Just like that I was standing in line at the grocery store recently waiting to get checked out. I had my candy bar, trash bags, and my Weekly World News ready, there was one person behind me and one checking out ahead of me. I was in kind of a hurry because I wanted to read about the 14 foot tall gerbil who ate the scientist. For all I knew, there might well be a 14 foot tall gerbil lurking somewhere in my neighborhood and I wanted to know what I should do if I encountered it. Should I run? Should I fight it like a mad man and in giving my live at the jaws of a gerbil save other lives in my community? Should I call my newspaper and risk a panic? As you can see this was a deep subject. The person ahead of me was talking with the person behind me about someone they both knew who was apparently dying of cancer. Since I was in the middle of the discussion I had no choice but hear what was said. "Well he's gonna be in for a surprise when he dies" proclaimed one, "with the life he lived he's gonna burn!" "Well" replied the person in front of me, "a pastor visited him in the hospital yesterday and now he's got religion." "He's got his nerve!" cried the one behind me, "if he thinks he can just breeze right into heaven just like that he's crazy!" "yeah", replied the one in front, "he's got another thing coming." The line moved, the conversation was over. The devil whispered, a person listened, a chance was missed. The chance missed was mine because I should have taken the opportunity to tell them they had it wrong and that the dying man may well be in heaven because that's exactly the way it works. Yet the devil whispered to me: "the whole things is none of your business, and besides they wouldn't believe you anyway. Just keep your mouth shut and mind your own business." So I did. This time, maybe someone will listen and believe, they might have believed that time, but I'll never know, but then it isn't my job to make them believe, my job is to deliver the message. I didn't do it. This time I will deliver the message: Yes, that's precisely the way it works, we accept Jesus, we accept God, we accept the forgiveness He offers and we walk into heaven free and happy. Even if we live our life as a murderer, a thief, as a nonbeliever, if we turn around, ask forgiveness and accept forgiveness, then we get it. Free of charge, at least free to us because there was a high price paid for it. So will heaven be full of crooks and bad guys? No, it will be full of forgiven people, people with no "criminal record" because when God forgive us, He forgets all charges, erases the slate, deletes the file. No, murderers will NOT be in heaven, but then once forgiven, they won't be murderers anymore. You can believe, or you can reject this, it isn't my opinion, it's in the bible, God says it himself. The choice, as always, is yours.
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