Jesus' words remind us that the only way for people to make it to heaven is for them to put their faith and trust in Him, and then demonstrate that faith and trust in their lives. I read one time about a mischievous (I hate to say "bad") boy named Dylan. Someone asked him, "Dylan, how do you expect to get into heaven?" And he said, "I'm going to keep running in and out and slamming the door until the Lord says, "For heaven's sake, Dylan, come on in." That's not what's going to get people to Heaven. Your family members and my family members and your friends and my friends and your neighbors and my neighbors are going to have to surrender their lives to Jesus and become devoted followers of Him (John 14:6). And if they're not wanting and willing to do that, they're going to spend eternity, separated from God and from us, in that terrible place the Bible refers to as Hell. What that means is that we need to make sure that everyone we know has begun a relationship with Jesus, and even try to lead people we barely know (or don't even know) into a relationship with Him as well.
In this past Sunday's sermon, we learned about the importance of especially sharing our faith with the young, teenage, and adult children we have in our lives. Here is what I said about that.
Listen, Mom and Dad. I'm sure that you have some great goals in your life for your children - career goals, marriage goals, financial goals, and spiritual goals. But your greatest goal in life should be to win your child or children to faith in Jesus Christ. And then help them to grow to become a mighty or woman of God. So let me ask you a Question. "Do you know if your child or children know the Lord? Have you asked them? Have you told them why it's important for you to know Him? Have you told them how important your relationship with Jesus Christ is?" The reason I'm a Christian today is because my Mother fervently and faithfully witnessed to me. Here is something that amazes me. People make all kinds of plans for life. They make holiday plans, vacation plans, financial plans, educational plans, and plans for the security of their families. But they make little or no preparation at all for their family's eternal security or destiny. So here is another question I have for you. "How is Heaven going to be Heaven for you if your loved ones aren't there because you never told them about Jesus and about how important He is to you and about how important He needs to be to them?" Charlie Shedd in his book, "Promises to People" wrote to his children, "I promise that I will do everything I can to put your hand in the hand of the Heavenly Father." Would you be willing to make that promise to your children today? Would you be willing to do anything and everything you can to connect your children or grandchildren to the Lord? Would you be willing to pray in front of them? Would you be willing to get up and come to Church even on weekends when it's inconvenient to do so or you don't feel like doing so? Would you be willing to get involved with other Christians in a Life Group so they can see that other adults love the Lord and live for Him? Would you be willing to live a godly life before them? Would you be willing to show them that Christianity is fun?
75% of all people who have ever come to Jesus did so before the age of 15. Don't push them and rush them. But if you will talk about the Lord to them, read and explain the Bible to them, and bring them to church where they will be exposed to godly adults, teens, and children who will encourage them, it will be the best thing that you will ever do for them. May that, therefore, be a priority for all of us who have Children in our lives in the days ahead.
A Pastor was talking to a group of kids, and he was asking them the question, "Why do you love God?" He got a variety of answers from the children. But the one that he liked best came from a little boy. That boy said, "I don't know why I love God, Pastor. My grandparents love God. My Parents love God. My older brother and sister love God. I guess that 'loving God' just runs in my family." May that be said about every family at Celebration Church.