Thursday, November 16, 2017

Are you going up?

Good Tidings from Heaven


I was going to visit two Christians who were in hospital. It was a high rise building and the people I wanted to see were on different levels. I went to the area on the ground floor, from which the elevators could be accessed and was soon on my way up. After spending a little while with the first person I made my way back to the area where a number of people were waiting for an elevator. Soon it arrived and we were asked, "Are you going up?" This immediately divided the people because some said, "No we’re going down". I got in and was in the company of people, all of whom were going up; the others we left behind and they were going down.

Later, as I pondered this simple incident, I thought it was just like humanity; some are going down and some are going up! The destinations are certainly not on earth. Some people are going up to heaven, while sadly very many are going down to hell. Dear reader, which way are you going?
In Luke chapter 16, we read about two men: one was a rich man while the other was a poor man. It says concerning the rich man, who lived independently of God, that he "died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame" verses 22-24. He went ‘down’. Isaiah 14.9 states, "Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming ..."
It is not a pleasant prospect to be going down. However there is a glorious possibility, open to all humanity, that we could go up, and that to heaven! Note how the Bible speaks of the location of heaven: in Romans 10.6 we read, "Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) ..." This location is seen in Luke 16.23: "And in hell he [the rich man] lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom." Note, "he lift up his eyes". Are you going up or down?
How is it possible to know that you are going up? Did the poor man go up because he was poor and the rich man go down because he was rich? Very dogmatically, no! Peter tells us, "God is no respecter of persons" Acts 10.34. The name of the poor man was Lazarus, which means, ‘my help is of God’, indicating that he was a believer.
In the simple illustration, the direction of travel was based upon which elevator I chose, just as your eternal destiny depends on your choice or rejection of Jesus Christ. He alone can take you up! Acts 4.12 states, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." God had only one Son Who came "to seek and to save that which was lost" Luke19.10. We could not save ourselves. Religion, church attendance, good works, philosophies of men could not save us; salvation is "not of works, lest any man should boast" Ephesians 2.9. Since each person must die for his own sins, only a sinless person could die for sinners. Thus, due to His sinlessness He alone could die for us and He alone can save us. In Romans 5.6,8 we read that "Christ died for the ungodly ... Christ died for us." 1Corinthians 15.3 tells us that "Christ died for our sins". Salvation comes through "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" Acts 20.21.
So, dear reader, are you going up?
Used by permission of Assembly Testimony

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