Monday, September 16, 2013

Tough Question

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven
 given to men by which we must be saved.
Acts 4:12

"If you died tonight would you go to heaven?

That's what the text message I received one night about two years ago from Brandon Moore. At this point in life we were simply friends with no intentions of ever flirting with each other, much less falling in love. Brandon and some of his friends would come to the house I lived at unannounced around supper time once or twice a week. (Good timing, huh?) Of course I was never the one cooking unless we wanted dessert - I left that up to my sweet roommates - but I slowly started to build a pretty cool friendship with Brandon. 

Although Brandon and I often ended up at church together because of mutual friend groups, we never really had a ton of spiritual conversations. So when I randomly received this text, I was thrown pretty quickly into a high state of confusion. Not because of the question itself, but because of the source of the question. I immediately responded with, "Yes, I would" and assumed this would be the end of the conversation. As confident as I was with my answer, my confusion as to where the question originated from continued to rise. 

Initially my mind start racing with with different possibilities as to what spurred the question. I immediately started retracing the past couple of weeks and months in my mind to see if maybe I had been doing a poor job of letting Christ show through in my life. Much like you, I fall short of the glory of God daily, so I think every single sin I had done in the past two months came to mind. After about 1 minute of this line of thinking I had convinced myself Brandon asked me this because I had done something to make him think otherwise. This was an absolutely mortifying thought. I was close to tears when he replied, "Why?"

In a second my mind completely switched gears and I assumed that Brandon wasn't a Christian. If he was a Christian he would know why I answered the way I did, so why else would he keep prodding. So I immediately switched to evangelism mode. I explained that when I was 6 years old I realized that I needed a Savior to get to heaven so I gave my life to Jesus and since then have been learning more what it means to love the Lord and live for Him. I was fully prepared to suggest we talk in person or suggest he talk to one of our pastors more about a relationship with Christ, so his response completely caught me off guard. 

"Ok good. I just wanted to make sure." That's what he said..... Like what?! He had just put me on that emotional roller coaster to make sure that I was going to heaven?! After I got over the shock of his unexpected answer, I was overcome with a mixture of thankfulness and disbelief. No friend, that I could remember, had ever asked me if I was going to heaven - definitely no guy friend had ever asked that. So I thought, "I want to marry a guy like that. I want to marry a guy that cares about where I stand with God and is not afraid to ask hard questions." Little did I know my statement would turn in to "Like, I want to marry that guy."

That conversation has been on my mind for the past month for three reasons.

1. Girls, wait for a guy that cares about your relationship with the Lord. Please don't feel pressured by social norms to settle for a 'good guy' because it's 'about time to figure out who you're going to marry.' Be content with the season of life you are in right now. Take advantage of all the free time you have to seek God's heart and serve Him with all of yours. 

2. I care deeply about where you stand with the Lord. I so desperately want to see everyone that I know and love in heaven.  I want to know if you have called on Jesus name - the only name that can save you. I want to know if there was a time that you gave your life to Christ and ever since then your life has never looked the same. I want to know if you died tonight, would you go to heaven.

3. I think God wants to use some of the people reading this to ask this tough question. What friend has God been placing on your heart lately? How have you been responding to this? Have you been praying for an opportunity to ask a hard, awkward question that has eternal weight and significance? 

Acts 4:12 makes it clear. Salvation is found no where else under heaven. Do you know that in your heart? 

Oh how I pray that you do. 

Jackie J