Ready or Not

by Chaplain Michael L. White

Having just celebrated Easter Sunday on 30 March, perhaps thoughts of eternal life are still fresh in our minds. All of us want to go to Heaven and live forever. According to the Christian Bible, this is available to ANYONE who accepts Jesus Christ for Who He is and for what He did to make salvation possible. Despite this longing to live forever, however, few of us are ready to die right now in order to begin living our eternal life!

This reminds me of the story about a zealous pastor who wanted to make sure everyone in his congregation was ready to go to Heaven. One Sunday, while preaching on the topic of Heaven, the pastor paused his sermon and asked,

"All right now--everyone who is ready to go to Heaven, raise your hand." Everyone in the congregation raised his or her hand, except for one gentleman. The pastor looked with surprise at him and asked,

"Brother Joe, don't you want to go to Heaven?"

"Sure, I do, Pastor," said the man.

"Then why don't you raise your hand?" the pastor asked incredulously.

"Well, I thought you were gettin' up a group to go right now!"

By the description in the Bible, Heaven must be a beautiful and wonderful place, and everlasting life may be the best part of all, but perhaps it is fear that holds us to this old world: fear of the pain of death; fear of separation from loved ones left behind; maybe even fear that we may not actually get into Heaven. When we place our faith and hope in Christ, however, fear must yield to calm assurance. After all, that's why Jesus came in the first place, isn't it?

Feel free to talk with me about Heaven and Eternal Life anytime. God bless!!