"If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9 (NIV)
The night after I had taken my driver's test as a teenager, I had a dream in which I was driving down the road and all of a sudden the clouds became giant bells that were ringing. Everyone was getting out of their cars and coming out from wherever they had been. I realized that this was the second coming of Jesus. Angels were everywhere in the sky, then Jesus came with a list in His hand. Everyone's name was on the list and beside each was a numerical value. Whoever had a number of seventy or above was going to Heaven, and I was so happy that my number was seventy exactly.
I have never forgotten that dream. It made an impression on me because it is the only time that I have dreamed of Jesus returning to earth. I dream in color and it is still all so vivid in my mind. I can remember, too, the fear I felt as I waited to hear the number by my name. As I have gone over it once more in my memory, one part has truly caught my attention. That would be the list.
Imagine if Jesus were to return with two lists in His hands. One list would contain the names of those who would go to Heaven and the other those who would be sent to eternal torment. This is just a "what if" question. Just something to think about.
I am sure that there would be unbelievable rejoicing when names from the Heaven list were read. I can just hear the praises being shouted and the songs of adoration being sung. The angels would play their mighty trumpets and the celebration would only be beginning.
But, when the names on the other list were announced, there would be screams of horror, great anguish, hysterical crying and voices begging for another chance. People would be ripping the hair from their heads, looking for somewhere to hide and denying that this could possibly be true.
Here is another "what if." Suppose we had advance knowledge of which list our names were on. How would that change how we live out the rest of our lives? Would we grow complacent as Christians if we knew we were on the first list? Or would we, out of love for our Savior, spend more time in His Word, in prayer and in sharing the Gospel?
And if our names were not on the coveted list, what would we do? Would we curse God and fall deeper into sin that we ever thought possible?
As I have thought of myself in these scenarios, this is what I have decided. First and foremost, I love Jesus. The most important thing to me is honoring Him and seeing Him glorified. No matter which list my name was on, I would like to think that I would continue praising His name and serving Him because life is about Him, not me.
Thankfully, scripture is very clear on what we must do to be saved. The verse I chose for today is only one of many that direct us toward salvation. What I have described above is just to create introspection. Although His return will not be like my dream, or my "what ifs," He will return. We may not know the day or the hour, but God is faithful and Jesus will come back eventually. Are we living our lives in preparation? If He was to return tonight or tomorrow, would you be ready?
If you have not received Christ as your Savior, please don't delay. Contact a Bible believing church, or ask a Christian friend if you have any questions. Today could be the last day. God bless.