So often in life people take things for granted. Some assume that their way is the right way and they aren’t willing to change and yet expect good results. Others know that they should act on certain issues now but they either, render a callous attitude and put it off until later, or do nothing and just assume that things will work out in the end. Unfortunately, like the lonely pilot who had engine trouble, his assumption of being saved didn’t work when he faced the tragedy of the missing parachute.
The danger of putting things off until tomorrow is that not one of us is guaranteed a tomorrow. The Bible says in Psalm 118:24 that “this is the day the Lord has made”. And in Matthew 6:34 we’re told not to worry about tomorrow. In Lamentations 3:22-23 we read that His mercies are new every morning. So today is only the day that we have because tomorrow is not here yet.
Some people just don’t believe in God and have no desire to know Him. But for those who know He is real, there are two main reasons why they don’t repent for their sins:
One is that they assume we’re all saved and headed for Heaven because Jesus died on the cross for everyone. They proclaim to be “Christians”, but they don’t believe that they need to repent for their sins; they just need to acknowledge that Jesus died on the cross. And they assume that they’ll go to Heaven when they die because after all, God IS love and a loving God surely doesn’t send people to hell—if there even really is a hell. They take Jesus’ words, “It is finished”, to mean that now every single person is automatically forgiven for their sins and will go to Heaven when they die when, in fact, Jesus was saying that it was over because He had become the ultimate “Lamb of God” who would take away the sins of the world, and that no other sacrifice was necessary.
It’s a false doctrine that says there is no need for repentance, and that regardless of whether we believe in God or not, upon death we will all stand in the presence of God, realize and acknowledge who He is, and be welcomed into Heaven. This is a very foolish and “anti-Christ” attitude because we’re told in James 2:19 that even “the devil believes and trembles”, but he sure isn’t going to Heaven. Every one of us is lost—doomed for judgment and punishment for our sins—and will stand before Christ to be judged unless we repent and are saved; and that means inviting Jesus into our heart, asking Him to forgive us of all of our sin and committing our lives to Him.
- And then will I [Jesus] profess unto them, ‘I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity’.—Matthew 7:23
- Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, ‘Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels’.—Matthew 25:41
Jesus said, “It is finished” because He had fulfilled the promise of God that was prophesied by the prophets throughout the Old Testament. There was nothing more to do as God had fulfilled His promise through His Son and had now provided the way for all of His children to come home. It was finished!
- For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.—John 3:16-17
The second excuse doesn’t take God or Heaven seriously and these people would rather live now and worry about Heaven later—just like the foolish pilot who didn’t have a parachute. He didn’t worry about it and assumed that if he ever needed one it would be there, so why bother looking for it now? The problem is that no one knows what the future holds, when it will be their turn to die, or even if they’ll have time to think about a “parachute” when facing an unexpected death.
People look at Heaven as a place where they’ll live after death, but what they don’t realize is that “life” begins here on earth and continues throughout eternity; it doesn’t begin at eternity. For the Christian, life begins when we give our heart to Jesus. Earth is the battleground where we fight to share the gospel and love of God with others, and Heaven is at the end of the narrow path that we are traveling on, where we will live with our Lord in peace and joy forever. For those who don’t come to Jesus and repent, they live on the broad path and are following it to their destruction into an eternity where they will forever be separated from Jehovah God, but always in the presence of the god they served on earth; the devil.
- Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.—Matthew 7:13-14
Jesus tells a story about a rich fool who refused to share his wealth with the poor and who even made sure that they didn’t eat his crumbs. He was pleased with himself and loved his riches, and assumed that one day he would make it right with God. However, he died that night and never got that one last chance to repent and come to Christ. We’re told that he looked up from the burning flames of hell and asked Abraham to allow Lazarus, the poor beggar who he’d denied the crumbs, to give him some water. But Abraham told him:
- Remember that thou in thy lifetime receives thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.—Luke 16:19-25
We really do reap what we sow. And if we want to ensure that Heaven is our eternal home, then we need to begin now and that means not assuming that we are going there because Jesus died on the cross, but knowing that we are going there because we have come to Jesus, repented of our sins and turned away from the world to follow Him.
- Then Peter said unto them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost’.—Acts 2:38
Yes, Jesus died for everyone, but only those who have repented and been cleansed by His blood and reborn with His Spirit will follow Him into Heaven. Jesus will have become our “parachute” in life, the One who saved us from sure death. But those who just assume they are saved will be like the pilot who faced the tragedy of a “missing parachute”. Don’t put it off; don’t assume anything. Go to Jesus now and repent while there’s still time.
- Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’.— John 3:3