August 7, 2020
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Children can be so refreshing. They tell it like it is, and they often see it like it is better than we grownups do. Our little granddaughter was asking questions about Jesus for several months. One thing her parents had repeatedly explained to her was how Jesus cleans our hearts from the sins that we've done. Because she was young, Mom and Dad didn't push her; they just responded to her natural questions. Well, eventually, she told her daddy that she was, in her words, "afraid of sin." That's not a bad thing to be afraid of. The next day she said, "Daddy, I want to ask Jesus in my heart." And in her simple, childlike way, that's exactly what she did. Not long afterwards, she joyfully told my wife, "Grandma, I have Jesus in my heart." Grandma told her that was a happy thing. Then Grandma began to talk about how Mommy has Jesus in her heart, and Daddy has Jesus in his heart, her Grandma and Granddad, and her aunt and uncle. Suddenly she began to shake her head. She said, "No, no, no! Only children have Jesus!"
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Why Going to Heaven Is So Easy - And So Hard."
I'm grateful that Jesus made it clear that He's for everyone, old and young and everyone in between. But there's something Jesus did say about belonging to Him that actually validates some of the spirit of our little granddaughter's insight. His words, recorded in Matthew 18:2-3, our word for today from the Word of God, give to us so-smart grownups something to think about.
The Bible says, "He called a little child and made him stand among them. And He said, 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'" Wow! Now when Jesus makes something a requirement for going to heaven when we die, you need to pay attention. We need to try to understand what He's saying.
Instead of children having to be grownup to begin a relationship with Jesus, we grownups have to become like little children. What does that mean? A little child instinctively knows he needs someone bigger. A child looks for the hand of someone bigger, the help of someone bigger, the direction of someone bigger. And a child operates on the basis of simply trusting that someone bigger who loves them. They'll trustingly go wherever that person takes them, trustingly believe whatever that person tells them. And it is that kind of total trust and total dependency on Jesus Christ that gets you into "the kingdom of heaven."
John 3:16, one of the foundation verses of the Bible, says "whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life." And that means abandoning any other hope of having your sins forgiven because only Jesus died to pay for them. But that's a problem for us grownup people. Our pride keeps us from admitting that all our goodness is useless as currency to get us into heaven. If your goodness was enough, Jesus would have never gone through the agony of that cross. And over the years we learn "un-trust," because of how humans are. So we'll agree with Jesus, but we won't throw ourselves on Jesus as our only hope. The reason it's so easy to go to heaven is also the reason it's so hard...you just put all your trust in Jesus.
Often, in His love, God will send or allow a situation that's totally beyond our control. He'll allow us to hit a wall so we will realize what children realize so instinctively. We desperately need someone bigger. We need heaven's Prince who died in our place. The question is not, "Do you agree with Jesus?" or "Do you like Jesus?" Have you ever grabbed Jesus with both your hands as your only hope of getting right with God? That's the question. If not, in Jesus' words, "you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Today, you can change that, and in so doing change where you will spend eternity. It's a matter of reaching up for Jesus' hands with the simple trust of a little child reaching for the hand of his Daddy. I'd love to help you take that step if that's what you want to do. And there's a simple explanation of how to begin with Jesus at our website. It's ANewStory.com. Please get there today.
Isn't it time to look at Jesus and say, "I can't, You can, and I'm Yours?" When you do, you are finally safe all the way from here to heaven.