“Are you going to heaven when you die?” I asked. “I hope so,” she replied. It wasn’t the answer I was looking for but it would have to do.
My grandmother and I were taking an afternoon walk when I asked the question. I’m not sure what prompted me to ask-childhood curiosity I suppose. Or perhaps because she and my grandfather were special and I wanted to make sure my time with them on earth wasn’t it. An eternity of spoiling was more appealing.
Over the years, my grandmother and I discussed numerous religious matters. She taught Sunday School for many years, and since I had been to Bible college she picked me for answers. Thirty years after asking the original question, it was evident she was certain of her eternal home.
God prompted John to write for that very purpose: “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.” (I John 5:13)
Many things in life are uncertain: jobs, investments, fuel costs, stock prices, faithful relationships, the birth of healthy children, health insurance. We learn to adapt to uncertainties while ensuring what we can. But forgiveness, salvation and eternal life should be certain.
Being unsure of my relationship with God and wondering whether I’ve committed an unforgivable sin are unsettling states of mind leading to missed opportunities, spiritual stagnation, fear of moving forward, emotional trauma and missing God’s best. Confession of sin brings a relationship, and God won’t take what he freely gives. If you’re connected through Christ, live with confidence your sins are forgiven, your eternity is certain and your present is as exciting as you let God make it.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, remove the uncertainties that hinder our confident living.