I was brought up in a Christian home, but I can’t remember if I ever accepted Christ in my heart when I was young…. At the time I didn’t feel genuine repentance in my heart, I didn’t fear God, I had a bad attitude about going to church, and I was rebellious and proud…. I have been reading about the events in Revelation, and [while thinking about what Jesus Christ said], “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,”1… I got scared because… maybe I didn’t accept Christ as my Savior…. I’m afraid that I won’t go to heaven.
We congratulate you for reading the Bible, including the last book of the Bible, Revelation, which contains prophecies about the end times. You are wise to pay attention to what will happen in the future and to be concerned about where you will spend eternity.
Jesus gave that warning because He knew there are many people who call on God only occasionally. They may refer to Him as a higher power or even believe that each person has a bit of God inside. Or they may call Him “Lord” and ask Him for good luck or for protection from harm. Some try to bargain with God, promising future loyalty in exchange for current favors. Others think good thoughts and send good wishes. And they probably even say “God bless you.”
However, Christ said that not all who call Him Lord and Master will be allowed to enter heaven. Why is that?
Have you seen the Santa Claus that appears at shopping centers during the Christmas season? Many children go up and talk to the Santa and tell him what they want for Christmas. He is kind to them and he listens. But when the day is over and Santa returns to his own home, does he take the children with him? Of course not! He doesn’t even know them. He doesn’t have a relationship with them.
Only those who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ can go home with Him when they leave this earth. You are worried because you know that you have never had that type of relationship with Him.
Having a relationship with Christ starts when you recognize that you have sinned and you are truly sorry for your sin and ask God to forgive you. He is the only One who can forgive sin, because He sent Christ to die on the cross in order to pay the penalty for all our sins.
When you truly regret your sin, you decide that you want to stop sinning. So you ask Christ to come into your life permanently and to help you live a life that will please Him. Then you read the Bible to find out what He wants from you, and you talk to Him every day through prayer. And as you get to know Him better, you will develop the kind of relationship with Him that will cause Him to take you with Him to His heavenly home when you leave this world.
We wish you the best,
1 Mt 7:21