The Right Answer
If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
In 1955, a dance instructor and manager of an Arthur Murray Studio in Tampa had wearily turned in just before dawn on Sunday morning, after an almost-all-night dance party. He set his clock radio to awaken him to music at the appointed time, but was jarred wide awake by a voice that sounded as if it were thundering right out of heaven. It was the weekly broadcast of Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse, a Philadelphia pastor and one of the first great radio evangelists.
Jim got out of bed to change the station, but before he reached the radio, the preacher stopped him with a question that set him back on the edge of the bed: "Suppose that you were to die today and stand before God, and He were to ask you, ‘What right do you have to enter into My heaven?'—what would you say?"
Jim was dumbfounded! He continued to listen to the explanation of the plan of redemption through faith in Christ—a message he had never heard before. On that remarkable Sunday afternoon, Jim made the transition from presumption to truth. He had presumed that he was good enough to make it into heaven; he didn't realize that he was calling God a liar—God, who says, "There is none good, no not one." He knew he would never make it!
That week he stopped by a corner newsstand and asked if they sold religious books. The owner had only one, The Greatest Story Ever Told. Each night Jim read a portion, and when he completed the book, it seemed as if the cross of Christ had been erected right in his apartment. He slipped out of his chair onto his knees and asked Christ to come into his heart and forgive him and cleanse him of his sins . . . he found the answer.
By the way, Jim's name was D. James Kennedy. He was founder and pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, founder of Knox Theological Seminary, as well as the international evangelism ministry called "Evangelism Explosion," training people in every country of the world, showing them how to share the gospel, asking that famous question.
What would your answer be today? Why do you think you're going to heaven? What right do you have to ever think you could live for eternity in the presence of God's glory? Do you have an answer?
There is only one way. You must travel on that bridge fashioned in the form of an old rugged cross—the eternal bridge between earth and heaven, between corruption and consummation, between religion and redemption. This is the bridge built by our Redeemer, and no religious acts or good deeds will allow you to walk across it. Heaven is on the other side for all who are willing to come by Christ's finished work alone.
If you have already believed in Christ for salvation, then ask yourself this question: "God is at work in the world around me; am I taking part in it? Is there someone in my life to whom I should pose this life-changing, eternity-destined question? If so, what are you waiting for?
Today is someone's day of salvation; go . . . ask the question!
Prayer Point: We have been offered the most precious gift by our Savior, Jesus Christ. As Romans 12:1 says, it is our "reasonable service" to give our lives completely to Him in response to His mercy. Ask God to begin to show you, through prayer and the reading of His Word, how you can best take part in the work of spreading the gospel.
Extra Refreshment: 1 Timothy 1—a reminder that God saves sinners, not good people.
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