New Testament. The first four books of the New Testament are a great place to start – they are all about Jesus. God bless you.