God’s plan of salvation part 2

Pastor Thad Gifford - Contributing Columnist

Last week, I shared about GPS — God’s Plan of Salvation. And I want to continue that thought this week too. Why? Because where you spend your next life (eternity) is actually more important that living this life. In our next life, we will continue to live forever. There will be no end, like there is in this life. The Bible tells us “It is appointed for man once to die, and then the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27) Every one of us will keep that appointment unless Jesus returns before we die. And as soon as we draw our last breath here on earth, our next breath will be drawn before the Almighty God of the Universe. Now, you can believe this or not, it is your choice. However if you do not believe this, one day you will see that I was right and then it will be too late for you to do anything about it.

Am I trying to scare you out of hell? Yes. Yes, I am. I would rather have you scared out of hell than to spend all of your eternity there and if you make that all important decision to accept Jesus as your Savior and be born again into the family of God, when we get to Heaven, you will thank me.

Several weeks ago, 58 people were killed while attending a country music concert in Las Vegas. Last week, eight people were killed while riding their bikes in New York. On Sunday, Nov. 5, 26 people were killed while attending church in Texas. I would imagine that each and every one of those people fully expected to go to their homes after the events were over. Never in their wildest imagination would they have thought that particular day would be their last day on earth. No one got up that morning and said goodbye to their families and friends because they knew they were going to be killed. Not one of them.

Why? Because we don’t know when we are going to draw our last breath. It could be today. Or tomorrow. Or next week. Or in 20 or 40 years. But one day, we will keep our appointment with death just like these people did. The point of the article this week is that we need to be ready. We live in a different world than we did just a few years ago. It seems like after 9-11 our world changed dramatically. Many do not feel safe walking the streets of their home towns any longer. Numerous people have taken concealed carry classes and they now carry a firearm with them wherever they go. Ten years ago, hardly anyone was concerned so much about their safety that they actually carried a gun. Today, I bet many of your friends and family do.

But the Bible tells us to not worry about the one who can takes our life. But to be concerned about the one who can take our soul. Did you get that? The only thing that keeps people going after the tragedies that we have seen in the last few weeks is knowing that once a person accepts God’s Plan of Salvation (Jesus as personal Savior) then, regardless of what happens, after death, that person will be with God forever.

I do not fear for my life. I am prepared for anything that might come against me and my family. Which simply means this — I carry. I have a license to do so and I do. And in our church, a number of our people carry on Sunday morning. We are going to have advanced training so that when we get into our new building, we will be even better prepared. We may even hire a plain clothes guard to patrol our grounds during worship service.

And, I would encourage each one of you to make the appropriate decision for yourselves as whether to be armed or not. And in your church, you might ask your pastor or church board to give consideration to this subject too.

It’s not that we fear what this world has to offer or what might come against us. It’s that we are prepared if something should. Thank God one of the neighbors rushed to the church to stop that savage attack. He probably saved the lives of those who did not die that day. But, had there been one person in that building that Sunday morning who was trained and who was carrying, I know the loss of lives would have been a whole lot less.

Either way, the bottom line is this. If you expect to spend your eternity in Heaven, then you will have to do it God’s way because man’s way does not work. And if your church or pastor is not telling you “how to” know that you are going to Heaven, and sharing God’s Plan of Salvation with you, I would recommend that you find another church where the truth is being taught and preached. The Bible tells us that we need to “call upon the name of the Lord and we will be saved!” And in Romans 10:13, “Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” If being saved and salvation wasn’t important, then why did God put it into the Scriptures? And why did Jesus say “You must be born again to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven”? (John 3:1-7)

And that is Something to Think About for this week.

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Pastor Thad Gifford

Contributing Columnist

Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at m.thad.gifford@gmail.com, www.3C-Church.org or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.

Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at m.thad.gifford@gmail.com, www.3C-Church.org or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.